Week of October 2: 4th grade did an activity called "Walk the Line." It was somewhat silly but the overall lesson had to do with peer pressure and how our peers can influence the decisions we make. Peer pressure can be both positive and negative. By sticking to your goals and resisting peer pressure, you can maintain your self-respect.
Week of October 30: 4th grade talked about the five pillars of being a good school citizen. We made "educated guesses" about what a video on school rules would identify as the "pillars". We then compared our educated guesses with the pillars identified in the video: 1. respect others and their property 2. respect school property 3. follow school rules 4. show good character 5. give back to the school community. Finally, we discussed ways that Armstrong students could be better school citizens....they had some great ideas!
Week of December 4: 4th grade watched a video called "Courtesy is Contagious." We learned about what a "think not" is. Rude or inconsiderate behavior is most often a product of not thinking (or not putting yourself in the shoes of the other person to consider his/her perspective).
Week of October 30: We read the book The Hyena Who Lost Her Laugh. Hillary the Hyena learns that when she is more optimistic and realistic in her thinking, she feels better and has more success. She also has more fun with her friends. We also talked about replacing negative self-talk with realistic, more optimistic statements. This fits in nicely with our focus at Armstrong on a growth mindset. School is all about learning; students are not perfect and must take good risks in order to learn and grow. We all have relative strengths and weaknesses.
Week of November 28: We read a book entitled I Like Your Buttons! In the story, a girl starts a "kindness chain reaction" by telling her teacher she likes the buttons on her blouse. The good feelings created by this compliment spread out like ripples and eventually make their way back to the girl who started the kindness chain reaction. We then did an experiment in which we used an energy ball. Classmates linked hands to simulate the kindness chain reaction. Between one pair of students, the energy ball lights up and makes sound. If anyone loses their connection in the chain, the energy ball stops glowing and goes silent. Lesson learned: spread those good feelings through your good choices, compliments, smiles, etc.
Week of October 9: Third grade read the book My Teacher Is a Monster. Student Bobby saw his teacher as a monster because he was judging her from a very narrow framework. A chance meeting changes Bobby's outlook and Ms. Kirby changes in his eyes. We learned that labeling people can be disrespectful and hurtful. We worked on an activity called "License to Be ME" in which we created a faux driver license that included our strengths, interests and wishes. These were shared in class and we guessed whose were whose.
Week of November 6: Third grade had a lesson about teamwork. We examined the many different teams that we may be a part of...at school, at home, in the community. We watched a video with different vignettes of good and bad teamwork set at school, home and during recess. Students completed a true/false quiz. Students reflected on their own team experiences and shared how their teams had been successful/unsuccessful.
Week of October 23: We were visited by Wise Owl who taught us the "Who" rules for the differences between tattling and telling.
They are: 1. Who needs help? 2. Who is afraid? 3. Who is hurt (or might get hurt)? 4. Who do I tell? Students watched a brief video with different vignettes reinforcing the questions.
Week of November 27: We looked at how we think about ourselves by watching two short videos of authors reading books. We examined perfectionism and how we deal with setbacks (which happen to us all) with Loretta: Ace Pinky Scout by Keith Graves. Additionally, we watched Unicorn Thinks He's so Great in which Goat's jealousy of Unicorn gets the best of him until he realizes Unicorn isn't perfect and admires qualities of Goat. We learned to accept ourselves and appreciate our skills and talents.
Week of October 17: First grade reviewed Alexander and how his choices made his day worse. We then met Kelso, a frog who lives at Willow Pond. We watched a video of Kelso as he taught as the difference between big and little problems. He also gave us several choices of how we could solve small problems. We have several "Kelso's Choices" posters around school to serve as reminders of techniques we can use to solve the small problems.
Week of November 13: First grade learned what it means to be "considerate." We watched a video with scenes from school and home which included examples of considerate and inconsiderate choices/behaviors. We also learned that when a person is considerate, he/she feels good about himself/herself. Students drew pictures of themselves showing consideration and shared with the class. When we are considerate, it shows that we care about the person. We can also imagine how a person in need feels by putting ourselves in that person's place.