Our 4th new character skill was curiosity. This one was especially hard to teach because so many students were taught that curiosity would get them into trouble. I had to reframe their thinking into remembering that curiosity leads us to learn new things. All learning starts when we are first curious about something. Read more
I apologize for the throughly lame title to this post . . . but I honestly couldn’t think of a cute, witty title . . . Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, I promise this will be worth the read!
Last year, I started writing up monthly newsletters for the parents. I wanted to promote my program, so they knew what their child was learning during “Character Education.” During my first year of counseling (as the first counselor at the school), I kept battling parents who were truly angry when they heard their child came to see me or that I went into the classroom to teach a lesson. They figured if their child saw the counselor then there was one of two problems:
1. Their child was spilling all the family secrets
2. Something was wrong with their child and he would come talk to me
and inadvertently, even though he was only 4, he would spill all the family secrets. Read more
I did a more advanced lesson about this in 4th grade a couple years back. The lesson had them think more globally, than my current 1st grade lesson. It wasn’t at all my favorite lesson I’ve ever done and in fact, I don’t think I even wrote about it. But this lesson on the other hand . . . MUCH better . . . maybe just more age-appropriate, but who knows.
I picked this lesson from Puzzle Pieces because I thought it was a good explanation about our responsibility to appreciate others, especially those who are different than us (and as my boys know . . . our differences are what make us special). We know what is special about ourselves. So how do we find what’s special inside each of our classmates? Read more
It’s that time of year again! What time of year you ask? The time of year when the boys start jumping all over each other’s nerves. It’s that time between parent/teacher conferences and Thanksgiving break when the boys are so comfortable with each other that they begin wondering how far they can push each other before someone loses it.
Each year, as part of my Friendly Francine Unit (from Jellybean Jamboree) I do with Kindergarteners, we talk about sharing. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to reiterate the point in 1st grade. I thought it was especially important this time around not to emphasize sharing, but more . . . what we shouldn’t be sharing. With multiple food allergies throughout the school, I thought it was important to stress the idea of not being able to share food or medicine.
I adapted my next lesson for 1st grade from my new Puzzle Pieces book. The original lesson, as it is written, was just a bit too “young” for our first graders. It had the perfect message, but I had to work to extend the ideas just a bit. Plus, I fully believe in teaching children that there is more to fixing a problem then just saying sorry. Read more