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Valparaiso Community Schools: The Best Part of Me


Valpo-Schools-The-Best-Part-of-Me

Written by Laura Bryan and Allison Van Oss of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School
During our health classes the fantastic first-graders of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School have been working on being positive about themselves and others. This past February we read a book titled, ”The Best Part of Me” by Wendy Elwald.

In this book the children read and listened to other children talk about the best part of them in pictures and words. This led our first-graders to some fantastic discussion about the many fantastic parts of themselves. We then used their ideas to help the students create a writing project about themselves.

It started with the help of our parent volunteer, Rachel Snoddy. She is a professional photographer who gave us her time and expertise. Snoddy took individual photos of each student. Snoddy used their “best part of me” information when she took each child’s photo.

Teachers Laura Bryan and Allison Van Oss then showed their students the photographs and led them in their creative writing project. The children did a phenomenal job writing! Once the writing was complete, we made a display for other students to see.

Our goal was for our students to think about the positive parts of themselves. At Thomas Jefferson we strive to teach the whole student: we not only focus on academics but also positive self-awareness and self-concept. Through this project our students were encouraged to think confidently about themselves and develop a positive self-image.

Education goes beyond the curriculum and the state standards we are required to teach. A complete education encourages students to develop positive character traits and self-esteem. At TJE we strive to do just this through creative projects and using the expertise of our parent volunteers.

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