We wrote our mission statement about 8 days into the school year. This gave me enough time to talk a lot about why we're at school and how we care about each other and work hard every day, etc. I introduced our mission statement by talking about how we are "on a misson" at school. I asked the kids what our mission was. What did we come to school for? They generated this list:
-to go to centers
-to have fun
-to do art
-to make new friends
-to be good listeners
-to walk quietly in the hall
On a new piece of paper, I drew a stick figure and asked the kids to think about our list as we went through each part of the stick figure. I pointed to the head and asked what we used our brain for. We listed thinking, learning, reading, and writing up there. We labeled our eyes for looking, our mouths for speaking, and our ears for listening.
I added a heart to our stick figure and asked, "What do we want our heart to do at school?" They said, "Beat." Obviously, they are just too smart! I asked what they wanted their heart to feel at school. They said: happy, love, happy to be with friends, being nice, making new friends.
And we labeled our feet for walking and running and playing. Because I wanted to include leadership in our mission statement, I mentioned how they used their feet when they were the leader, to show everyone else what to do and where to go. So we added the word "lead" by our feet, too.
So finally, we went back up to the head, and I told the kids we needed to pick the most important word for each thing, so we wouldn't have too many words to remember. We picked "learn, listen, love, and lead." The alliteration makes me way too excited, but I swear they came to these words *mostly* on their own.
We go over our mission statement each morning during Morning Meeting. We point to our head and say "learn," ears and say "listen," heart and say "love," feet and say "lead." I also made this little visual aid (that coordinates with our college sports theme).