Thursday, May 10, 2012

Zap Your Classroom with Positive Energy!

Remember the pet rock craze years ago? A few years ago, I discovered a positive- energy twist on this idea. Marie Dalzell, a teacher who enjoyed my Teaching Resources site, sent me an unusual gift - a box of rocks! However, these were no ordinary rocks. Each rock had been hand-painted with a unique happy expression by her husband, Wayne Dalzell. They were adorable! Included in the box was a small stack of cards labeled "Care and Feeding." The back of each card said to feed the rock by telling it a happy thought every day. I loved it!

The timing of the gift couldn’t have been better. The rocks arrived the day before two of my students had to retake the state reading exam. I let them each pick out a rock to keep for good luck. I also gave them a Care and Feeding card and asked them to follow the directions. They were so proud of those rocks! They told me whenever they felt anxious about the test, they would just reach into their pockets and touch their rocks and they immediately felt better.

Through several email conversations with Wayne and his wife, I learned that he is a custodian at a California school. He has been giving away his rocks for years just to spread joy to others, and he has lots of great stories about the positive impact they’ve had. He began giving the rocks as rewards to the students with the cleanest classroom each month, and before long he had painted hundreds of Happy Thought Rocks!

Happy Thought Journals
I knew my 5th graders wouldn't be comfortable telling a happy thought to a rock, but I decided that they could just as easily feed their rocks by writing their happy thoughts in a journal each day. So I created the Happy Thoughts Journal you see on the right along with a collection of different journal pages. Wayne liked my journal idea so much that that he designed two cute character pages to add to the collection. I began providing a bit of time each morning for writing happy thoughts, and it turned out to be a great way to start the day.You can download the journal cover and pages by visiting the Odds N Ends page on Teaching Resources or clicking one of the images here.

I hadn't thought about those Happy Thought Rocks in a long time, but I was recently reminded of them when a fellow blogger mentioned that she used to use gratitude journals in her classroom. I emailed Wayne to see if he was still creating them, and you're in luck because he is!

I was so touched by the gift of the rocks and by what Wayne is doing that I wanted to share the information with others. You could create your own Happy Thought Rocks, but Wayne’s prices so reasonable that you might just want to save yourself the trouble and order from him. Visit his photography website at www.weoriginals.com to see the full selection of adorable creations! You can send him an email at therockman4u@gmail.com to place an order.

Even if you don't purchase or create Happy Thought Rocks, you can still create Happy Thought Journals for your students. Allowing time for your students to write in their journals and share with others is bound to zap your classroom with a blast of positive energy! We can all use that this time of year!







10 comments:

  1. These are super cute!! Thanks for a fun giveaway and the happy thoughts. I'm your newest follower though I've been reading your stuff for a while now.

    Here's to a terrific Thursday!

    Barbara
    The Corner On Character

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  2. Who used the journals? Would love to check out that blogger, too.

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    Replies
    1. It's Michelle Walker and she's working on creating a freebie and a related product based on her experiences. I'll be sure to share about it when she has it finished, and I'm planning to include a link to it in this blog post. She's says it's almost ready!

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  3. I have a class with high emotional needs and this is exactly what I have been looking for to help my students look on the bright side. I spent all day yesterday making my own happy thought rocks! I've just got the final protective coat to apply. I can't wait to share them with my class as part of morning meditation.

    Thanks for the Inspiration,

    Aimee

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure your students will love them Aimee!

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  4. Thank you so much for the "Happy Thought Journal" and the link to Wayne's website! (I've emailed him for ordering info!) I will use the journal with my students these last 12 days of school. I also printd one for myself as I need a little reminder of some happy things right now! Thanks again!

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  5. Thank you so much for this post. My middle-school daughter has anxiety and panic attacks and takes medication but still struggles from time to time. She used to have a special rock that she kept in her pocket given to her by a teacher. It was thin and it broke one day. I know she would love one of these rocks and that other students would benefit from them too. Thanks for sharing the Happy Thought Rocks and Journal
    Pamela
    First Class Teacher

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  7. Laura-

    These hand-painted rocks would be great sensory fidgets as well for students with special needs! What a thoughtful gift for a class...

    We featured your rock idea at our End of the Year Student Gift Ideas Wrap-up

    Thanks for sharing,
    Karen & Nicolette,
    founders of The Classroom Creative

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  8. Laura,

    Thank you so much for the amazing idea. Students are struggling with so many things in and out of school, I am always looking for ways to boost the positive energy within my classroom. I love the idea of the positive thoughts journal is a great way for the students to begin thinking of the positive things that are happening in their lives while getting them to write.

    Thanks again for the ideas. I look forward to posting how it all turns out.

    Jessica Hritzko
    5th grade teacher

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