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?
Start a Chain Reaction of Kindness in Memory of Rachel Scott and Others Who Died at Columbine High School Ten Years Ago
by Ali Adair, Associated Content Society
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.
Create snowflakes with your advisees. Have them write unique attributes about themselves or others (like the bucket activity) and hang them on your wall. This is a festive way to celebrate each other’s unique qualities! If your students don’t want to make their own snowflakes, here is a cut out pattern.
Use this printable sheet and copy it onto fall colored paper. Have students create thankful leaves by writing directly on the leaves. You can choose to do this activity in a general way or have students focus on what they are thankful for from each other as we did with the bucket drops. Additional leaf shapes can be found here: Ash Maple
Students are often asked at this time of year to recall all for which they are thankful. It may involve one lesson or a week’s worth of lessons and/or a culminating activity on the last day before the Thanksgiving holiday. Instead of making Thanksgiving break the stopping point for thankfulness, why not make it the starting point? Students can start a gratitude journal over Thanksgiving break and maintain it until winter break. This way, middle school students can truly see the many people, places, and things for which they should give thanks.
The premise is simple. Write the date and list 5 things that you are grateful for every day. This can be accomplished the “old fashioned way”, or online or on your itouch or iphone!
Online, students can use this template to print or save in a word document.
You could also create a wiki for your advisor where they collectively add to an online gratitude journal.
itunes also has an app called Gratitude! Click the gratitude tab to see what it looks like.
Click the picture to go to the CNN heroes page to watch videos of everyday heroes. You can even vote for your favorite hero! All of these videos will spark conversations in your advisor group about what it means to be a hero.