February's lifeskill was integrity. In each class, we read the book The Empty Pot. This story is about a boy, Ping, who is a talented gardener and is faced with a problem: When it comes time to grow the most important flower of all- the seed won't sprout! Should he use the flower from a different plant or show up to the Emperor with an empty pot? This story explores what integrity looks like, and how uncomfortable and challenging it can be at times. Above all, this story illustrates how much courage it takes to have integrity and that doing the right thing always turns out best!
After reading the story, students explored a number of scenarios and had to determine whether or not students were showing integrity. Students in fourth and fifth grade viewed this video of Jack Sock displaying true integrity through sportsmanship. We discussed how integrity doesn't always lead to reward and glory, but that we must do the right thing even when there is not incentive.
Third through fifth grade students also spent three minutes in each class practicing mindful thinking time. We used the Tao Mix 2 app to listen to calming sounds while we reflected in silence. Students utilized this time to clear their minds and/or focus on positive thoughts. We introduced this strategy as a way to help manage stress and train ourselves to slow down, relax and feel comfortable alone in our minds.