Collaborative Hearts And Minds Help Kids Cope

Source: ASIDE 2015
With the increasing questions we received from our sixth graders about the abhorrent news this past week, we realized they needed to do something to make them feel they were sending a positive message to help the world be a more peaceful place. Eleven- and twelve-year-olds hear the news, and most have far more access to content than their parents realize. Their questions abound and need an outlet. As middle school educators, we know this.

Source: ASIDE 2015
So with our friend and colleague, Francine Wisnewski (@fwisnewski), we decided to bring hearts and minds together to let the kids create a message to share on social media and with the school community. We asked them that each finished design somehow include a heart, map, and peace sign. That’s it. How they incorporated the criteria and with whom they worked, or not, was up to them.

We cherish the flexibility in our curricula that allows us to stop everything to promote mindfulness with our learners. It does not matter that the schedule listed math and history; we pulled the kids together to address their concerns about world conflict and violence.

Source: ASIDE 2015
We continually try to build the hearts and minds of our young learners to be peace builders, peacemakers, and peacekeepers. As adults, we understand the turmoil in the world, and sometimes we just have to stop to help them cope. It’s worth every minute. If we don’t, we lose the power of positive thinking that the world so much needs.

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