This is always one of my favorite Kindergarten collaborative art pieces.
I create some sort of stencil and we all (students, teachers, PS Director, Admin. Assistant, and Head of School) use our hands and fingers to fill the stencil and create the piece of art. This year I chose a flower with hearts inside.
I cropped the photo so the children’s names are not posted on the blog. The canvas is actually rectangular. The top has the year and the bottom has all the participant names.
Every other time I wrote our class rules on the canvas, and used the hand and fingerprints as a way to “sign” our promises to each other. “I will work hard. I will play fair. I will be kind.” They are super important things I want my students to remember and live.
But this time I didn’t do that! I happened to do yoga with them the day I finished the canvas. We did a relaxing yoga, finishing lying down, hands touching, saying our affirmations.
We are safe. We are sound. We are well. We are whole.
We are lucky. We are brave. We are joyful. We are fantabulous.
We are great. We are kind. We are smart. We are not the same.
We are strong. We are awesome. We are good. We are nice.
We are joy. We make friends. We are relaxed. We like each other.
My students’ words were in my brain as I wrote their names on the canvas. As I considered how I might place the rules, I realized a more powerful statement for them to remember might be their own words of affirmation! Then they would be “signing” their own greatness. Saying “Yes!” to all the wonderful words of affirmation that they created during our yoga time.
No need for my voice to always be the one speaking!
I hope, when they say the affirmations in yoga, or see them on the canvas, they feel empowered, strengthened, and joyed, by their own words and thoughts. It is a small thing, but I believe giving voice to their voice, highlighting it in my classroom, will teach them that power, peace and affirmation reside within themselves as well as in others.