This week in NELP, the students are all very busy.
In First Grade, the students just finished reading an article about the importance of smiling and the benefits of smiling. As a homework assignment, I told them to go home and smile and think positively and report back what changes they saw in the home.
In Second Grade, the students are reading about two students at Purdue University in America who go out every Wednesday and randomly say nice things to people they see. They're known as the "Purdue Compliment Guys".
In Third Grade, the students just finished reading about Arthur Boorman, a disabled Gulf War veteran who lost 140 pounds in 10 months through diet and exercise. He has a VERY inspiring video on youtube.
Next, the junior high students are going to be learning about ecology and the environment.
In First Grade, the students will be learning about Maeda Corporation, which asked its workers to cut their hair, partly to save energy (short hair doesn't need an electric drier).
In Second Grade, the students will be learning about Rachel Beckwith, a young girl who told her parents that for her ninth birthday, she didn't want presents. She wanted to set up a charity to build wells in Africa to provide clean drinking water. Sadly, shortly after her birthday, young Rachel died after a terrible traffic accident. However, Rachel Beckwith's original charity:water campaign raised almost $1,000,000 MORE than her original $300 campaign goal.
In Third Grade, the students will be learning about the town of Kamikatsu, Tokushima, whose town council adopted a policy of "zero waste". The residents of this town produce NO garbage. They compost and recycle everything.
These topics are part of a new theme in NELP that focuses -not on "world problems"- but rather on "world solutions".
This is a kind of thinking I want to teach my students: positive thinking, productive thinking, forward thinking. I want them always thinking about solutions, not just problems. One of our themes in the new NELP readings is "Making the world a better place." I think this is an important thing to think about and the students have been really interested in what we're learning.