NEW BLOG – More on Cooperation

Having looked at cooperation and support as qualities of friendship in our last blog, let’s take a deeper look at cooperation and its impact on kids learning to work together.

Grades K-8

In A Perfect World

Ideally, cooperation is characterized by interdependence and inclusion. Everyone is valued for his or her uniqueness. They trust one another, turn to each other for help and advice and, when they experience conflict, utilize positive methods to resolve it. This Sharing Circle promotes cooperation and team building, children acquire many of the insights and skills necessary to interact effectively with their peers, to handle conflict, and to participate productively in collaborative projects and school assignments.

Your Sharing Circle

This Sharing Circle comes from Teaching The Skills of Conflict Resolution, our resource guide of activities and strategies for kids in grades K-8. The topic is, We Cooperated to Get It Done.

  Here’s Your Monday Morning Sharing Circle. Enjoy!

Do you want more information?

• Leading a Sharing Circle
• Sharing Circle Rules
• Books and Resources
• Free Activities
• Subscribe

Go here:

www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Here’s How It’s Done

Gather everyone into a circle. Explain the rules for sharing, and get agreement from everyone that they will follow the rules.

Sharing Circle Rules:

  • Everyone gets a turn to share, including the leader.
  • You can skip your turn if you wish.
  • Listen to the person who is sharing.
  • There are no interruptions, probing, put-downs, or gossip.
  • Share the time equally.

After everyone has shared, who wants to share, ask the discussion questions.

You can check the book out HERE.

Just click HERE to open a fully reproducible PDF of this activity and experience sheet…

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

If you are already a subscriber, I hope you find this activity valuable. Help us grow our blog by sharing these activities and encouraging others to join. Thank you.

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna


A Quality of Friendship

Grades K-6

In keeping with our last blog here’s another activity to expand children’s repertoire of friendship skills.  Being able to cooperate and give support to our friends conveys how we feel toward and are going to behave with our friends.  This is one of the things we DO for and with our friends.

What Friends Do

Once again this week’s activity, Friends Support Each Other, is a cooperative game that comes from our book, Social Skills Activities for the Elementary Grades.  Enjoy!

You can check the book out HERE.

Just click HERE to open a fully reproducible PDF of this activity and experience sheet…

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

If you are already a subscriber, I hope you find this activity valuable. Help us grow our blog by sharing these activities and encouraging others to join. Thank you.

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna


Helping Kids Make Friends

Cooperation, support, and having fun together are some of the things we experience with our friends. Our network of friends is one of the most important areas in which we develop social awareness. Children learn skills for interacting with others through successful interaction with their peer group. And having friends to care for and rely on can help them cope effectively with life’s daily challenges. 

Grades K-6

This week’s Sharing Circle and next week’s group activity both teach friendship skills and are designed to help students develop the ability to establish and maintain friendships.

Your Resources

Both this Sharing Circle and next week’s activity are taken from our book, Social Skills Activities for the Elementary Grades.  Enjoy!  The topic is, Something I Do to Keep a Friend.

  Here’s Your Monday Morning Sharing Circle. Enjoy!

Do you want more information? • Leading a Sharing Circle • Sharing Circle Rules • Books and Resources   • Free Activities   • Subscribe

www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Here’s How It’s Done

Gather everyone into a circle. Explain the rules for sharing, and get agreement from everyone that they will follow the rules.

Sharing Circle Rules:

  • Everyone gets a turn to share, including the leader.
  • You can skip your turn if you wish.
  • Listen to the person who is sharing.
  • There are no interruptions, probing, put-downs, or gossip.
  • Share the time equally.

After everyone has shared, who wants to share, ask the discussion questions.

You can check the book out HERE.

Just click HERE to open a fully reproducible PDF of this activity and experience sheet…

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

If you are already a subscriber, I hope you find this activity valuable. Help us grow our blog by sharing these activities and encouraging others to join. Thank you.

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna


Active Listening Skills for Managing Anger

Anger Control, Conflict Management lessons and activities
Elementary (GradesK-6)

Active listening is a wonderful process for helping your students work through upsets to discover exactly what their feelings are.

When we listen actively to our students, two things happen at once. First, negative feelings lessen or disappear after they are expressed and acknowledged in a supportive, nonjudgmental manner, and second, we are modeling and thus teaching students the skill itself.

