There are so many teachable moments through out the day, and I for one just have to say: "Be Aware" there is so much joy in teaching a child and this picture tells it all:
Let Me Explain!
Last week i had the opportunity to visit a class during summer school to discuss friends with Friendship Frog. First, i introduced this character through a social story called, I Am Friendship Frog and later read Let's Be Friends. Then, I had a lunch bag with Friendship Frog on the front and inside I had each student's names on a piece of paper. I had prepared a Guided Reading Chart where I took two different colors of markers and made lines, __________is a friend. This created a pattern and visually is easier for the younger children to separate sentences. Now I reached inside the mystery bag...................and pulled out a name! Each child came up when their name was pulled from the bag and we glued it on the _________line and then touch read the sentence! It was fun because today there are so many different names from when I grew up and one boy said, "I didn't know that's how you spelled your name"! I mean to be honest, I grew up in the See Dick Run With Jane era!! Once each child's name was on the chart, they said their name when I pointed to it and the class read the rest of the sentence together. You could also have each child come up to the chart to point and read the sentence, you must work with your age group appropriately.
This was a group of fifteen boys and one girl. There attention was held the entire lesson! Next I shared that we had one more thing to do, which was to make the headband, but in the meantime a child said, "Oh, I know, it's math" and I said, "No, but, what if we had 1 friend + 1 friend, how many friends would we have? So on, and so on. Yep, math lesson stuck in! The next activity was to make a Friendship Frog headband. Depending on the age group you work with, you can have the pieces put together so that the child just needs to color, or, you can give instructions and have them cut, color and glue the headband. This can be found on Character Corner where you can make your own! For those students who could write, I asked them to tell me what they do with their friends on the back of the headband. For those who could not, I asked them to draw a picture of what they do with their friends, they shared with me and then I wrote a sentence to go with their picture.
It felt so good to be in a classroom with actual children and not behind a screen! During this activity there was a pesky fly who was just buzzing and distracting us on this hot summer morning. So, I said, "maybe we should name him and he could be our class pet for the day" And, waa-laa......Friendly Fly was born!! He just wanted to learn about being a friend and who this Friendship Frog character was I told the kids! We had such a great morning and the entire time the children were engaged in learning about friends and character building lessons. This all took place on a Friday, come Monday morning the children came into the classroom looking for Friendship Fy! I shared with the teacher that now you can build this into so many different activities by bringing in science, discuss flies, what they do, what they eat, where they live, etc. and bring in art, have the children paint a fly, bring in literacy and have them write a story about where they would go if they were Friendly Fly! That my friends is a memorable TEACHABLE MOMENT!!
One Last Thing
During all the activities, there was one boy who shared with me that he thinks he met Friendship Frog before! The teacher and I looked at one another in surprise because this could be true! You see the Characters of Character have done many community events and maybe he was there! So, I shared with him that I do know where Friendship Frog lives and I'll let him know that today we made a headband and that you remember meeting him. I soon wrote a letter to the boy from Friendship Frog and the teacher said that his face lit up, how happy he was, and now I know, I've made a new friend.
FREE PRINT OUT TO DO WITH KIDS
Visit Friendship Frog and print out the pencil page that Friendship Frog is holding. Use this to:
1. Color, put your child's name on the pencil and use as a sticker chart
2. Print out and and use as a Journal cover, add paper for your child to draw and write about the adventures they go on with their friends.
Characters of Character is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizaiton, here are some ways you can help support our mission:
write us a review and help us earn the Great NonProfit badge, write a review online, like our page on facebook, follow us on Instagram, follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn, share us with your friends and of course, Donate donations are always welcome. Thank you, it's been nice to share with you!
Are we born with confidence? How easy would that have been! Truth be told, I didn't have much confidence when I was growing up. I was chubby and made fun of which led me to a lack of self-esteem. I was always kind of good at art, but never encouraged to pursue it. I wanted to be a Nun, a Nurse or a Teacher when I grew up, and without any doubt, a Mom. Funny story, I played a Nun for my dad's 40th birthday, so, in my mind, mission accomplished! He would say to me that he didn't want me to be a nun because he wanted grandchildren someday, and, I wanted to be a Mom one day, too! So, on his Surprise 40th Birthday, we borrowed a Nun Habit and I walked down the stairs to the party and said, "Good evening Father" mission accomplished!
