Giving Empathy Wings

This special delivery from a 4th-grade reader brought me to tears.

It was an update, about how the class is doing putting their KEY Principle into action, giving it wings, if you will. His KEY is empathy. What this empathy hero’s teacher might not know is that her thoughtfulness was perfectly timed, because this treasure came in the mail just as I was about to celebrate my first Easter without my brother Mark. My spirit needed a booster shot of connection, hope and love, and her empathy winged its way from my home state to deep in the heart of Texas at exactly the right moment. It’s empathy that gives kindness its why; I wrote about it {here}, along with some empathy integration ideas, in case you’ve been looking.

From time to time, our book gets a Twitter shout out; so thankful for this one from Florida. I love that the story whets their appetites for learning ASL.

Our hardcover in the Spanish language has arrived; check it out on Amazon {here}.

I’ll leave you with that beautiful smile, which says more about our joy than my words ever could. Happy springtime.

The Keyhole of Hope & Possibilities

Click the image for a download of this key template.

I’m always honored, excited and grateful to discover how schools around the world are using Mr. Quigley’s Keys to inspire and influence; one of the most recent projects shared with me comes from Lincoln Elementary in the state of Washington. Click {here} to watch their beautiful work of HEART unfold. My soul is singing that a seed our story planted has germinated and blossomed into this incredible school-wide project which this family of CAN-DOER Bull Pups is using to help them hurdle over some upcoming challenges and changes.

As I was creating this template, it occurred to me that you could teach your learners about symmetry so that they can create their own keyhole instead of using mine.

Directions: Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise and draw a half circle and a slanted line; it’ll end up looking a bit like a capital R. Cut along the lines, open it up and find your very own, individualized keyhole template.

Write or illustrate the world you see through the keyhole when we use our keys to connection to encourage, support, love on and serve one another. Or let your artists create the prompt by asking them what they are looking for through their keyhole.

What do YOU see when you peek through the keyhole of hope and possibilities?

KEY Strengths On Display

If you’re looking for an activity that will spotlight signature strengths, you’ve come to the perfect place!

Piggybacking off of this KEY template that we shared at Thanksgiving 2015, to thank our staff members for being key to unlocking so many doors for our students and their families …

… I created this from one of Audrye’s illustrations that didn’t make it into the book. Click {here} to download. Put copies on the table at your back-to-school inservice and ask staff members to write words and phrases that describe who they are and what they bring to your school family. Use it to talk about humility and a healthy pride, something they’ll model to the learners in their class family every day.

When the masterpieces are finished, consider attaching a picture of each staff member on his/her page and post it on a Wall of Fame at your school’s entrance. Won’t that make a beautiful visual? But don’t stop there! Ask your students to complete one as well. Better yet, put blank templates out at Open House and ask families to fill them out. Or send them home in the first-week folder and get everyone involved.

Do send me a picture when your KEY strengths are on display!