Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Seasons of Respect-Blades Elementary

My "CharacterCounts!" mentor, Kim, also works with Connecting Generation's "Seasons of Respect" program. She has graciously partnered with me to assist in making the 8th week of the program a memorable celebration of everything the students have learned. "Seasons of Respect" is an 8 week program for 5th graders. The students learn about the definition of respect, respectful listening, conflict resolution, stereotyping, and much more. Since respect is one of the six pillars of "CharacterCounts!", this lesson is perfect for me to get involved in.

We handle the celebration as a team. She gets the students pumped up and ready, then I come in and do a review of everything they learned over the past two months. After that, she does a quick game with them, and finally we dance and enjoy a yummy snack! It has been a pleasure getting to know the students involved with "Seasons of Respect". Most of the schools already have some type of motto centered around respect. I think that is a huge help in aiding the students to retain the information Kim teaches them.

The boys and girls always react differently to me showing up at their school. The girls are always excited and want to get to know me. The boys react one of two ways: One- they could care less that I'm there, I am still just another girl; or Two- they decide to pursue a relationship with me and the girls tell me how much the boys love me. It really is the cutest thing. Sometimes I like to play it up and ask who "So-and-so" is so I can waive hi. Other times they come up to me to defend themselves and deny that they said anything about me. Oh the good ol' days!

After we enjoyed our snack the dance floor was open! This was the first celebration where I was asked if we could do the limbo. So I asked Kim if we had a way to do the limbo. Being the creative lady that she is she decided to use the string of paperclips used as a project for the classes. You see, each class was asked to have the students put a paperclip in a piggy bank in the classroom everytime they saw someone showing respect. So by the time the celebration came, the strings of paperclips were extremely long. Thus being the perfect tool for limbo!
Of course, I wanted to participate! Now I did not consider that my odds of winning were slim from the start. I was taller than most of the students, especially with my heels on, and I had a crown on my head. Nonetheless, I went for it. The students got a kick out of my attempts to get under the string of paperclips. Once our limbo stick was too low the students were sliding, rolling, and evening army crawling under the string. All rules were put aside and we were just having fun. It is always a joy to experience these celebrations and get to know the students in Delaware's schools.

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