Monday, February 11, 2013

Being Successful using the 7 Habits: Being Proactive

I have started a small group with some second graders who have been identified as needing extra support to be successful in second grade.  They have various issues causing them to struggle, but I thought I would try using a small group format focusing each week on a different leadership habit. This week we focused on Habit 1 - Being Proactive.

 We started with a discussion on what does it mean to be proactive.  The students were able to tell me "Being in charge of yourself" and give me examples of what I would see if they were being proactive.  I then placed a hula hoop in the center of the room.  Inside the center of the hula hoop I placed a sheet of paper with "Things I can control" written on it.  On the outside I placed a sheet with "Things I cannot control" written on it.  The students then had to decide if what I said was something they could control or not control.  As I called out situations they would jump in the hula hoop or out.  Some things that we focused on were school rules, their behavior, their feelings, their attitude, their friends, their reactions to friends, etc. Each time, the students had to tell me how or why they could control or not control the situation.

Next, I read my favorite story to the students, Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  We discussed whether Alexander was being proactive or reactive throughout the book.  Afterward we talked about ways Alexander could be proactive and use his heart messages (AKA "I messages").

Students took turns practicing using Heart messages to be proactive about different school situations.

Finally we made a Heart person to remember our heart messages help us to be proactive instead of reactive when we are having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Worry Warriors

According to Guatemalan legend, worry dolls have the ability to remove worries from sleeping children. Children tell one worry to each doll when they go to bed at night and place the dolls under their pillow. In the morning the dolls have taken their worries away.  With that same premise in mind, my Stress Relief group makes Worry Warriors.   
To make these cute little guys, I save up medicine bottles, remove the label and allow the students to decorate as they please.  We use googly eyes, sharpies, pom poms, chenille sticks, ribbon, glitter, etc. You get the picture. Once their Worry Warrior is complete, we glue it to an upside down sticky note pad. Whenever the students have a problem that they are worried about, they take off a sticky note from the bottom, write down their worry, fold it up, and give it to the Worry Warrior to worry about.
The children really enjoyed making these and when I saw one of my students over the weekend, she came up to tell me she had already given her Worry Warrior a worry and it worked!

Fantastic Foil Forget-Me-Nots

Here's a simple activity that I do with my grief groups.  During one of our meetings, we focus on a favorite memory.  To save this memory forever, I have the students draw a picture of the memory on the back (non-shiny side) of the aluminum foil with a dull pencil.  It's best to use thick foil and a dull pencil so the foil does not tear. This creates a 3-D effect on the opposite, shiny side of the foil. The student then flips over the picture and colors in the picture with sharpies to make a vibrant, colorful, 3-D picture.  I wrapped the foil around an old thank you card, but any kind of cardboard to make it sturdy will do.  Finally we used Popsicle sticks to frame the picture.