Posts tagged ‘classroom’

#HOW TO FOSTER LEADERSHIP SKILLS IN CHILDREN – #2 – SET AN EXAMPLE

Parents and teachers want children to be independent thinkers. They encourage children to develop their own opinions and have the courage to stand up for them. Whether you are working with children who are yours or you’re a caretaker for someone else’s children, learning how to lead them effectively is important. You may want to lead your kids to practice a healthy lifestyle, develop better communication skills, or something else. In any case, good leadership is a way to reach your goals with the children in your care.

How do you become a good leader for kids? It can be hard to know if you’re not used to it, or if you didn’t have strong leaders when you were a child. Here are some tips.

Set an Example

You’ve probably heard “lead by example,” but that means more than just doing something and hoping your kids will notice and imitate your behavior. It also means being purposeful in setting an example, and you’ll need to stop practicing certain behaviors and pay attention to what you say.

For instance, if you want your children to be patient with others – an important leadership attribute – then take care that you’re patient with them. If you want your children to be able to make decisions like a leader, then make sure you’re not making all of their decisions for them. Don’t be a helicopter parent. Permit your children to make mistakes and learn from them. To lead by example, you need to think about more than just living out healthy, positive lifestyle choices (although that’s important, too). It’s also important to set an example of how to treat others.

Include Them

Whether you are a teacher or a parent, including the children in your care is important to instill leadership. How do you include them? First, let them help. In the classroom, this might be a simple task like collecting papers and passing out papers. Students might be allowed to write an assignment on the board for the teacher. At home, let your children be a part of your daily routines, helping you wash the car and clean the house. After all, these are life skills, and those are the building blocks for good leadership.

Delegate

Good leaders know how to delegate responsibilities and tasks. In your home or classroom, give kids many different responsibilities. You can set things up so that the children in your care have a job to complete, and they have to delegate tasks to others to finish it. A different approach could be to simply explain the task, and give a job to each child to get it done. They will see the value of delegating. Perhaps, you might may explain that many jobs cannot be completed by one person without help from others. Each child participating will still have the satisfaction of helping to get something done.

Allow Them to Help Others

Wherever you can, let your kids help each other without being bossy or bullying. In fact, being bossy is not a good leadership skill. This is important to emphasize when you are working with children in different age groups. Teach them how to help others in an appropriate way, and then set up a scenario where that help can happen. When older siblings learn how to mentor rather than supervise a younger sibling, they learn how to transfer this skill from the family to the outside world. This method works in the classroom or at home with friends and/or siblings.

To Sum Up

Children are like sponges. They soak up what they see and hear in the world around them. Adults are their first role models. Parents, teachers, and caretakers set the example for the youth who will become tomorrow’s future. We will reap what we sow.

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Follow the award-winning Little Miss HISTORY nonfiction book series for children at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

#Give vs. Get

The Adventures of Pookie Presents: Mission Fat Hearts

Written and illustrated by Rebecca Yee

Playful pups Pookie and his new sibling Thor are sleeping comfortably in the living room. Kisa, a Christmas Elf, secretly leaves a note on their beds. It tells them to go to the Christmas tree. Kisa surprises them by jumping out. She urges them to go on a secret mission. Santa’s mission is for them to perform an act of kindness on each day of December until Christmas. Their reward will be to see smiles on those who receive their gifts. Pookie and Thor accept their secret mission with enthusiasm. Readers are urged to become co-conspirators and perform the same deeds.

This picture book spreads the true message of Christmas. Children are taught to give joy and happiness to others. Examples of deeds include giving hugs and giving thanks, donations, crafts, caroling, and visiting those who can’t leave home. The book could easily become a new tradition that families could share together.  The secret mission might also be carried out by classrooms and community organizations. My only suggestion to improve the book would be to include illustrations with the tasks. The illustrations disappear as the pages of the book unfold. A bit more color would sustain more interest with the youngest readers.

The Christmas season may have passed for this year, but this book is also a good way to spread the message of love for Valentine’s Day.

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BE A MAGICIAN AND CHOOSE YOUR OWN ENDING

In The Magician’s House

Written by D M Potter

Cover design by Marcus Thomas Design

Inthemagician'shouse,pic

The author begins by stating that you will be told how the book starts but that YOU will be the one to decide how it ends. Setting for the reader is a magician’s house where you live and work. There is always a mystery as you explore its rooms.. The reader might be asked to find things or go to places in the house. Dreams are always lurking, and you might be transported to places outside the house. In short, one never knows what will happen or where you might end up. A scenario is painted for you and you must choose your destiny.

Most days you would start by eating breakfast, but finding the kitchen is not always simple. On the first morning, the reader wakes up in his turret in the tower of the house. When you feel something cold on your face, it turns out to be a frog. You get dressed in the dark and hope the stairway will lead to the kitchen. This morning you have found a corridor that stretches to the left and right. On the left you find a suit of armor, to the right there is a hole in the floor with a ladder sticking up from it. Now you must make your first choice! Depending on your decision, you will continue to stop and investigate or remain on the path that you currently pursuing. Throughout the book the reader has numerous choices and paths to follow. You might find yourself in a classroom, a tenement, or meet a character in history. Will you succeed and find  Mrs. Noogles, the cook, making your breakfast or perhaps find yourself in another part of the house or even some other place? If you don’t like your choice the first time, you can always go back and start again.

This book of nearly one hundred pages provides lots of entertainment and adventure for readers age nine and above. Because of the diversity of outcomes, a child will want to reread and revisit it over and over again. Boys and girls in the middle grades will particularly like the element of being in control over the outcome, but I would venture to say many parents and adults will enjoy reading it as well. Highly recommended book for lovers of magic or adventure.

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TEACHABLE MOMENTS

Bleagh: A book about values

 

Written by Leana Lyn Doray

Illustrated by Little Pink Pebble

Bleaghpic

This book uses a unique approach to teach life lessons to children by engaging a monster creature named Bleagh (pronounced Bleh). Doray prefaces the book by giving the three definitions of bleagh: 1) the name of a friendly monster who wants to make new friends, 2) the sound children make when they smell something unpleasant, and 3) the sound that a friendly monster makes. At the beginning of the story, the reader meets Bleagh, a friendly but ugly homesick monster who has just arrived at school for the first time. Bleagh misses his other monster friends and does not understand the language or the customs of these children who appear terrified of him. Their teacher, Ms. Lyn explains that the creature is not mean but afraid so they should show EMPATHY for him. They do make an effort to do just that, but Bleagh terrifies them with the sounds he makes. She encourages the children to show TOLERANCE,  but that is very difficult to do when the creature opens stinky garbage to eat for his lunch. Some of the children get the brilliant idea to give him a pile of stinky socks to eat. The classroom practices COOPERATION when they all must assume different roles in a class project. There are team leaders, presenters, timekeepers and illustrators. When the time comes for the students to examine all their work hung on the walls, Bleagh says that one of them, “looks like a baboon’s backside.” He has the children in tears. Ms. Lyn says, “You never truly see something till you see beauty.” After a few moments, Bleagh steps back and notices new colors and patterns, exclaiming, “It’s fantastic.” They all break out in applause. Near the end of the day, Ms. Lyn reminds them that it is time to vote for the Star Student of the day. Bleagh wants to vote for himself, but decides that would be cheating. So he displays INTEGRITY and votes for Ming instead. There is a surprise ending that all readers will enjoy.

In addition to the four highlighted virtues embedded in the story, there are spellbinding illustrations of monsters, exotic plants, art work, and the classroom in which the children work. Little Pink Pebble has done an amazing job of portraying the story line and moods of the characters. The drawings display multicultural children in beautiful colors and exotic settings. Furthermore, the lessons it promotes have universal appeal and relevance. I highly recommend this book to parents and teachers of children age seven and up.

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PIRATE TRIPLE PLAY Book Review March 31, 2013 HAPPY EASTER!

CaptSnachReview of: Captain Snatchit’s Parrot: Three Pirate Stories

Author: Emma Laybourn

This book actually consists of three separate adventure stories. Each of the books is set up as a chapter book. There is a lot of colorful, pirate language especially in the first book of the trilogy. Many children will love this feature even though it will make independent reading of the book more difficult. In the first book, which is titled The Pirate’s Parrot, we meet Neptune, Captain Snatchit’s mistreated parrot. When the ship is attacked, the pirates man the life boats and Neptune is cast off on his own. Just when he is at the point of exhaustion, Neptune spies an island which is inhabited by parrots and monkeys. He settles into a normal life with friends and fun. But soon after a ship is spied on the horizon and the parrots will have to find a way to dispose of the pirates.

In the second story called Captain Snatchit’s Revenge, the captain realizes he has been outwitted and finds a way to get back to the island by hijacking a fishing boat. The crafty parrots must again find a way to trick the pirates and sink their ship.  The fishermen suffer the loss of their fishing boat, but the parrots are sure they are rid of  those pirates for good this time!

Book Three is named The Wreck of the Seahag. The pirates return with a salvage ship ready to raise the Seaslug. Neptune realizes that Captain Snatchit will not give up. He despairs but Liana urges him on implying that they are smarter and can outwit him.  All the inhabitants of the island work together to come up with a clever scheme to defeat the pirates. Will they finally succeed in their mission and regain their peaceful home?  The book is an adventure filled with moral lessons. Underlying the story are  lessons like the value of team work and cooperation, the need to be honest, truthful, and courageous, the need to be strong, and not give in to your weaknesses.

The structure of the story allows the reader to stop at the end of each book or read it in one sitting. It is suitable for a read aloud or can be developed into a series of classroom discussions.  I recommend it as independent reading for ages five and six. Younger children will enjoy the simple pictures and the story when accompanied by the explanations of parent or teacher. As a bonus, you may visit the author’s website http://megamousebooks.com/puzzlepageslist.html to download a free pirate crossword puzzle!

Available at http://freekidsbooks.org/  for download, printing or as an e reader.

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