A Sharing Circle About DEALING WITH DIFFERENCES

Grades 2-12

This Sharing Circle topic comes from the grades 2-12  resource book, Lessons in Tolerance and DiversityIt  lets your students explore the differences between themselves and their friends. The topic helps your students understand that we all differ from one another and that these differences are what really are at the root of all our relationships but, importantly, from the foundations for our friendships. The topic for this Sharing Circle is, Lessons in Tolerance and Diversity

  Here’s Your Monday Morning Sharing Circle.
Enjoy!

 

I Have a Friend Who Is Different From Me

Purpose:

This circle asks students to identify specific differences between themselves and their friends, and fosters respect for differences in race, culture, lifestyle and ability.

Introduce the Topic:

Today we are going to talk about friends who are different from us and what we like about them. The topic for this session is, “I Have a Friend Who Is Different From Me.”

We are all alike in many ways, but we are also different. Today, I want you to think about a friend who is different from you in at least one major way, and tell us why you like this person so much. Perhaps your friend is of a different race, or has a much larger family, or is many years older than you. Does your friend speak a different language or eats a different way than you do? Does your friend have a disability that causes his or her lifestyle to be different from yours? Maybe your friend celebrates birthdays differently than you do, or has different holidays. Tell us what you enjoy about this person. Does your friend listen to you and share things with you? Does he or she invite you to go places? Do you have something in common like a love of sports, music, or computers? Think about it for a few minutes. The topic is, “I Have a Friend Who Is Different From Me.”

Discussion Questions:

1. What are some of the ways we differ from our friends?
2. How are you enriched by the differences between you and your friend?
3. What causes people to dislike other people because of things like race or religion?
4. What would our lives be like if we could only make friends with people who are just like we are?

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 here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna

PS: If a friend forwarded this to you, you can just sign up to get your own weekly Innerchoice Counselor Activity Blog.

Preparing Your Students to Be College and Career Ready

Grades 6-12

What it Takes

What does it take for young people to be college and career ready? Today’s students will need to succeed and lead in a highly competitive global economy, a knowledge-based society and a hyper-connected digital age. It’s no longer enough to just be trained in technical skills. Today’s workers need interpersonal and relationship skills. They need to know how to communicate and collaborate. In short they must develop a full spectrum of life skills which provides the foundation for success in college, career, at home and in the community.

Here’s the Resource

Preparing Students For Success and Leadership in College and Careers provides a comprehensive collection of over 140 effective activities for you to engage your students in the development of the skills employers are looking for and is required for success in college. With this curriculum guide you’ll have at your finger tips meaningful activities that help your students to make effective decisions, solve problems, act responsibly, set goals, learn to work as part of a team, and develop effective communication and conversational abilities.   LEARN MORE HERE

By developing these skills in your students now you’ll be promoting their college and career success.

A Complimentary Activity

Here is a goal setting activity and reproducible student activity sheet from Preparing Students for Success and Leadership in College and Careers. Use this activity now, and purchase the book to have a whole library of instantly usable activities to engage your students in preparing for their lifetime of success.

You can check the book out HERE, and you can open a reproducible PDF of your student experience sheet 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

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna

PS: If a friend forwarded this to you, you can just sign up to get your own weekly Innerchoice Counselor Activity Blog.

 

Helping Your Students Take Initiative and Accept Responsibility

Elementary

This Sharing Circle topic comes from the elementary resource book, Caring and Capable KidsIt  lets your students explore the differences between being asked or told to do something and choosing to do it just because it needs to be done. The topic also helps your students see the importance of taking personal responsibility for getting things done. Finally, students get to actually experience the positive feelings and other rewards for both taking initiative and accepting responsibility. The topic for this Sharing Circle is, A Time I Helped Without Being Asked…

  Here’s Your Monday Morning Sharing Circle.
Enjoy!

 

A Time I Helped Without
Being Asked

Objectives:

The students will:
— describe the difference between choosing to do something and being told to do it.
— state the importance of assuming responsibility for things that need to be done.

Introduce the Topic:

Today we’re going to talk about taking the initiative — about accepting responsibility without being told to by an adult.  Our topic is, “A Time I Helped Without Being Asked.”

Think of a time when you saw something that needed to be done and took it upon yourself to do it.  No one had to tell you or ask you or even hint to you that it needed doing.  Maybe you walked into the kitchen one evening and saw a sink full of dirty dishes and, instead of just ignoring the mess, you cleaned it up.  Or maybe you saw someone drop and spill or break something and you got down and helped pick up the pieces.  Perhaps a neighbor was searching up and down the street for a missing pet and you joined in.  Or you might have stayed to help a teacher straighten up a classroom after school.  You can probably think of lots of times when you decided on your own to take responsibility.  Tell us about one of those times.  The topic is, “A Time I Helped Without Being Asked.” 

