Today is the deadline to hand in assignments for Semester 1 in my Leadership classes.  For a few students this is when they try to figure out how to do most of the course assignments in two days. But yesterday I experienced a breath of fresh air.  Jill (name changed) came up to my desk and asked if she could raise her Grade 11 Leadership grade from 99 to 100%.  Jill is a leadership all star.  She said she had never got 100% and wanted to see if it was possible.  So we brainstormed what she could do.  Jill’s task was to share five big lessons she learned in Leadership this semester.  With her permission here is a summary of what she shared.

  1. Pep Rally Wisdom –  Exciting activities that get people involved do not always require prizes. We were focused on prizes and thought that they would be essential for getting volunteers, but in reality people just wanted to play the games.
  2. More Pep Rally Wisdom – In preparation for the pep rally, we were constantly told how we needed to be specific and clear about our activities and how we would run them, which was demonstrated in the pep rally when the simplest actions (such as holding up a sign with the number 12 on it) would help to keep everyone organized.
  3. Bingo Wisdom –  I saw how different comfort levels translate into the amount of participants, as we learned with the spaghetti sauce metaphor in the student leadership program. Most people had no issue sitting down and playing bingo because it was a risk free activity.
  4. Elementary Study Buddy Wisdom – I learned how kids have different learning paces, and that patience is required in order to effectively communicate with children. For example, what my grade sixes could learn and understand in five minutes, took my kindergarteners the whole class.
  5. More Study Buddy Wisdom – I saw the spaghetti sauce comfort level ideas again, as most kids were open and willing to do whatever activity that was planned, but some were not comfortable doing them, such as reading a question on a card (that was mostly the younger kids, but even in the older grades some students were not as comfortable talking to me and/or in front of the group).

Jill will be getting 100%

This was a real treat for me.  Most of the lessons Jill chose I would not have picked beforehand.  You never know what good stuff students are learning.

Squeeze Relay Class / Group activity idea

Have students go into two even lines.  Hold hands with the person next to them in their line.  Lines face each other.  At one end place a water bottle or stuffie or something else to grab.  You stand at the other end with a coin. You flip the coin so that only the two students at the end of the line can see the result.  If it is heads they squeeze the hand of the person next to them and the squeeze works its way down the line.  When the person at the end of the line gets squeezed they grab the water bottle – point for their line.  If it comes up tails no squeeze.  If they pick up the waterbottle when it was tails then -1 to their team. Once the students at the end of the line start a squeeze relay have them rotate.  The more students that get to have to watch the coin and start the squeeze the better.

Possible debrief questions:

What did it feel like to have to be the person everyone was relying on to make the right decision for when to squeeze or not squeeze?

What did it feel like to be the person at the end of line who is supposed to grab the water bottle?

What was it like to be in the middle of the line relying on other people?

To the above three questions follow up with these:

Do we ever see that happen in class, school, life?

How can we use this info to be better leaders?

Happy New Year, New Semester, etc. everyone!

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