Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Brown Bear Helps Manage Behavior by Looking for Kindness

Usually by this point in the school year you have gotten in to a steady routine with your class.  Now you can begin to expand on some of the social skills you would like to continue to develop in your students.  I like to spend some time focusing on helpfulness this time of year.  It goes well with the fall season of harvesting and being thankful.

Several years ago I was teaching my class about being helpful by using the book, Shubert's Helpful Day by Dr. Becky Bailey.    When I asked my preschoolers what it means to be helpful they didn't have a clue.  Many adults find it difficult to allow young children to have the opportunity to be helpful because "it's easier to do it yourself".  There is lots of research that supports our human need to know that we matter and have something to contribute.  It helps with self-esteem and encourages us to focus our attention on the behaviors we desire instead of those we want to STOP!  Children need many visual examples of what they can do to be helpful!  It reminds them of what to do.   

In my classroom we did lots of activities to learn about helpfulness.  We did role play, took photographs of children being helpful, read stories, and had parents and grandparents come in and share ideas of what they do to be helpful.  We also allow every child to have a job to do in the classroom so they have lots of opportunities to be helpful every day.  More about that later...

Recently, I provided a make and take workshop for early childhood providers with links to the favorite children's book Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  There are so many great activities that you can to connected to the wonderful book!  One of the make and take activities was this printable book that you can make to read with your class and give them lots of ideas of ways to be helpful.  There are also several related activities that can be done with this book.  You can find the whole book in my teachers pay teachers store by following this link.

Here is a free printable that you can use to make a class book about being helpful.  There is a cover page for your book as well as a worksheet for children to use for their own ideas about how to be helpful!  How do you encourage your youngsters to be helpful?