When the day starts with a pop up heart: Slice of Life March challenge #9


When the day starts with a pop up heart, there is room for many things.

I received this heart from a little girl visiting my class early this morning. It seemed to set the tone for a day full of extra big feelings.

It’s like this heart followed me around all day today directing me to sit down in the middle of it all and notice. Appreciate. Be happy.

And somehow, at every turn, I just could.

I sat and watched a colleague talk about favourite Robert Munsch titles with one boy. Soon another child was listening in. Then another and another. They sprawled over each other, spreading books around. And then they toddled off each holding a book or two like it was a grand prize. One girl was left. She was reading Murmel, Murmel, Murmel aloud – a longer picture book than she normally attempts. Part way through she looked at both of us watching her. We both said it, although we didn’t have to. “Hey you, little reader, you are reading that!”

Our afternoon read aloud was captivating. Nobody sat to the side. Children kept moving closer. They squeezed in at my edges, leaning in to look more carefully at the pictures. They posed questions that hung in the air until another child picked them up and gave them weight. My favourite response? “He’s doing lots of imaginationing.”

I cut birthday cake. It was a whipped cream goopy mess. The pieces were all different sizes. Some had fruit. Some didn’t. The plates were different colours.  I called everyone over and let them choose. Another day and there could have been pushing, accusations and huge complaints. Today, each child considered, then selected, and then enjoyed. Cake eating peace.

We were cleaned up 5 minutes early. Unheard of in my room. I asked for gratitude statements and many children wanted to share. Many were grateful that a child had a birthday that day and that there was cake. They were grateful for the morning walk we did. Grateful for adults who had spent time with us.

Just after the children were dismissed, one girl ran back in.

“Oh and Ms. Gelson, I am grateful too! I am grateful for the book and the drawing on the board. It was a great day!”

Yes, indeed, it was.

When the day starts with a pop up heart, happiness comes first.

Bad Irony: Slice of Life

I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.

Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.

32 thoughts on “When the day starts with a pop up heart: Slice of Life March challenge #9

  1. Awe, my heart swelled with memories of my own little homemade notes. It’s amazing how that small gesture can truly open up our hearts and turn a rough day into an amazing day. It sounds like you had a day full of fun.

  2. A truly happy day.. “Cake eating peace” was a line I love. Your posts are such treasures.

  3. I love that idea of the heart following you around all day, and now you have extended that heart out to the rest of us. A marvelous gift that keeps on giving …

  4. I really like gratitude statements. Thinking now about how to incorporate those into my pull out gifted and talented day.

  5. A pop-up heart to start the day! Those homemade notes are the ones I’ve saved. Love the cake eating peace scenario and the happiness of this delightful day.

  6. I wish every child could have the experience of you as a teacher. You are so caring! I just love reading your heartfelt posts.

  7. I am always grateful for cake too–and morning walks. How I love these windows into your classroom–the rituals, the space that children have to be themselves and grow, the careful noticing, the wonder, always the love.

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