I was trained in Character Counts about 5 years ago. Since then, I have used their materials and website resources to build the advisory program. In the past year, they have created a new teen-focused spin off of character counts called mylife 24/7. Currently, they are running a contest that includes ethics, decision making, and character education into any curriculum via blogging or video. The class needs to come up with a video that has an ethical dimension. Some suggestions are:
- random acts of kindness
- taking care
- acting up and taking a stand against injustice
The complete instructions and lesson plan can be found here. Submissions are due February 1st, so there is just about enough time to do this with a small group of kids…I plan on doing this with my advisory this week!
We will be supporting the Aeropostale Teens for Jeans program again this year! We will be collecting jeans (teen size to adult) from January 19th until February 11th. The advisor with the most jeans donated will win a dress down day!
The marshmallow experiment is a famous test of this concept conducted by Walter Mischel at Stanford University and discussed by Daniel Goleman in his popular work. In the 1960s, a group of four-year olds were given a marshmallow and promised another, only if they could wait 20 minutes before eating the first one. Some children could wait and others could not. The researchers then followed the progress of each child into adolescence, and demonstrated that those with the ability to wait were better adjusted and more dependable (determined via surveys of their parents and teachers), and scored an average of 210 points higher on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.
- What do you think of the results of the study?
- How do you think self control can help you in school? How does it make you a better student?
- Why would someone with self control be a more dependable person?
- What are some things that you have difficulty controlling in your life?
- Design your own marshmallow test…what items could you use to “tempt” other students in your advisor group?
We are what we do is a small way to get your students thinking about doing things to help make the world a better place.
- What did I learn last year?
- What was my greatest accomplishment over the past year?
- Which moment from last year was the most memorable and why?
- What’s the #1 thing I need to accomplish this year?
- What can I do right now to make this year less stressful?
- What have I struggled with in the past that might also affect the upcoming year?
- What was last year’s biggest time sink? – Steer clear of this in the future. Setup physical barriers against distractions if you have to.
- Am I carrying any excess baggage into the year that can be dropped? – Physical clutter, mental clutter… eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary may shine bright.
- What have I been avoiding that needs to get done?
- What opportunities are still on the table?
- Is there anyone I’ve been meaning to talk to?
- Is there anyone that deserves a big ‘Thank You’?
- How can I help someone else this coming year?
- What are my top 3 goals for the next 3 years?
- Have any of my recent actions moved me closer to my goals?
- What’s the next step for each goal?
- What am I looking forward to during the upcoming year?
- What are my fears?
- What am I most grateful for?
- If I knew I only had one year to live, who would I spend my time with?
Start a Chain Reaction of Kindness in Memory of Rachel Scott and Others Who Died at Columbine High School Ten Years Ago
The students at Midvale Middle School near Salt Lake City, Utah are starting a chain reaction of kindness and taking Rachel’s Challenge for their 2009 New Year’s Resolutions. I recently saw a middle school presentation of Rachel’s Challenge, the very popular school non-violence curriculum based on the life and death of Rachel Joy Scott. Click here to learn more about Rachel.
A month after the Rachel’s Challenge presentation, the school dance classes at another middle school presented a moving Rachel’s Challenge Holiday Dance show to the entire school body. Rachel was the first person to be shot and killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. The dance show included a choreographed depiction of the fear, panic, and grief the students must have gone through at Columbine High School that day. Then, the dancers presented all five challenges that Rachel gave the world in her essays and journals to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion. Rachel’s five challenges are:
Eliminate prejudice by looking for the best in others
Dare to dream – set goals – keep a journal
Choose your influences – input determines output
Kind words and small acts of kindness = HUGE impact
Start a chain reaction with family and friends
As a certified high school business teacher, Rachel’s Challenge made a big impact on me to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion. I decided to poll 150 middle school students to see if they had any clear written goals and what impact Rachel’s Challenge made on them. I asked if they had any 2009 New Year’s Resolutions. Here is their remarkable, compassionate response.