Discussion Questions:

1.  How did you feel when you helped without being asked?
2.  How would your feelings have been different if you had been asked, or even ordered, to do the same thing?
3.  What does it mean to be a responsible person?
4.  Why is it important for each of us to take responsibility for things that need to be done?

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 here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna

PS: If a friend forwarded this to you, you can just sign up to get your own weekly Innerchoice Counselor Activity Blog.

CATEGORIES

Counselor in the Classroom

Having Impact!

Effective counseling can have a powerful impact on the ability of all students to learn, and to manage themselves in the classroom, the school, and all other areas of their lives. As counselors, we hold the keys to some of the most vital, sought-after, life-skills that people of any age can develop. In a lifetime, many individuals never acquire these skills, yet we have the power to teach them to children! Not just the children who are referred to us, but all children.

Shaping the Culture

Counselors can help students feel comfortable in the school environment, develop positive self-concepts, and rediscover the motivation to learn. We have the ability to enhance open communication and promote cooperative work skills. We can create a renaissance in interpersonal relations by developing listening, speaking, and observation skills, and promoting tolerance and the ability of young people to get along well with others.

Making It Real

In addition to training in life-skills, counselors can help students make continuous links between classroom learning and the career futures that await them, and prepare students to deal with change. We can show students the path of responsibility, teaching them to be safe, to resist substance abuse, and to shun violence and bullying. Through our efforts students can develop an entire repertoire of skills associated with problem-solving, decision-making, assertiveness, and conflict resolution.

How It’s Done…

Written especially for counselors, Counselor in the Classroom, offers a collection of learning activities designed to optimally utilize the skills of Counselors and bring those skills into the classroom by integrating counseling and guidance with classroom instruction.

Something for You

In this week’s blog we’ve chosen a Counselor-led activity from Counselor in the Classroom dealing with friendship.

You can check the book out HERE, and you can download the activity and student experience sheet HERE.

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

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna

PS: If a friend forwarded this to you, you can just sign up to get your own weekly Innerchoice Publishing Activity Blog.

Letting Your Students Explore Their Accomplishments

Taken from the book, 101 Life-Skills Discussion Topics, this Sharing Circle Topic lets your students connect with things they’ve already accomplished in life and to explore the feelings associated with these accomplishments. It also fuels creativity as students see how their accomplishments unfolded. The topic for this Sharing Circle is, Something I Did (or Made) That I’m Proud Of…

  Here’s Your Monday Morning Sharing Circle.
Enjoy!

Something I Did (or Made) That I’m Proud Of

Objectives:

The students will:
— identify personal accomplishments.
— describe the feelings generated by accomplishments.

Introduce the Topic:

Say to the students:  Our topic for today is, “Something I Did (or Made) That I’m Proud Of.”  We’ve all done something, or made something, of which we’ve been proud.  Think of an example in your life, and tell us about it.  Maybe the thing that comes to mind makes you proud because other people thought well of you for achieving it.  Or perhaps your accomplishment is something no one knows about except you.  Perhaps you helped someone who really needed and wanted help, and giving that help made you feel proud of yourself.  Or maybe you made something like a perfect fried egg, or fixed something, like a machine, and doing that made you feel proud of yourself.  Think for a minute and see if you can come up with something.  It can be an accomplishment from your childhood or something you’ve done recently.  The topic is, “Something I Did (or Made) That I’m Proud Of.”

Discussion Questions:

1.  Who besides yourself was proud of you?  How did he or she show it?
2.  How important is it for people to feel proud of themselves?
3.  Have you ever felt it wasn’t good to feel proud of yourself?  If so,what       caused you to feel that way?
4.  How does pride in ourselves help us continue to accomplish things?

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 here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna

PS: If a friend forwarded this to you, you can just sign up to get your own weekly Innerchoice Counselor Activity Blog.

Counselors! Here’s a Social Skills Activity for Your Kids

Relating effectively to others is a challenge we all face.  People who are effective in their social interactions have the ability to understand others.  They know how to interact flexibly, skillfully, and responsibly.  At the same time, they recognize their own needs and maintain their own integrity. Socially effective people can process the nonverbal as well as verbal messages of others.  They possess the very important awareness that all people have the power to affect one another.  They are aware of not only how others affect them, but the effects their behaviors have on others.

In order to build healthy relationships, children need to have positive interpersonal experiences and to gain information concerning the social realm of life.  As a rule, we do not systematically teach children how to understand and get along with other people.  However, since social skills are fundamental to success in life, and are learned behaviors, children should be consistently and developmentally taught these important skills.

It is important to recognize that people who enjoy effective social relationships are exhibiting not just one ability, but many different skills, each at a different level of development with different nuances of understanding.

The activities in Social Skills Activities for the Elementary Grades are designed to help children become aware of the importance of effectively relating to others, and to teach them social interaction skills in a deliberate and enjoyable fashion.