Active listening helps develop problem-solving skills. As you model and teach active listening, your students begin acquiring the skill, and they become increasingly able to talk through or articulate a problem clearly as opposed to having it just spinning in their heads because they are unable to express it. Through discussion, they are better able to work toward a solution. Active listening also facilitates the growth of a student’s ability to express himself or herself effectively.

A Tool for Today

Today’s lesson teaches the skills of Active Listening and applies them directly to lessening anger. It has been taken from Anger Control And Conflict Management, a learning guide for the elementary grades.

 

You can check the book out HERE.

Just click HERE to open a fully reproducible PDF of this activity and experience sheet…

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

If you are already a subscriber, I hope you find this activity valuable. Help us grow our blog by sharing these activities and encouraging others to join. Thank you.

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna


Helping Students Manage Negative Thinking

Grades 3-8

Students are often confronted with situations in their lives that produce hurt, anger, fear, grief, anxiety, and confusion.

Here Is A Great Resource for You

Here’s an activity that is an effective group counseling session as well as a solid classroom experience designed to harness the power of eclectic grouping by bringing students together, not only to be heard, but also to provide a support system for each other in the midst of their own hurting and healing. It is based on the premise that acknowledging hurt is one critical step in the process of healing. Developing compassion, forgiveness and moving beyond pain are other critical steps that can be facilitated in the context of group dynamics.

In this activity we are helping the students discover the power of thought and how it can help in their healing process.

You can check the book out HERE.

Just click HERE to open a fully reproducible PDF of this activity and experience sheet…

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

If you are already a subscriber, I hope you find this activity valuable. Help us grow our blog by sharing these activities and encouraging others to join. Thank you.

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna


Awareness of Self and Others

Grades 4-12

Awareness is a critical element in life-skill development. Aware people do not hide things from themselves. They are in touch with the inner world of their feelings and thoughts, and they are in control of their actions—and they understand that other people feel, think, and behave too. They are also in touch with the reality of the past, the possibilities of the future, and the certainty of the present. Awareness allows individuals to order their lives flexibly and effectively on a moment-to-moment basis. Awareness also allows us to connect with others and is fundamental to developing empathy.

Here’s a Sharing Circle That Focuses on the Nature of Awareness

This Sharing Circle topic comes from the activity book (Grades 4-12), 101 Life-Skills Discussion Topics. The topic is, A Favorite Place of Mine.

  Here’s Your Monday Morning Sharing Circle. Enjoy!

Do you want more information? • Leading a Sharing Circle • Sharing Circle Rules • Books and Resources   • Free Activities   • Subscribe

www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Here’s How It’s Done

Gather everyone into a circle. Explain the rules for sharing, and get agreement from everyone that they will follow the rules.

Sharing Circle Rules:

  • Everyone gets a turn to share, including the leader.
  • You can skip your turn if you wish.
  • Listen to the person who is sharing.
  • There are no interruptions, probing, put-downs, or gossip.
  • Share the time equally.

After everyone has shared, who wants to share, ask the discussion questions. Get more in-depth information here.

Just click HERE to open a fully reproducible PDF of this Sharing Circle activity…

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe above or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

If you are already a subscriber, I hope you find this activity valuable. Help us grow our blog by sharing these activities and encouraging others to join.

Thank you. Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna


Teaching Kindness

Elementary

Today’s blog was inspired when I was sharing a meal the other day with a teacher friend.  I asked how the new school year was starting out, and she shared that a challenge was getting the students to be kind to one another.  I thought that providing a kindness activity today seemed the perfect response.

Kindness and Its Importance

Everyone intuitively knows the value of being kind, and teaching kindness and empathy to children.  Observing or participating in acts of kindness sets a positive and caring tone for the day as well as reinforces important social-emotional skills.  Modeling and reinforcing kindness makes it a practical and commonplace skill.

Many benefits have been reported in support of directly teaching kindness in schools including: Happy caring children; Greater sense of belonging and improved self-esteem; Improved health and less stress; increased feelings of gratitude; Better concentration; Reduced depression; Less bullying.  In a 2016 report the US Department of Education said that research demonstrates the importance of kindness: “Students learn best when they feel safe, supported, challenged and accepted”.  These are all elements of kindess.

Here’s Your Kindness Resource

This week’s activity helps students learn about the richness found in kind acts and behaviors and how they can be a benefit to all aspects of their lives. The activity, A Book of Kindness, comes from the resource guide, Caring and Capable Kids.

You can check the book out HERE.

