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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Family Harmony; Friend/Social Skills 8

Family Harmony
Family difficulties can be brought about by insufficient communication skills, lack of listening skills, and general disrespect for others.  The development of sufficient communication and listening skills is a main element to family harmony.  Review, Be A Good Listener; if you haven't practiced listening skills, it can be found in the archives.

Family Harmony Guide
Review the guide.  Scroll down and act out the role play.

Roll Play
Adult decides skit.  Absolutely NO negative comments or inappropriate laughter from the audience.  After skit is over, others clap.

(The parent or teacher does the first roll play if the children are new to role play, and guides the rest.  Use the, Solve A Problem, chart below if needed).

1. Sammy and his younger sister Emily have chores to do on the weekends.  Sammy pulls weeds, sweeps up the leaves and waters both the front and back yards, which takes a long time, while Emily just does the dishes.  Every week Emily constantly complains to her brother, that he has an easier chore than she does, since he gets to be outside.  How can Sammy communicate to Emily about what his job entails in comparison to her job, so that she will understand, which will keep the family harmony.

2. Maddy, Marcus, and Michael all want to use the computer at the same time.  Their parents are not home.  Since Michael is the oldest it is up to him to come up with a fair solution and explain it to maintain harmony in the family.

Holly is 13 years old and her brother Damion is 8 years old.  Holly stays up to 10:00 because she is older, while Damion goes to bed at 8:00.  It infuriates Damion that he has to go to bed earlier than his sister, and he is angry with his sister.  How can Holly explain the situation to her brother, that will keep family harmony.

4. Pick a situation to use as a role play that has happened in your home or at school and role play it.  

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Initiative; Character Education 13

Old Proverb: There is a first time for everything.
Helen Keller: It’s not the senses I have, but what I do with them is my kingdom.

A key to children’s success in school is to be self-motivated; to take initiative.  Children who believe in their abilities, even when others do not, are more likely not to give up and better succeed in life.  Let children know you believe that they can accomplish whatever they set their mind to.  Self confidence is vital to a motivated child.  Encourage children to set goals, starting out with one small goal.

Scroll to bottom of post for art activity

Ben’s Trumpet, by Rachel Isadora; Younger
Ben wants to play the trumpet, but he only has an imaginary trumpet.  One day a musician in a neighborhood nightclub discovers Ben’s ambition.

The Rock Club, by Vanessa Clayton; Older   Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul
A young girl starts, The Rock Club, a group of children who raise money for the homeless. 

Adopt a cause and decide how to raise money for the cause; a suggestion is collecting aluminum cans, etc...

More Activities:
1. Make a Goal as a family or a classroom.  Go over the guidelines.
            Clearly define the Goal
            Outline the steps needed to reach goal
            Consider possible blocks and ways of dealing with them
            Set a time frame to complete goal
Goal worksheets:

2. Discuss the difference between a wish and a goal.

3. Even with our best effort, there are times we may not reach our goal.  If you do not reach your goal what can you do?

4. Write about the future.  If you can become anything you want when you are an adult, what would it be?  How can you make this happen?

Art Activity: Ben’s Trumpet
With a piece of white copy paper, fill in diagonal lines of different colors at an angle, with color pencils or crayons.  Trace the trumpet outline on the striped paper, cut out the trumpet and glue trumpet on a solid background.  Or, trace the trumpet on black paper, cut out and glue on the striped paper.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Arts; Self Esteem 9

The Arts
Exposure to the arts helps children develop brain areas involved in language, reasoning, and refines cognitive skills.  Students of the arts learn to think creatively, which helps problem solving.  Studies show that children who study the arts are more successful on standardized tests, such as the SAT.  Exposure to the arts provides children a look at different cultures and teaches them to be empathetic.  The arts provide children a way to be self expressive and promotes confidence.

Freeze Dance
Play music and children dance, stop music and children freeze...  Use a variety of different styles of music from pop to classical.  You may want to start with a song well liked and familiar to the children and later add different styles of music, from country to folk songs of other countries.  

Traditional dances lessons are a good way to keep your child active.  Dance lessons are not just for competition and winning trophies.  They instill confidence, focus, and discipline.  Dancing increases expressive and verbal vocabulary.

Listen to music, sing songs, or march to music with store bought, or homemade musical instruments made out of bells, or oatmeal container drums.

Taking instrumental music or singing lessons are beneficial.  Learning a piece of music instills patience and confidence.  The vibration of an instrument against a player's body can significantly lower a persons stress level.

Arts and Crafts
Introducing and involving children in craft projects will promote interest in their thoughts about the arts.  Through art children can learn to think creatively.  Young children are already highly creative, and art can help to push their boundaries to think outside of the box as they grow up.  Creating something artistic on their own can give children the sense of accomplishment.  Take children to art museums for enrichment!

