Meet My Little Rays of Sunshine =D




Good afternoon and happy Saturday! Welcome to my very happy classroom =D Pictured above is my classroom’s “Ray of Sunshine” wall, and all of those rays shining from the sun are my wonderful students. To create a safe space in the classroom for all students, it is important to teach the students what a community is, who is part of a community, and how to act in a community. Students need to be taught these skills and qualities, and through practice, these skills and qualities become a part of their daily life. By discussing the “Ray of Sunshine” wall on the first day of school, a sense of community was immediately established within my classroom. The wall says, “Let’s fill our classroom with rays of sunshine. We appreciate all of the acts of kindness that you do!” The sun started out with four rays of sunshine: Love, Respect, Empathy, and Kindness. Every time a teacher witnesses a student engaging in an interaction that is particularly respectful, kind, empathetic, or loving, the teacher announces to the class, for example, “Toddlers, we have a ray of sunshine. Student A fell down and Student B walked over and helped him stand up. That was so kind and thoughtful to help your friend stand up Student B. Excellent job Student B for being so kind and thoughtful!” The verbal praise is immediately followed by a long applause from the classroom community. Becoming a ray of sunshine encourages and strengthens both the student’s social emotional development and positive social interactions.

      Later in the day, I will prepare the student’s “Ray of Sunshine” card by writing the student’s positive actions on a red, yellow, orange or pink card and taping his picture on it. During group time later in the week, I will flip through the cards and say,”What do I have in my hands?” Students will ecstatically respond, “rays of sunshine!” I will then build up suspense by saying, “I wonder who the rays of sunshine are today” while continuing to flip through the cards. Then, I will flip one card over so they can see the picture. I will say, “Who is it?” and they always excitedly call out the student’s name. After they announce the name, I will repeat the student’s name and read his “ray of sunshine” card to the class. This is followed by a long applause and cheers from the classroom community. I love all of my students with all of my heart, and it is so rewarding to see them desire the intrinsic reward of feeling proud and amazing about themselves for engaging in a respectful, kind, empathetic, or loving interaction with another person.
What did you do today to become a ray of sunshine? =D

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