Learn more about the book here 

For your FREE activity and reproducible student Experience Sheet from the Communicating Effectively unit in Social Skills Activities for the Elementary Grades just check out the link below.

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

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

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna

PS: If a friend forwarded this to you, you can just sign up to get your own weekly Innerchoice Publishing Activity Blog.

Helping Students Identify the Qualities of a Safe and Accepting Relationship.

Here’s a Sharing Circle Topic and activity you can use with your students to build an element of awareness that is getting a lot of attention these days. What does it take to understand the things that contribute to a relationship that is healthy and works for everyone involved. The topic for this Sharing Circle is, A PERSON I FEEL SAFE WITH…

  Here’s Your Monday Morning Sharing Circle.
Enjoy!

A Person I Feel Safe With

Objectives:

The students will:

— identify safe and accepting relationships.
— describe specific behaviors that contribute to secure relationships.

Introduce the Topic:

In your own words say, Today our topic is, “A Person I Feel Safe With.”  The world can seem like a pretty hostile place at times, with crowding, crime, and conflict between people and groups.  Even in our daily lives, we experience the stress of competition and the press of time as we try to juggle our relationships and responsibilities.  All of this makes it especially important that we have people in our lives with whom we can relax, knowing that we are safe and secure—not just physically, but emotionally.  Who is such a person in your life?  Tell us about someone who gives you a good feeling, who accepts and supports you, and always causes you to feel safe.  This person could be an adult, child, parent, relative, or friend.  Tell us specifically what the person does to cause you to feel secure in his or her presence.  The topic is, “A Person I Feel Safe With.”

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

Discussion Questions:

1.  What were the main reasons we gave for feeling safe with the people    we described?
2. How do you know when someone accepts you just the way you are?
3. How can we become people with whom others feel safe?
4. Does feeling safe with a person mean that you and that person never disagree or experience conflicts?  Explain.

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 here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna

PS: If a friend forwarded this to you, you can just sign up to get your own weekly Innerchoice Blog.

3 Easy Relaxation Strategies: Activities for Children and Teens

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Something New for You and
Something New for Us

A lot has happened recently.   A year has ended, we’ve celebrated the holidays, and now it’s a new year and a fresh start. Here at Innerchoice Publishing we’re starting something fresh and new too – a regular blog post designed to provide information on Social and Emotional Learning resources, as well as free activities, Sharing Circle lessons, and discounts on select books. The recent explosion of interest in SEL is steering education into ever deeper, richer and more challenging waters. We at Innerchoice Publishing are committed to helping you respond to these opportunities by offering outstanding Social and Emotional Learning materials for educators K-12 and beyond.

In our first post what better topic to address than stress, something that impacts the lives, and learning, of everyone – children, teens and adults. So, here’s off to a good year with three strategies to help your students (and you, too) manage stress a bit better.

Two great books to help you AND your students.

Stress is part of every student’s life. An argument with a friend, moving to a new neighborhood, a family breakup, tests, grades, pressure from parents—the parade starts early and never stops. However, contrary to popular belief, stress doesn’t come from the outside. The report card, the test, and the divorce are the stressors. The stress itself is in the person’s response to those incidents. Stressors are the daily events that challenge an individual to adapt. Stress is the person’s response as he or she attempts to make the adjustment, which is why the manifestations of stress are so variable from person to person.

Students benefit from some stress. Writing a report, preparing for an exam, rehearsing for a performance—all demand the stimulation of positive stress, which can help a student perform at his or her best. But stress can also be damaging. It can turn into distress. It can eat away at a student and consume so much energy that performance declines. Stress in the right proportions is a life enhancer. Excessive, prolonged stress is a life destroyer.

You will never eliminate stress from your classroom or counseling practice, nor should you. Stress management doesn’t mean getting rid of all stress. It means helping students understand the stress response, identify individual and collective stressors, and learn and practice effective strategies for reducing stress and minimizing its destructive consequences. That in a nutshell is the purpose of both Less Stress = More Success for Kids and Less Stress = More Success for Teens. To learn more just click on the title.

When you use the lessons in these books you’ll be providing your students with a solid foundation of relaxation and coping skills. These engaging activities help students to understand the effects of stress on the brain and body, take steps to de-stress the learning environment, identify sources of stress, practice breathing and relaxation exercises, adopt habits that promote successful learning, understand the effects of nutrition and exercise on stress, and learn to more effectively manage anger and worry.

With a Less Stress= More Success activity guide you’ll have 50 easy to use activities that provide your students with a broad range of stress management and relaxation experiences. Chose one of these books to help your students to manage their stress and find more success.

Less Stress = More Success for Grades 6-12
Less Stress = More Success for Grades 2-5

To get started here is an activity to use with your students right now—

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