Puzzle: Make a puzzle out of a favorite photo or picture.  Print out the photo on an 8 x 11-inch piece of paper.  Glue the printout onto a sturdy piece of cardboard.  On the back draw shape pieces, and then cut out.  

Flower Chain: Find a flower stencil and copy it in different sizes.  Glue flower pieces on cardboard and cut out to use as a master pattern.  Trace patterns on card stock that is plain or has a pattern.  Glue flower pieces together in descending order.  Fold flower peddles upward.  When the glue is dry, glue the flowers on a ribbon.  For more flower patterns look for outlines on the Internet and use coloring pages.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What Does Anger Look Like and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Feelings 11

How We Respond
A situation will be exactly the same, however each person will react differently.  A situation does not really have meaning until we add our thoughts to it.  We often do not think about how we are reacting or what we are thinking.  Our responses are automatic.  But, they are our thoughts and we can try to be in control of them, especially when everything seems to be going wrong.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; by Judith Voist; Younger
Alexander could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  It was a day where everything seemed to go wrong.  Alexander tripped over his skateboard, dropped his sweater in the sink, got gum stuck in his hair, and more.  Everything went wrong including lima beans for supper and kissing on TV.  What do you do on a day like that?  Maybe, think about going to Australia.  Everyone has a bad day, and this book is a good lead in to talk about how to handle days when things go wrong.

Alexander Art Activity
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for outline.  Copy the pajama outline in white, color cuffs, cut out and glue on a background piece of paper (we used black).  Print out skateboard and lima beans in appropriate colors and glue on the background.

Activity: Write a note or letter to Alexander letting him know you understand how he feels.  (Explain what empathy means).

Anger Looks Like?; Older
What does anger look like to you?  Pick out colors of construction paper that represent anger.  Cut out shapes and glue them on a background piece of construction paper.

Major or Inconvenience
Everyone has days that it seems like everything goes wrong.  When many little things are going wrong in the same day, we can sometimes put too much importance on them; make them bigger problems than they are.  Look at the list below and decide if the problem is big, or an inconvenience.  put them in order from a little inconvenience to something major.

1. Spilled your glass of orange juice
2. Forgot your lunch for school
3. You have to have surgery
4. You are served a vegetable you dislike
5. Your relative has died
6. Your turn was skipped while playing a game
7. Your sister ate the last cookie
8. You broke your arm in two places

Alexander Activity

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Truthfulness; Character Education 12

Sophocles: The truth is always the strongest argument.
Christopher Morley: Things are never quite the same somehow after you have to lie to a person.

Very young children can confuse the difference on where their imaginations end and the truth begins.  A lie has the intent to make someone believe something they know is untrue.  Lies break trust and it is then more difficult for others to believe us, even when we are telling the truth.  When a lie is told, often more lies have to be told to back up the original lie.  If telling the truth would hurt someone’s feelings, say nothing, or honestly admit you do not know.  The best teaching tool of truthfulness and honesty is for parents and teachers be a model the trait.  Praise your children when they are honest, and try not to lose your temper when children lie.  Take the circumstance and turn it into a teaching moment.  Ask the child how next time, should the situation be handled.  

The Emperor’s New Clothes, by Hans Christian Anderson
A classic story of a child who was the only one, brave enough to tell the truth.  A vain emperor was naked after he had been tricked by two tailors.

Art Activity: Emperor
Scroll to the end of Trustworthiness.  Cut out, glue pieces and color hair, color coloring page, or draw your own Emperor.

Winners and Winners, by Al Covino   4th course of Chicken Soup for the Soul
Time ran out, and a young man had to give the news to the coach.  This is a good story with a twist at the end. 

1. The Gossip Game; the parent or teacher whispers a sentence in the ear of the first child.  That student whispers and repeats what they think they heard to the next child, and down the row it continues.  The last person then repeats what they think they heard out loud.  The parent/teacher says the original sentence.  Odds are they will not match at all.

2. Brainstorm what makes a person trustworthy.  Write or draw a picture about someone you trust.

3. Have students write about this scenario: You have a best friend named Amber and there is another girl you do not get along with very well.  The two girls are accused of taking chocolate off of the teachers desk.  Amber wants you to tell the teacher you saw the other child take the candy, but you didn’t see anyone take the candy.  What do you do?

4.  What if people wore bracelets that would cause an alarm to go off when a person is lying?    If this bracelet existed and you could vote for this devise, would you vote to require everyone to wear one, or not?    

Emperor’s New Clothes; cut out and glue together on a piece of construction paper

Coloring Page