Room 121 friends know that my family and I LOVE the beach and love shelling equally as much! This summer we traveled to Gasparilla Island in Florida for vacation and we hit the gold mine of sea shells!! I quickly decided that I would find a shell for each of my new Kindergarten friends! It amazes me that as you find many of one kind of shell, no two are ever alike. Much like my friends in the classroom! So...I packed up over 30 conch shells for this year and headed home! Fast forward to last week when I emptied the bag of shells I had collected onto our friends rug with all 25 of my friends closely watching! We simply looked at them first and began to discuss what we noticed....some are big, some are little, some are dark in color, some have pointy parts, etc. I told them about shelling and what kind of shell they were. I explained that sea animals live in shells and we talked about why these might be empty. Then...I asked them how our friends and the shells might be the same. WOW....they had lots of good ideas....some of us are girls, some are boys, some are tall, some have long hair, etc. When I told them that we were like the shells in the sea...each one different and unique, each having a special purpose in Room 121 this year and that I had brought them each one of these shells, boy- did their eyes lit up! Each friend was able to select their shell, write their name on it and place it in our special vase in the science area! We are a community of friends, all very important in Room 121 this year and our shells can remind us of this each day! I must admit that my heart was already a little bit sad at the thought of them "outgrowing" their Kindergarten shells and moving on much like sea creatures do...but I won't think about that for 9 more months!!!