You may remember a school-wide program we implemented at my school that involved grade levels earning ice cream scoops for showing respect in the cafeteria. Well, that program was a success, so we decided to try another good behavior competition using a popcorn theme.
The big difference, other than the visual, is that grades can earn their reward much quicker (2 school weeks).
For more information about our good behavior competitions, check out this page.
Are you an author? Do you have a book that you would like me to review on my blog? If so, contact me at email@example.com. I'd be happy to check out your work and spread the word to my readers.
For more information, visit my Mix it Up at Lunch Day page.
It's the first snow day I've had in 2 years, so I'm excited for the unexpected opportunity to relax...and my definition of relaxing is movies, theatre, and blogging.
I discuss this with my students, because not only do I not want students to feel bullied, I also don't want students to live with regret. I don't want anyone to be the villain in someone else's memory. I, like most of us, will never know the extent to which my kindness and my cruelty (intentional or not) have impacted others. My hope is that we all take a step back and reflect on our actions, good or bad. Then, and only then, can we become better people.
Right now, I'm preparing for The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, my 4th and 5th shows of the season. These plays discuss the aftermath of Matthew Shepard's murder in Laramie, Wyoming. We have a company of 13 actors who are dividing up over 100 roles, which are, in actuality, real people who were interviewed in Laramie.
SoulPancake was founded in 2008 by actor Rainn Wilson and his friends, Joshua Homnick and Devon Gundry. As described on their website, "SoulPancake sprang out of their desire to create a space where people from all walks of life could discuss and question what it means to be human - a place to wrestle with the spiritual, philosophical, and creative journey that is life" (FAQ). SoulPancake is not just video - there are also print, web, and live event formats.
One of my favorite aspects of the site is the "activities" section. There are various writing or multimedia prompts (i.e. "List the one thing that you'll never give in to.") that visitors can participate in. These activities are a wonderful springboard for school counseling services; you could easily modify an existing prompt to meet your specific needs. If you trust their little hands, you could even provide your students (in individual or small group sessions, ideally) with a camera so they can respond to challenging questions in a different way.
As for the additional videos for school counselors, I found plenty of clips to spice up a lesson or two. I added some of these SoulPancake videos to my YouTube channel - organized by topic, of course! ;)
You can view my "Brighten Your Day" SoulPancake playlist in its entirety here. You won't be sorry! I promise! These videos are meant to energize, inspire, and ease the burdens we carry. Lighten the load. Enjoy!
Here are two of my favorites:
In case you haven't noticed, I love using video clips with my students. It's a fun way to grab their attention and transition into a lesson.
I just found one of the most adorable television shows ever...yes, EVER! Small Potatoes is about four singing potatoes who travel the world making music and making friends. Each three-minute episode contains a song about a specific topic and audio clips of children reflecting on that topic.
Do you have students who are chronically negative? Typically, these children have trouble making and keeping friends, often feeling rejected by their peers and the world at large. This is a "chicken or the egg" situation: Which came first, the rejection or the negativity?
I think it's important to empathize with students who feel excluded, but we still must address what students CAN control. While they cannot control their environment, they can certainly control how they respond to it. We, of course, must be mindful of mental health diagnoses and trauma that may contribute to a student's negativity. Therefore, some of my ideas may not apply to those specific situations.
Children (and, let's face it, many adults) often have little patience for negativity. When students' interventions, such as asking him/her to play or trying to rationalize why something "isn't so bad," do not work, it's easier for them to give up and blame the negative peer for not trying hard enough.
So, what do you do? I always give my students the first few minutes of a session to vent. Then, we move on to the positives so that I don't feed into the negativity and make it worse. For kiddos who struggle with identifying happy thoughts, I create a sticker chart to track all of the positives they can share with me. Each session, they have to name 3 good things in their life. Then, if they are able to complete the task, they add a sticker to the chart. We set a goal for the number of stickers we want to earn and once they reach their goal, they get to pick a prize from my prize box.
My name is Marissa Rex and I am a 1st Grade teacher and an elementary school counselor from Ohio. I hope you enjoy my site!