Polar Express Day

Thursday, 20 December 2018

On Monday of this week, a "mystery package" arrived in our classroom with a note that asked us not to open it until December 20th.

Not by chance, our Positivity Project character strength for the week was self-control.  We talked about what this looked and sounded like and watched videos, such as The Marshmallow Test, where children's self control was tested.

I asked the children if we should open the present now or wait until the 20th.

And they let me know - most of them wanted to open it NOW! (Uh-oh, now what!)

So, we spent some time talking about the kindness of the gift and how there must be a good reason why the gift giver wanted us to wait.

I asked them about presents that might be under their tree, that they are waiting to open. We talked about how waiting is hard, but shows great self-control.  I told them that if they wanted to change their mind and move their star,  they had to the end of the day to do so.

Since it was decided that we would wait, we continued to be curious about the box and made predictions about what we thought was inside.

Many heard a "jingle jangle" when we moved it and predicted it was bells.  Other guesses were school supplies, a race track, and a chicken (Yes, a chicken!).

Finally, the day came to open it!  A child was randomly chosen to be the one to tear off the paper.

Inside was everything we might need for a Polar Express Day (and not one chicken!):

We got right to work enjoying our day!  We read the book and set up our chairs in rows like they are on a train.

We chose a train conductor and engineer who handed out and punched tickets and called, "All aboard!"

We watched the movie while enjoying refreshments.

When we got to the North Pole, we opened the "first gift of Christmas" (new crayons for our tool boxes) and...

had a rousing snowball fight!

We ended the day with a group photo and the children went home wearing bells as a souvenir of our trip!

While we still have a lot to learn about self control, the children are beginning to understand what it means and now we can build on that by introducing strategies.

Yesterday, I had a good chuckle when I received this gift from a child who wanted to test MY self-control by telling me I was not to open it until Christmas.

If it had been a plate of cookies, not sure how well I would have done?!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday and break!

Thanks for stopping by!

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