Self-Direction and Social Responsibility

Self-Direction and Social Responsibility
Learning to monitor one’s own behavior, delay gratification, and support the larger group are essential personal skills and employability skills.

Buddies and Bullies – Teach children steps for dealing with buddies with this song to the tune of “Harrigan.”
I’m going to be a buddy.
I will never be a bully.     (Shake head no!)
I’ll say NO to bullies!     (Point finger.)
That is what I’ll be.
I’ll be kind and help my friends.
I’ll protect them and defend.
A buddy, that’s ME!         (Point to self with thumb.)
What should you do if someone bullies you?
         Ignore them or walk away.
What if they still bully you?
         Tell them to STOP!
If they still bully you?
         Get a friend to help you.
And if they still bully you?
         Then tell an adult.

•Role play being a buddy and being a bully.
•Run off “kindness tickets” for children to distribute to friends when they are helpful.
•Do a T-chart of behaviors of buddies and bullies.

Cheers and Goals – Each month have children fold a sheet of paper in half.  On the left side ask them to draw a picture and dictate or write a sentence of something they have learned and want to cheer about.  On the right side ask them to draw a goal that they have for the following month.  Date, save, and evaluate how they are doing.

What Is a Good Student?  Have children discuss what it means to be a good student.  What characteristics describe a good student?  Act out being responsible, respectful, polite, etc.  Write behaviors children suggest on index cards and pin one to each child.  Call them by that word throughout the day.  If they are not behaving appropriately ask, “Polite, are you actually being polite?  Do I need to take your word away?”

Rules Book – Why are rules important?  Who has to obey rules?  Give each child a sheet of paper and ask them to draw a picture of a rule they think is important to your classroom.  Let them write or dictate a sentence to go with their rule.  Put their pages together to make a class “Rule Book” and have them sign their name on the front to indicate they will obey the rules.  When they are misbehaving turn to a page in the rule book that refers to what they are doing.  “Are you obeying this rule?  Show me the right thing to do.”

Voting Sticks – When you have a simple decision in the classroom (one where the outcome really doesn’t matter), let the children vote.  For example, they could vote on a book they wanted read, a game, a song, etc.  Write choices on the board and put a cup under each one.  Pass out a stick to each child.  Children place their stick in the can by their choice.  Let them estimate which one has the most votes.  Count to verify their guess.

Career Education – Have children interview their parents about their jobs.  What do they like best about their job?  How did they train for their job?  Do they need special clothing or tools?

•Invite parents to come talk to the class about their profession.
•Let children dress up for the career they’d like to have when they are grown.  Have them tell why they selected that career and how they plan to accomplish their goal.

Classroom Jobs – Assign classroom jobs weekly.  Title the jobs by real careers.
Supervisor – Calls the roll.
Maintenance – Picks up the classroom.
Police Officer – Makes sure everyone walks slowly in the hall.
Mail Carrier – Passes out papers.
Librarian – Cleans the classroom library.
Gardener – Waters the plants.
Meteorologist – Gives the morning weather report.
Accountant – Does the lunch count.
UPS – Takes reports to the office.

Teacher of the Day – Let children take turns being the “teacher of the day.”
They can perform simple routines and run errands for you.

Classroom Family – How is our classroom like a family?  Make a list of ways to be a good family member.
•You can also call your classroom a team.  What do good team members do?

Organization – Create checklists, weekly homework assignments, and visual organizational aids to help children stay on task.  Let the children make mini-offices to help them focus on their work. 
•To make a mini-office tape two pocket folders together.  Glue a copy of word wall words, hundreds chart, and relevant information above the pockets.  On one pocket write “Finished” and on another pocket write “Working On.”  Children put papers they have finished and work they still need to do in the appropriate pocket.

Time Management – “To do” lists, calendars, timers, and “five minute” warnings will help children complete tasks.

Fist List – After assigning tasks, have children recall what they are suppose to do with a fist list.  They fold in their thumb and then recall the 3 or 4 activities as they place down a finger.


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