Susan Lindgren 5th Graders had the chance to participate in Youth Frontiers Kindness Retreat this Week!
Students were welcomed into the retreat by 16 cheering St. Louis Park Senior High student volunteers and the Youth Frontiers leaders, Joe and Jonny. The morning was filled with music and games while students got warmed up and comfortable with the SLP High School leaders. The topic of the day was Kindness. Students were broken up into small groups throughout the day, lead by a SLP High School student. In their groups students discussed moments and things that they have seen at Susan Lindgren that have been unkind and then were given the chance to discuss how those things could be changed. Towards the end of the day, each student is given the opportunity to reflect and think about what they personally can do to make their school and classroom a more kind place to be.
5th Graders at Peter Hobart, Aquila and Park Spanish Immersion attended Youth Frontiers' Kindness Retreats during the month of December.
(Susan Lindgren 5th Graders will attend in February)
Since 1987 Youth Frontiers, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, has been delivering programs to build positive school communities that help young people realize the importance of respecting themselves and others. Their vision is to change the way young people treat each other in every hallway, lunch line and classroom of every school in America so that today’s young people make tomorrow’s world better. Last year, Youth Frontiers worked with nearly 100,000 students and educators throughout the country.
On the Kindness Retreat, the Youth Frontiers retreat staff focus on creating a more positive school community by engaging students in a variety of activities that build students’ empathy skills and teach safe ways to help prevent bullying.
For more information on Youth Frontiers and/or the Kindness Retreat click the button below.
If you want to catch kindness, keep throwing it out there.
5th Graders learned:
"3 Steps to be a Hero or an Upstander"
I - C - I
Interrupt the situation
Compliment the person
Invite the person away
Students can find themselves in a bystander role, witnessing an uncomfortable situation between two students and they are unsure of what to do. When asked, so many students will say they want to do something but they just don't know what they should do in the moment. The "I-C-I" is a great, easy and quick method that can help a student know what to do in these types of situations.
Interrupt the situation by talking to the student or friend who is being picked on, teased, made to feel less than what they are.
Compliment that friend about anything you can think of.
"Your drawing today in art was so cool"
Then invite that friend away from the situation.
"Do you want to come and jump rope with me? C'mon, Let's go"
Can We Be Friends?
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
Kindergartners will be working with their counselor this month on the skill of showing kindness by sharing and accepting others even if they are different. Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister is the perfect book to help with this theme.
The Meanest Thing To Say
The Meanest Thing to Say by Bill Cosby
Little Bill, Best of Volume 1 on iTunes
First Graders continue to work with Counselors this month on Friendship Skills. Last month students learned how to not judge someone before you get to know them; learning to give others a chance. This month is focusing on how to handle the trickier situations in a friendship: when we disagree, argue, and/or hurt each other's feelings.
Counselors are using Bill Cosby's, The Meanest Thing to Say, story and video to help students understand more about friendship and that our words can really hurt each other. Sometimes friends tease each other, thinking that it is funny and that it is fun but often someone is not having fun and actually feelings are being hurt. Does that mean we cannot be friends anymore? Little Bill, with the help of his Dad, shows students that there are other ways to handle the situation that still allow us to be friends.
Random Acts of Kindness
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
The perfect story for the holiday season! What do you do when you really want something but maybe you don't quite need it? What do you do when you meet someone who really needs something but doesn't have a way to get it?
Counselors will be sharing the book Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts and discussing with students the feelings of wanting something versus needing something. Students will also be looking at how we can do little things for others to show kindness.
Listening Is A Skill!
Howard B. Wigglebottom: Learns to Listen by Howard Binkow
Kindergartners are working with counselors this month on Listening. Listening is a skill that needs to be taught, practiced and learned rather than a behavior that we do or don't. Howard B. Wigglebottom is a silly bunny that Kindergartners relate well too. In this story, Howard finds that his day goes much better if he slows down and really listens to what his friends, teachers and parents are telling him.
