The Bully in Us All

  The Bully in Us All A unique conversation was begun between myself (Jena Ball) and Sunny Thakral at the start of October, 2016. As most of you know, October is Bully Prevention month, and I was eager to share both my book, Lead With Your Heart, and my thoughts about bullying after using the book to teach elementary school children kindness. You see, I never intended Lead With Your Heart to be a book about bullying. Yes, there are bullies in the story, but it is fundamentally a book about how judging one another by outward appearances and assumptions can lead to prejudice and fear. In other words, the bullying in the book is a symptom – the result of circumstances and events that have shaped the characters’ lives. To make a long story short, my conversation with Sunny led to a discussion on #INZpired, the spark chat he co-founded and leads on Friday nights. The conversation that night was intense, engaging and left me hungry for more. It was clear that although more and more schools see bullying as an issue, they are struggling to know how to actually deal with and prevent bullying. And so I did what every good educator on Twitter does when he/she is in search of answers, I consulted my PLN. More precisely, I contacted Craig Kemp, and asked if he would consider making bullying the topic for #WhatisSchool in October. As soon as Craig agreed and a date was set, I knew what I wanted the focus of the chat to be. Writing and teaching Lead With Your Heart had brought...

Maslow in the 21st Century – An #AussieEd Chat

Maslow in the 21st Century Classroom Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who is probably best known for his hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy is based on his theory that children’s psychological health (and ability to succeed as adults) depends on having innate human needs met. Maslow divided these needs into six categories based on priority, starting with basic physiological needs and culminating in self-actualization (see image above). Although many of these needs seem self-evident, many education systems today tend to place less importance on categories such as “love and belonging,” and esteem,” labelling them as “soft skills.” Ongoing research being done by psychologists and neuroscientists such as Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Richard Davidson are providing hard evidence that a child’s emotional well-being is as if not more important than traditional academics. In fact, children who do not feel safe, supported and empowered have a difficult time learning. In our chat on June 19th. we propose to probe a little deeper into Maslow’s hierarchy and discuss practical ways we as educators can address the needs of the “Whole Child.” Come prepared to think outside the box and to share your favorite Maslow quote. Some of our favorites are listed below.  See you Sunday! – Jena and Brett “All of life is education and everybody is a teacher and everybody is forever a pupil.” “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” “What is necessary to...

You Can Only Be Perfect at Being Yourself by Rylee

NOT PERFECT N: Not Perfect O: Opinions of mine aren’t always right but I don’t care as long as I am having fun T: To be Not Perfect means that I can’t do everything   P: Perfectly NOT perfect E: Even if I get a great score at gymnastics it is still not perfect R: Really great times aren’t even perfect F: Fun times means not being perfect but you still get excited E: Even sometimes I get things wrong C: Cause I’m not perfect makes me happy T: The Not Perfect Hat Club is something to show people you can’t be perfect     In school we started talking about the Not Perfect Hat Club. The Not Perfect Hat Club helps show kids that even though they aren’t perfect, they can still do awesome things. We all have different things that we are good at and different passions. You can only be perfect at being yourself. That’s what makes us perfectly not perfect. My mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said either something that has to do with designing or animals or art, because they are my passions, and mom thought we could find a way to put them all together. That’s how we started making dog clothes for shelter dogs. I wanted to pick shelter and rescue dogs because they don’t have owners or families to take care of them yet. Shelter dogs have to be shaved sometimes because they can be dirty or their fur is ruined and they will need to keep warm. The problem is, neither of us knows how...

Kids Weigh In – Part I

“Kids Weigh In,” is a a series of blog posts by students from around the world who are participating in CritterKin’s Not Perfect Hat Club project.  In the spirit of the Not Perfect Hat Club mission – to give every kid a place to hang a hat – we will be sharing the many and varied ways participants express their understanding of what it means to be perfectly Not Perfect. Want to start your own Not Perfect Hat Club project? Contact: JenaBall@CritterKin.com   Part I – Brent International School in the Philippines So proud of my 5th grade students as they describe what it’s like to be perfectly not perfect. Love the creativity they illustrated in the drawings they created in Google Drawing. They learned that it is okay not to excel in everything. We all have unique qualities to offer and that’s perfectly not perfect. This slideshow requires JavaScript.   NOT PERFECT  by Ana B. Ok so-so ordinary “Someone” (she’s just one of those people who’s never my favorite) problems (not the math ones,the other ones they say) myself imperfect basicly everything basicly everyone the ”Someone” (needs to be mentioned twice) It’s ok to be imperfect (though this ”Someone” is WAY too much) because there IS something you are really tops at. Like one of the people I met is great at chess but not so great at drawing. Everyone is  imperfect anyway. Everything is.  So it’s actually perfect to be imperfect! ———————————————————————————————– Not Perfect by Nasif A. BEFORE THE VIDEO Fails Ok Not the best Normal Not good at sport AFTER THE VIDEO Not the worst or not the best...

The Steam Punk Kid!

  Just for fun, I’m making a steam punk top hat and wanted to share it with YOU!  Here are the steps of the hat making.  I’m not done yet so more steps and pictures will come again soon. 1. Get a top hat template online. Choose one with a cool tutorial video like this: Click the image above to see the tutorial 2. Measure your head to get the right hat size 3. Cut out the pattern to be the right size 4. Trace your patterns on a yoga mat (I used a camping mat -worked great but the pattern had to be adjusted due to the thickness) 5. Cut them out with a VERY sharp knife (if you are a kid like me, get your Mom or Dad to help you) 6. Glue the pieces together with contact cement (NOT Rubber Cement) to create the top hat (the pattern will tell you how they fit together) 7. While my camping mat did not require the hairdryer trick in the video to bend the brim, you may need this step if you use another type of foam for the base of the hat 8. Cut craft foam into squares, rectangles, and other shapes and glue to the top hat with contact cement Here is a picture of my project so far….   Painting the Top Hat Today my project transformed. I started to see my SteamPunk Top Hat look like a Top Hat and less like a multi-colored toy. I applied two coats of black paint to the foam and rivets and quickly it started to look like metal pieces that had been riveted to the hat....