Just click HERE to open a fully reproducible PDF of this activity and experience sheet…

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

If you are already a subscriber, I hope you find this activity valuable. Help us grow our blog by sharing these activities and encouraging others to join. Thank you.

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna


Helping Students Develop Positive Attitudes

Grades 7-12

It’s All About Attitude

It has been said that life is forty percent what we make it, and sixty percent how we take it. Whatever the ratio, the point is clear that attitude is a defining lens. We always have a choice about how we respond to events in our lives.

To recognize the benefits of developing positive, responsible attitudes, young people must first grow in self-awareness. They must learn to understand feelings and their relationship to thoughts, and they must understand that their own feelings are normal, predicable, and susceptible to control. Feelings convey messages about conditions and events going on in the environment, and provide important clues to the way the brain is processing information.

As William James said over one hundred years ago, “Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

A Tool You Can Use

This week’s activity helps students learn about the power of their attitudes – how negative attitudes cause problems and how positive attitudes can be a benefit to all aspects of their lives. The activity, Developing a Positive Attitude, has two parts – a group discussion followed by an experience sheet.

You can check the book out HERE.

Just click HERE to open a fully reproducible PDF of this activity and experience sheet…

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

If you are already a subscriber, I hope you find this activity valuable. Help us grow our blog by sharing these activities and encouraging others to join. Thank you.

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna


How I Show Respect Toward Others

Reflections on Respect Here’s a follow up on last week’s Blog which discussed the importance of teaching students the value of respect.  Helping students understand the significance of a respectful attitude and helping them identify specific actions and behaviors that demonstrate respect is the purpose of today’s Sharing Circle. This Sharing Circle topic comes from the activity book (Grades 3-6), Hearts and Minds – An After-School Program for Developing Reading Literacy and Emotional Intelligence. The topic is, How I Show Respect Toward Others…

  Here’s Your Monday Morning Sharing Circle. Enjoy!

Do you want more information? • Leading a Sharing Circle • Sharing Circle Rules • Books and Resources   • Free Activities   • Subscribe

www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Here’s How It’s Done

Gather everyone into a circle. Explain the rules for sharing, and get agreement from everyone that they will follow the rules.

Sharing Circle Rules:

  • Everyone gets a turn to share, including the leader.
  • You can skip your turn if you wish.
  • Listen to the person who is sharing.
  • There are no interruptions, probing, put-downs, or gossip.
  • Share the time equally.

After everyone has shared, who wants to share, ask the discussion questions. Get more in-depth information here.

Just click HERE to open a fully reproducible PDF of this Sharing Circle activity…

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe above or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

If you are already a subscriber, I hope you find this activity valuable. Help us grow our blog by sharing these activities and encouraging others to join.

Thank you. Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna


Activities for Teaching Respect

Teaching children about respect and developing positive relationships is one of the most important things we can do, especially in today’s increasingly disrespectful world.

What It Takes

Elementary

Being intentional and specifically having your students engage in activities focussed on respect will help them to understand the importance of their respectful actions and to understanding the difference between respectful and disrespectful actions and words.

Respect means showing regard for the worth of someone or something.  It includes respect for self (self-esteem), respect for others, and respect for the environment, including other life forms.  All other varieties of respect are outgrowths of these three.  Respecting someone’s property, for example, extends from respecting the owner of the property.

When we teach students to show respect, we prevent them from hurting what they ought to value.  If we are completely successful, they will end up valuing that for which they have demonstrated respect.    

Other ways to foster respect include:

  • Create a democratic classroom environment, in which the rights of all students are respected.  Show your own regard for every student, every day.
  • Expect students to be polite and courteous.  Consistently model the use of “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” etc.
  • Really listen to the opinions and contributions of students.  Make it a rule that students listen respectfully to each other.  
  • Show your appreciation for diversity.  Create an environment in which individual differences are celebrated, and where all students feel included and interdependent.
  • Teach students a simple decision-making process and encourage them to use it.  Respect their ability to make decisions for themselves.  Serve as their advisor and consultant.
  • When students have difficulty understanding how their behavior affects others, suggest that they apply the classic test of reversibility.  Ask them:  Would you want to receive this kind of treatment?

Here’s a great activity for working on one important aspect of RESPECT:

 

You can check the book out HERE.

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

If you are already a subscriber, I hope you find this activity valuable. Help us grow our blog by sharing these activities and encouraging others to join. Thank you.

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna