If you’re looking for a sneaky way to practice reading and spelling, try word searches. You can even find apps with easy word searches, if you’re kids love to learn and play with technology.Creative Literacy, Educational Resources | Comment (0)
My friends Mary & Lauren have been doing a thoughtful family project to help people that are homeless. They help their children decorate lunch bags with cheerful pictures, then they fill the bags with nonperishable snacks like granola bars, raisins, peanut butter crackers, pretzels, juice boxes… When they drive past a homeless person asking for money, they share one of their bags of goodies.
This would be an easy project to do with a class or afterschool club, and you can engage children ages 2-22.
It’s a safe and simple way to help people in need. It teaches your children to recognize people that are in need, and find ways to help. It encourages your children to be creative. It helps families combat the me-me-me attitude that creeps up on all of us.
Here are some of the specific assets this project helps to build:
Youth as resources. Young people are given useful roles in the community. Service to others. Young person feels safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.
Adult role models. Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behaviour.
Creative activities. Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theatre, or other arts.
Caring. Young person places high value on helping other people.
Equality and social justice. Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
Responsibility. Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
Planning and decision making. Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
Interpersonal competence. Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
Cultural competence. Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
I’d love to hear about simple ways you’ve seen children help people in need! You can email me at ann(at)theassetedge(dot)net or simply leave a comment below.Practical Ideas, Service-Learning | Comment (0)
Awards/Scholarships, Building Character, Empowering Youth, Stories, Youth Development | Tags: caring, character development, drama, empowering youth, plays, stories, youth development | Comment (0)
I’ve had several different conversations about building community this month, so I thought I’d share six steps to building community. These steps work with youth and adults. They work in schools, community organizations, churches, and businesses. It’s a common sense structure for building groups that know one another, care for one another, and work together well.
STAGE 1: STARTING OFF RIGHT Every group has a beginning. How they begin is important. Starting a group off right can save you from having to go back later to do damage control or try to re-establish connections that didn’t take the first time.
STAGE 2: BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS Relationship building is on-going. Natural changes within group dynamics can impact group bonding. This calls for attention and care to be given to intentionally engaging, energizing and strengthening group identity on an on-going basis.
STAGE 3: BECOMING A TEAM With time, groups evolve from many individuals into a cohesive unit. This happens as friendships develop and trust takes root. Groups need to discover and develop their team identity through team builders that require trust, cooperation, communication and working together.
STAGE 4: DEEPENING TRUST Deepening trust is vital to the health and cultivation of successful teams. Thriving teams must stretch beyond their comfort zones and dare positive risks, both emotionally and physically. The rewards are self-discovery, confidence, group cohesiveness, confidence in voicing opinions and achieving goals.
STAGE 5: CHALLENGING THE TEAM With established trust comes the ability to tackle new risks, further develop leadership skills, practice critical thinking and decision-making skills and resolve conflicts. Teams are put to the test through challenging, stress-induced activities that call for various leadership strengths and styles.
STAGE 6: AFFIRMING GROWTH & CELEBRATING SUCCESSES Transitions offer opportunities to reinforce established bonds, recall important moments, group experiences, learning and growth. They also provide a time to celebrate talents, time together, successes and positive group identity. Marking these moments lets the group experience real affirmation and accomplishment.
We originally shared these stages in our book, Great Group Games: 175 Boredom-Busting, Zero-Prep Team Builders for All Ages, published by Search Institute in Minneapolis. The book contains instructions and reflection questions for 175 games that correlate with these 6 stages. The games will help usher your team or group through all 6 stages of group development – and you’ll have a lot of fun playing with purpose!
Taking time to build this kind of community will transform the attitude and personality of your group! I’d love to hear what you have done to build strong community in the places you live, work, and play.
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“The brain of a child is a developing miracle. A child’s developing mind is nurtured by loving interactions, a secure and predictable environment and hands-on experiences that invite exploration and learning. Parents, as children’s first teachers, should unlock doors and open windows that allow children to learn and grow.”
Sean Brotherson, Family Science Specialist, NDSU Extension ServiceCreative Play, Educational Resources, Science Fun | Comment (0)
This is a great list of 100 ways to be kind to children around you. Not just courteous, but truly kind. There list is divided into categories, such as:
Play with them
Take a few minutes to scan the list, and ponder how you might be more deeply kind to the kids in your life. Then print off the list to share with other caregivers, or share the link on a listserve.Building Character, Empowering Youth, Practical Ideas | Comment (0)
We asked a group of new supervisors to think about traits of their coaches that were particularly effective. They mentioned:
- Unconditional love
- Sees things in you that you don’t see
- Challenges you to do more and try more
The goal of a supervisor and coach are very similar. Moving towards success. Reaching for vision. Building a sense of team. Practicing in order to reach success.
What can we learn from coaches to apply to being a supervisor? Whether you are supervising youth or adults, take a few minutes to reflect on how you can be a better coach.
Practical Ideas | Comment (0)
If you have ever tried to get the attention of a large group of children, you know the importance of having tips and tricks up your sleeves! This article has LOTS of ideas for getting student’s attention. Surely there is something in the list that will fit your style! We’d love to hear your tips too, so please share!Educational Resources, Practical Ideas | Comment (0)
How do you teach character to children? You play games; you act out storybooks; you let them paint. And while they’re having fun, you weave in conversations about positive values. The children will be so busy looking for treasures or balancing on one foot that they won’t realize they’re learning conflict resolution, responsibility, and other life skills. That’s what our book, “Building Character from the Start“, is all about. It’s chock full of resources for teachers, parents and other caregivers that want to help build character through play with young children.
It is divided into three easy-to-use sections:
• Creativity – Kids are prompted to finish coloring pages with their own ideas and dreams.
• Literacy – Synopses of nearly 100 books include follow-up questions and ideas for taking the book’s lessons even further.
• Play – word games, community-building games, team-building games, and more! Ideal for teachers, day-care providers, and after-school program providers.
Get a free sneak peek into the book on this is a really cool website that lets you preview books. Click here to see more.Building Character, Creative Literacy, Creative Play | Comment (0)
Teacher Raya patrols a group of giggly kindergarten students, looking each so deeply in the eye that many squirm and bashfully reach for her toes.
Her father carries her in his arms. Raya is not quite five months old.
She’s teaching them about being kind and how to talk about their feelings so that later, they don’t terrorize each other.
Teacher Raya, as they call her, is a “volunteer” with Roots of Empathy, the country’s oldest and largest anti-bullying program.
Read Catherine Porter’s full story here.Building Character | Comments Off
A stage one teambuilder from the Great Group Games book
Time: 15-20 minutes
Supplies: paper and pen for each participant
Give each person a piece of paper and ask them to write their full name in large letters across the middle of the page. Then ask everyone to mingle for 5-7 minutes, searching for “connections” (commonalities) they have with one another. When you discover a “connection,” write your new friend’s first name in crossword style to connect with your name, then record your specific commonality on the back of the page. See how many connections everyone can find in a short amount of time.
§ How can we be so different, yet so much alike?
§ How does finding commonalities affect your comfort level in a group?
§ Do we take the time to find commonalities in everyday life? Why or why not?
§ Does finding commonalities make it easier to start conversations? Build relationships?
Assets: interpersonal competence, safety, positive peer influence, supportCreative Play, Uncategorized | Comments Off
I just learned a new card game from Jennifer at 6ftmama. It’s called Sevens, and I think I played it once years ago. I look forward to teaching our kids! Check out verbal and pictorial directions at the link here. Happy card playing!
annUncategorized | Comments Off
A game from the Great Group Games book
Time: 20 minutes
Supplies: a post-it note and pen for each participant
Give each participant a post-it note and a pen. Ask them to draw 2 lines (making a “t”) that split their paper into four squares. Have them fill in the blanks for the following questions:
*Something you liked doing when you were younger that you still enjoy
*One of your favorite things to do outside
*Something you’d like to learn more about
*A place you’d love to visit one day
When everyone is done, ask people to partner up with someone they don’t know very well, share names if they don’t know them and share the answers to their questions. When you blow the whistle, ask participants to find a new partner. After rotating through 5-6 partners, ask the group to form a circle and share some of the things they learned about one another.
* While talking with others, did you remember any fun activities that you especially enjoy?
* What kinds of topics were other people interested in learning more about?
* Did you discover anything that you had in common with someone else in the group?
Assets: Support, commitment to learning, safety, interpersonal competence, constructive use of timeCreative Play, Uncategorized | Comments Off
“May of our students struggle with a ‘failure’ mentality. We work to discover the abilities that lie within them and help them overcome that attitude.”
telling of his story at New Life Ministries Rwanda in the book, ‘What’s Your Mark?’Youth Development | Comments Off