Unit 4 – WE ALL ARE VALUABLE

WELCOME

Dear Families,

Don’t we all want to feel like we are valuable? Life is filled with challenges and learning, and sometimes we might not feel quite “good enough.” Your young child is learning so many new things at this age, building a storehouse of skills and abilities that will last a lifetime. Each one of those skills helps your child become a valuable contributor to the caring community of school and home.

In this Unit, your child is exploring what it means to feel valuable and valued. She is learning the importance of acceptance and empathy for herself and for others. He is seeing how simple actions he takes to help others can actually help him feel included and better too!

Enjoy the topic together. Remember, WE ALL ARE VALUABLE.

Sending Smiles, Uncle Jim and Prof. Ellen

Principle Overview

A key belief for building a strong community is that everyone has value regardless of our differences. The fact is what we say and do affect other people, therefore, it is important. When we feel that what we have to offer matters, we feel empowered to carefully use appropriate speech and actions with others.

WHY WE ALL ARE VALUABLE

Important Ideas about the IM4U Principle, WE ALL ARE VALUABLE:

  • Strong communities value each person. When we feel acceptance and that what we have to offer matters, we feel empowered and encouraged to value others, regardless of our differences.
  • There are many ways in which we are all valuable. Our ideas, words, and actions can have ripple effects that we cannot measure.
  • A key belief that can erode community is the idea that any of us are not valuable. When we feel that what we have to offer matters, we feel empowered to carefully use appropriate speech and actions with others.
  • While caring is a way to show others they are valuable, caring for others is not always innate, especially in children. Can we teach a child to care? The IM4U answer is a resounding, “Yes!” They can learn that their simple presence can influence what others feel, do, or say.

Each of the IM4U units also connect to important social emotional learning concepts. The social emotional concepts that are at the heart of this unit are empathy and acceptance. Your child will be participating in discussions and activities as well as learning and practicing skills that develop empathy and acceptance.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. We promote acceptance when we welcome others into our community. By modeling, teaching, and engaging students with activities and discussion about empathy and acceptance, children become more aware of words and actions that welcome and include others. This helps everyone feel valued in a caring, inclusive learning environment.

Songs and Stories

Your child is listening to, watching, and singing a wonderful song about issues of exclusion and inclusion called Lonely Broccoli.

You will probably hear some lines from your child as your child hums or sings it around the house. What is it about? It’s a wonderfully playful and meaningful song and video that helps your child look at times of feeling left out of the group.

Well I’m a little bitty broccoli
Without all my friends
By a twist of fate I’m by myself again
I was chillin’ with my buddies
They went into the salad bowl
Now I’m all alone
And It hurts me to my soul
Why did they leave me?
Time for some damage control!
Do they think I’ll make them cry

Like the big old onions do?
I don’t know the reason why
I don’t even have a clue
But I know some things hurt me,
And some things hurt you too
I’ve got what I’ve got
I’m not what I’m not
You can leave me in the bowl
Or put me in the pot
But I will stand tall
Like a big ol’ broccoli tree.
I may not be with you
But I still got me

Why Is Lonely Broccoli So Important?

Studies of young children have shown that one of the key indicators for success in kindergarten and later schooling, in addition to their ABC’s and 1-2-3’s, is the quality of their social interaction skills. Being successful in school means being friendly, confident, and cooperative. These are all essential skills for dealing with social interactions in school and beyond.

A child who is confident, friendly, and cooperative is more likely to be respectful, caring, and tolerant of others.

A key factor in developing these skills is the child’s sense of belonging to the group. Isn’t this something that all families want for their children?

How To Use The WE ALL ARE VALUABLE Principle At Home

What does “feeling valuable” mean to your child? It can be as simple as knowing he can do something to help around the house, or it can be a feeling of belonging when the family shares a board game or sings a song together. The activities your child has been experiencing at school have helped him think about his own feelings and the feelings of others.

Here are a few simple things you can do at home to support this learning at home.

– Praise your child’s positive and valuable contributions. Be very specific when you praise your child. Just saying he is “good” is not enough. Tell your child what you like that he did. For example, “I like the way you helped Jessie find her missing shoe this morning. That was a valuable way to help her and me.” Use the word “valuable” when you praise your child for helping you. Studies have shown that when you repeat a word in a praise they learn its meaning in context.

– Ask your child about “Welcoming Words.” Students and teachers work together to identify and practice skills, actions, and words to that help children to value themselves and others. One way is to learn words—
Welcoming Words— to use when welcoming others into a group, game, activity, or even into a room. You can do this at home, too.

– Make a salad together!  Why not create your own salad, just like in the song? Children can work on simple preparations such as ripping lettuce or washing veggies. Put it all out as a family salad bar. Will you have broccoli in your salad?

– Brainstorm a “Valuable List” for the family. Gather the family together to discuss ideas for the ways they can offer something of value in your home. It could be by helping set the table, or make a get-well picture for someone who is not feeling well. WE ALL ARE VALUABLE!

– Go Fly a Kite: When you and your child work together to create something, you both experience how you are both valuable to the project. Enjoy this fun project that lets you work together to make a paper lunch bag kite. Open the bag, fold the edges over for reinforcement, and attach 10-inch pieces of kite string to each of the four corners. Tie these together onto a long section of string for flying. When your child runs with the kite, it will fill up with air and lift off!

– Treasure Hunt Friends: This is a fun game to share with friends and family. The only way it works if everyone values each others’ input! Invite a preschool or neighborhood friend to play a treasure hunt game around the house. Hide parts of a puzzle or a building toy for children to find and put together to create something cooperatively!

– I Feel … At the end of the day, talk about how you feel and why. Invite your child to share how he feels, too!

Remember—any shared activity with your child is an opportunity to see how everyone is valuable!