Monday, February 24, 2014

Got Conflict? Act Assertive!

I created this lesson to help students be assertive when they find themselves in a conflict.

The first part of the lesson focuses on defining conflict. I used this adorable video from Sesame Street. When the video is done ask students to share examples of conflict that they have experienced. Be sure to ask each student how they solved their conflict. Did they yell, hit, walk away? Did they get their way? Be sure to really emphasize how they behaved.
Next, say to the class "when we find ourselves in a conflict we can react three ways". Introduce the concept of mouse, monster, or me. Ask for three students to volunteer. Give each student a mouse, monster, or me paper to hold. Demonstrate how each one acts in the same conflict.

For example, I chose the common conflict of students cutting each other on the lunch line.  I asked the student to pretend to cut me. I acted as a mouse (very timid, didn't say anything), a monster (screaming, yelling, hitting), and me (being assertive).

Next, we move into the second half of the lesson which focuses on being assertive (acting like "me") when in conflict. We review what acting assertive means (standing up for your rights and other peoples rights in a peaceful way). I then teach students "I statements" as a tool to help them act assertive.

The lesson concludes with students acting assertive by using an "I statement" with the conflicts they shared at the beginning of the lesson.

Make extra copies of the mouse, monster, and me  handouts to leave for the classroom teacher. Kindly ask the teacher to hang them up in the room as a reminder of three reaction styles.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Great Kindness Challenge

My school took part in The Great Kindness Challenge (GKC). This was one week dedicated for students to perform acts of kindness for each other, our school, and our community.

All students received their own GKC checklist (the GKC checklist can be found on the GKC website) with 50 kind deeds to perform.  In order to spark excitement, I created a competition between homeroom classes to find out which class is the kindest. The class that completed the most acts of kindest would be crowned "the kindest class in school", and would receive a special bagel breakfast to celebrate their kindness!

Students and staff really got into the competition!  The kindest class performed 545 acts of kindness, and in total my school did over 5000 acts!

I also organized a kindness matters posters contest for students to participate in. I was overwhelmed by the amount of beautiful and thoughtful posters I received! Here are just a few examples:
The details of the poster contest can be found here.  This is a copy of the promotional flyer I sent home to families. Feel free to change them to meet your needs! 

Did your school celebrate The Great Kindness Challenge? How do you promote kindness in your building?