Kindergartners learn that they listen with their whole body and they spend time practicing what this looks like and sounds like. For more information on Listening and/or Howard B. Wigglebottom (a bunny who goes on many adventures) check out the website: http://wedolisten.org/
Give Them A Chance
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
How often do we judge something before we know anything about it? We do this with books ("don't judge a book by it's cover"), food, hobbies/sparks and even with people.
First Graders will be working with counselors this month on giving people a chance. Enemy Pie (a student favorite) is a story all about having an enemy, the new boy who moved into the neighborhood. This enemy turns out to have the same interests, hobbies, and is even good at things the main character wishes he was good at. The best line in the story, "he wasn't being a very good enemy". WIth the help of Dad, an enemy is lost and a new friend is gained.
First Graders will get an opportunity to think about what qualities they think make a good friend, remembering to give someone a chance!
Teasing or Kidding?
Just Kidding by Trudy Ludwig
Second Graders are learning that our words are powerful and that words can hurt others. There are times that our intention is be playful and "kidding" but really we are teasing someone else. Counselors will be sharing the book Just Kidding with second graders to help with the conversation. Students will also work on being an Upstander: What should I do if I did tease someone instead of kidding OR what if I know that someone else is teasing instead of kidding.
Friendships = Give and Take
Yoon and the Jade Bracelet by Helen Recorvits
Third Graders are continuing to look at Upstander Behaviors as they discuss Friendship. Counselors are sharing the story Yoon and the Jade Bracelet (a student favorite) with third graders. In the story, Yoon really wants to jump rope and make some new friends. Yoon finds an older girl who is willing to play with her BUT only if she gives the girl her bracelet to wear and if she twirls the rope so the older girl can jump. Third graders relate well to this story, sharing about a friendship they have experienced that is one-sided.
Counselors are teaching students that friendships should be equal and that there should be give and take. Taking turns, finding activities that both people like to do are all important when building a friendship with someone.
Trouble Talk by Trudy Ludwig
Fourth and Fifth graders are continuing to talk about being an Upstander and Upstander Behaviors. Counselors are working with students this month on recognizing that words can hurt others. Students will learn about Trouble Talk: any kind of talk that leads to nothing but trouble. Examples of trouble talk are: teasing, gossiping, spreading rumors, lying, giving hurtful and/or unwanted advise to someone. Students will talk about how they can help stop Trouble Talk in their classrooms and amongst their friends.
An Introduction To Sparks
Leo the Lightning Bug by Eric Drachman
Kindergartners started the month of October with an introduction to Sparks. Counselors shared the story Leo the Lightning Bug (a student favorite). Leo is a lightning bug who has just one wish, one goal: to light up like all the other lightning bugs. Lighting Up is Leo's Spark! He wakes up each morning excited and thinking about it. With the help of Leo's mom and practice, Leo is able to show the other lightning bugs that he can do it! This is a great story about persistance.
Kindergartners got the opportunity to share their Sparks! What gets them out of bed in the morning, full of excitement?
Rekindling Our Spark Conversation!
Odd Velvet by Mary E. Whitcomb
First graders started the month off with Odd Velvet, a girl who seems to have odd interests and hobbies. The other kids aren't sure what to think of her, not sure if they want to play with her or attend her birthday party. The students who decide to give Velvet a chance learn that her Spark is science and drawing. Velvet teaches them to draw and teaches them how to use their imaginations.
First graders are drawn to this story and enjoy learning about Velvet's sparks. This story is a great introduction into the conversation of each students' own spark. First Graders love to share what gets them out of bed, excited and ready for more!
How Full Is Your Bucket?
How Full Is Your Bucket For Kids? By Tom Rath and Mary Rechmeyer
Kindergartners and First Graders worked with their counselor at the end of the month on bucket filling. Students learned that everyone has an imaginary bucket and we either fill each other's buckets or we dip from them each day. Bucket Filling is when we do kind things for others, give compliments, invite others to play, Upstander Behaviors. Bucket Dipping is when we hurt others (intentionally or unintentionally): teasing, excluding, tattling on others.
Kindergartners and First Graders are going to work on being Bucket Fillers!