The Seashell

I just attended a welcome-back-to-school meeting that touched my heart.  The principal, Brian Bizzoco, gave each teacher the following poem with a carefully wrapped seashell.  This note was attached.

You are probably wondering why you have been given a seashell.  It is a gift to you to help you reflect on another gift you are about to receive–your students.  Let’s take a few minutes to consider what the shell can tell us about them.  

The Seashell

(Adapted from Mary Madden’s ‘Gifts’)

Maybe your shell is fragile, delicate, and easily broken.

So are some of your students, so we shall handle

them kindly and with care.

Maybe your shell looks beautiful.

Each student in your class has a special beauty.

Discover it and help others to notice it and appreciate it.

Maybe you noticed that your shell has pieces chipped away or broken off.

Some students have had difficult experiences that have chipped away their

positive self-image and broken their spirit.  We help to rebuild their self-image

and rekindle their enthusiasm.

The shell you have in your hand is unique.

It was carried to shore by the ocean just for you.

What will you do with it now that it is yours?

Each student in your class is unique, too.

Each one is in your hands now.

What will you do with them, now that they are yours?


Brian reminded teachers that each one has unique gifts to offer and encouraged them to express their gifts. I have no doubt that Brian will help his teachers (and students) flourish.  Wouldn’t you love to work where this kind of thinking and feeling is encouraged?

Real Kids, Real Writing

I just spent two weeks teaching in Trenton, NJ.  I had a ball with some excellent K-2 teachers.  (Thanks, you guys!)  The thread that ran through the two weeks was doing meaningful activities with kids.  We came up with the following list to remind ourselves that all writers (and especially little kids) need a purpose for their writing.  

Real World Purposes for Writing

    • Invitations to parties, events
    • Birthday Cards, Thank You cards, “I’m Sorry” cards, “I Miss You” cards, Holiday Cards
    • Letters to express your feelings
    • Signs for the classroom/school (something is lost, found, broken, new, going on in your class)
    • Signs that explain your work in centers (i.e. a sign to let everyone know you built a bridge in the block center)
    • Telling a story about something interesting that happened to you
    • Writing a story for someone you love
    • Writing a poem for someone you love
    • Writing to get your feelings out
    • Writing that shows what you know about a topic
    • Teaching somebody how to do something
    • Making lists for planning or remembering things
    • Writing to express how much you love (or hate) something
    • Writing to recommend a place, movie, book
    • Writing to discover what you really think
    • Writing to discover what you’re trying to say
    • Writing to make your voice heard in the world!

Cool Bookmarks

I love these bookmarks from!  I saw them in a shop the other day and had to stop myself from buying a whole set.  Other bookmarks offer advice from hummingbirds, bumblebees, bears…Wouldn’t they make great gifts for your readers?  Maybe they’d inspire some readers to create their own bookmarks!

+ Click image to view larger size
Each bookmark says:

Advice from a Tree

  • Stand tall and proud
  • Sink your roots deeply into the earth
  • Be content with your natural beauty
  • Go out on a limb
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Remember your roots
  • Enjoy the view!

Bookmarks are printed on recycled paper.  Size 2.25″ x 8.5″, laminated and will last for years!  Save $1.25 to $1.50 EACHwhen you order in quantity packs.

© 2007 Your True Nature, Inc.