Looking at the Social Lives of Kids

A few days ago, we had a well known psychologist and speaker come speak to our fifth grade students, Dr. Michael Thompson, who has written numerous books on children including Raising Cain and The Pressured Child. He led an assembly with our entire 5th grade students. He immediately started off by stating that he would’t be speaking for the entire hour, but that he would get the students to speak.

He asked them various questions about what makes someone a friend, popularity and how they feel about their parents asking about their social lives. It was an interactive assembly  and the students were engaged and trying very hard to get chosen to share. That’s not an easy task for any speaker when you have over 200 fifth grade students at the end of the school day as your audience. It was interesting to hear students’ thought on what makes a friend and what makes someone popular. The students had a difficult time actually describing clearly what makes someone popular as they went around in circles with their responses.

Dr. Thompson also shared about how often teachers ask him, what can they do about those 1 or 2 students in their class that don’t have any friends at all.  He also challenged those students that were “popular” to use it for leadership in a positive way. It would have been nice to hear him give some more practical tips and suggestions to teachers, but this was a session for the students! He did a few other talks as well with other grade levels, teachers and parents about various topics. I definitely recommend checking out his webpage or books if you are interested in learning more.

Here is video clip I found from a session he did at a school on the pressured child.

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Reflection on EARCOS 2011

Greetings from sunny Thailand! (Well technically it is dark, being that it is nighttime, but I know it will be sunny in the morning^^). Tomorrow is the beginning of EARCOS 2012, and I am pretty excited to get my professional development on. I even brought a pen.

But in all seriousness, having the chance to attend the EARCOS conference for the second year in a row is absolutely thrilling. As I prepare myself, I find I am reflecting on everything I took away from last year’s conference. I went to many amazing workshops (where I was educated on why it is important for children to get a full night sleep, better writing workshop practices, and how I could be the author of a book just by going online and selling it through Amazon for Kindle! I have yet to do that…), but the most exciting parts of the conference for me, were the keynote speakers: Geoff Green (I had no idea how badly I wanted to go to Antartica-or that I wanted to go at all- until last year!), Fred Mednick, and Michael Thompson blew me away!

I was especially interested in what Michael Thompson (co-author of Raising Cain) had to say. You see, last year I had a particular difficult class, especially when it came to my boy students. From what Michael Thompson talked about, I learned so much about the difference in teaching boys and girls, after a bit more research I was able to give a presentation to the elementary faculty department at my school when I came back (when I come back from this trip I am going to insert the ppt. I used into this post, but sadly it is on my work computer, and praise God, I am not at work right now!).

I know there is still so much I need to learn about this topic, if you have any resources please share. Now, who is joining me tomorrow at EARCOS?!