Introducing, the heart pillows!

 

The magic of the heart-pillow

Have you ever had one of those days where every single child in your class feels that they must to tell you every single, teeny tiny, itty bitty problem that has happened throughout the course of the day? Have you ever felt that if you hear a child say your name one more time you might explode into a million little fragments?

I had one of those days a couple of months ago, and instead of pressing the self-combust button, I miraculously came up with a new solution to all of the tattling. It amazes me that some of my best ideas come when I am frustrated.  Does that happen to anyone else?

I would like to introduce to you, the heart pillows. Two years ago I bought the heart-shaped pillows with arms from Ikea and they were used to cuddle up with, while a student was reading. In my moment of frustration, I decided that these heart-pillows were going to have more power in my classroom. They were going to help the children solve all of their problems, and mine!

I decided that if a child had a conflict between another child, they should invite them to take a heart-pillow and bring it to a quiet place in the room or the hallway. They would take turns sharing how they felt and explaining the reasons for their reactions. They were going to work together to find a solution and apologize if it was needed.  To explain the new and improved heart-pillows I did lots of silly role-modeling, where I was the problem causer and another student invited me to the heart-pillows.

At first the students in KB were a little heart-pillow happy. Every single problem had to be solved on the heart-pillows and I still needed to help mediate the conversations. Now a few months later, I am amazed by the students’ abilities to communicate their feelings and to listen to the other person. They compromise, empathize, sympathize and solve their problem independently. Rarely do they require my assistance any more. Although I find it very entertaining to listen in to their conversations.

The best part is that they are starting to realize that the heart-pillows don’t have any magic powers.  They can solve their problems without the heart-pillows and that is just what they are starting to do!

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5 thoughts on “Introducing, the heart pillows!

  1. I have seen this work in your classroom so many times! In fact, yesterday when I stopped by (you were gone to the nurse), P fell out of his chair and B laughed at him. P said to B, “You hurt my feelings when you laughed at me. Let’s go to the heart pillows and talk it out.” After they talked it out, Ms. Lily asked them if they were OK. P said, “Yeah, we talked it out and we’re friends. He said he won’t laugh at me anymore. We solved our problem!”

    You are such a phenomenal teacher, and this is just yet another example of your genius! 😉

  2. I was really involved in your story, as you asked me three questions in the first three paragraphs. I also liked the repetition of ” single child” and “single, teeny tiny, itty bitty problem.”
    Thank you for writing about your pillow idea, I think I will use it with my own children.

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