I did become a mom the same year I turned 21 and when you become a mom, you become a nurse as you take care of your child's every need, physically and emotionally. And, I did become a Teacher, because as a mom you are your child's first teacher. You teach them from the moment they are born. You teach them what it feels to be loved with your caring words and gentle embrace. You teach them how to feel by letting them express their fears, their pain, their joy and their hope for fulfilling their dreams. You teach them how to walk, to talk, to share, to care, to be a friend, to be responsible, to be respectful, to have good manners, what good behavior means, what it means to never give up, to be kind, to have healthy habits and to be proud of who they are. YOU are their first teacher, their first love, their role model on how to be a person who can do what they set their mind to, if they want something to earn it, to go after it and, especially to be the best they can be as they live their life. YOU are their everything, so, give it your all.
We gather on Sundays for dinner, play board games, laugh and talk about our week. I say it every time, that we are Blessed and I am grateful for our family. Just the other day my son said, we are not the 'norm' there are so many broken families and an awful lot of dysfunction in the world today. True. And, while on the outside things look like they are always pretty good, on the inside, there are struggles and disappointments, in every person, in every family and in every day circumstances.
This is another reason I feel so passionate about teaching our children about the important messages that our characters teach. I've always had a heart for teaching and to become a mom, to build a family. We have always done the best we knew how with what we had. Believe me, we did without, we struggled , BUT, we made the choice to persevere and to put our family first the best we could. As there are so many things we are able to provide for our children, there are so many things that we are not able to provide for them. The best you can give your children is a strong foundation to learn with, to grow up and to be a confident person as they grow and walk through their own life.
Tips To Teach Self-Esteem In Children
A friend once asked me for a piece of advice, this is what I shared: "Choose your battles" Don't harp on the negative or the things you wish your children would or could do, but, praise them for the beautiful, unique and special person that they are. And, do NOT compare your child to another child, your family to another family, your home to another home. When you focus on the good, the positive in life, your entire world will change. Plus, when you have confidence and self-esteem, you're not afraid to venture on into the next chapter of life. Build on a strong foundation and learn, grow and become.
A big shout out to all the kids that don't win awards, aren't in the Top 10 of something, make honor roll, play sports, and barely make it through the school year. A big hug to the moms, dads, grandparents, caregivers, mentors, and foster parents that stick by them as they maneuver the school year and life.
Shout out to the kids that don't get invited to the prom, didn’t get a scholarship to college, and have to go straight to work out of high school....YOU are Amazing!
Everyone isn't an Honors student or Academic Scholar. Some kids have to work twice as hard, just to be C average. There's many who battle through behavior and learning challenges. Their achievements deserve recognition too. High School isn't easy, a child shouldn't be compared to another and we all learn differently, we all have a different journey in this life, we all should be encouraged, recognized and certainly appreciated for our efforts.
Don’t forget those kids, encourage them as well.
Kindness, Creativity, Uniqueness, and Generosity....those attributes sadly don’t get the accolades they deserve.
I had the opportunity to be a guest on Empowered Women through Empowered Living which truly was a high light for me! I've been on a journey of self growth, confidence building, learning ways to become a better version of myself so that I could add as much value I could to our children, communities, and families to empower them in our character building lessons. In March of 2020 I joined the John Maxwell Team which is another beautiful community of people sharing their gifts with the world. This is the interview with Regina Bryant the host of Empowered Women Living and myself.
This is Regina's introduction after we had a brief chat:
"Is there anything else?"
When Joni heard Paul ask this question at the 3-day Turning Point 2019 retreat, she knew it was a call to action to push her passion project, Characters of Character to a whole new level!
Most of Joni Downey's life has revolved around adding value to children. As a room mom, a gym mom, a scout leader, and a lunchroom helper, Joni's life purpose was always clear: to make a difference one child at a time.
Eventually, Joni found herself serving in a classroom with behavior and learning challenged boys. That's when an idea began to take shape. That idea lead to the creation of a unique, practical, and value-based children's program, Characters of Character.
After earning a National Promising Practice award for the characters, Joni formed a 501 (c)(3) and the rest is history!
If you want to know what living out your passion and purpose truly looks like then don't miss tomorrow's Women of Empowered Living at 12p/ET. Joni is one of a kind and exudes pure joy. She is an absolute delight! Not only will you meet Joni; you may also meet some of the characters as well.
This is a feel-good show and will put a smile on your face!
Married with children since 1981. Love working with children and sharing the Characters of Character.