Tag Archives: students

Leadership lessons from TV

Do you have a favorite TV show? Did you know that many TV shows actually include many important life lessons in their episodes? And many of these same TV shows also teach us very important lessons about leadership too!

Take 15 minutes to think about a lesson about leadership you learned from a TV show. It could be something obvious (ex. an example of someone being a leader in a workplace or school, someone leading a sports team, etc.) or something less obvious (ex. someone encouraging another person, someone standing up for another person, causing a change or making a difference in their community, etc.). Then, if you are doing this as a public speaking activity, you will come to the front of the class and present your scenario to your peers, answering these questions in your presentation:

  1. What is the name of the TV show?
  2. What happens in the episode where a character uses leadership?
  3. How can this be applied to our own lives?

If you are doing this activity as a team building activity, instead of presenting the scene to the class, you and your group will pick one scene together and act out the scene for the class! You do not have to act it out word for word, so you can feel free to put your own spin on the scene.

Leaders UNITE community project: recycling markers for Crayola ColorCycle!

In Leaders UNITE today, the students at the International Preschool of Raleigh began a very special community project about recycling dead markers, called Crayola ColorCycle. I first heard about this project from Ms. Deanna, who showed me a post on Facebook saying that 15 pounds of dead markers can be recycled, but are often not. But we can fix this! One way is by participating in the Crayola ColorCycle program. In this program, schools can collect markers that no longer work and ship these markers to the Crayola company to be recycled and converted into useable energy! The company is collecting all brands of plastic markers (not just Crayola markers), dry erase markers, and highlighters that are dead/no longer working. Once a school collects all of their dead markers in a box, Crayola will send the school a free shipping label to ship these products back to Crayola to be recycled!

In Leaders UNITE, our students made the International Preschool of Raleigh ColorCycle box- which is now located at the front of the school near the recycling bin. Before we made the box, the students read the Facebook post about the ColorCycle program and talked about the importance of recycling markers. Students told me that it is important to recycle for many reasons: it stops the animals in the ocean from getting hurt, it cleans the Earth, it prevents pollution, and it prevents various sicknesses that can arise from waste and pollution. I was happy to see the students thinking about the impact of their actions, and was excited to see that they remembered a lot of information from our previous community project about recycling. After our discussion, the students made the recycling box, which was decorated with information about our project. On the front and back of the box, it explains what can be recycled: dead markers, dry erase markers, and highlighters. On one side of the box, it lists the students’ reasons about why it is important to recycle. On the other side of the box, it tells people to ask Leaders UNITE students if they have any questions about this program. After we made our recycling box, the students tested the markers in their classroom to see if any of them could be added to the box. We found 6 dead markers that we put into our recycling box.

It was great to see the students so interested in recycling, community projects, and making a difference in the world! If you have any dead markers/dry erase markers/highlighters at home and would like to bring them in to add to our recycling box, please do so! The box will be at school for a few months, so there is plenty of time to keep adding to our box.

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Find Someone Who… Can Understand Hand Signs

In this activity, we combine Find Someone Who with Hand Signs to make a new game- assigned leader style! In this activity, students do the Find Someone Who Activity (assigned leader style) where they have to take turns figuring out how many people in the class can do a certain thing listed on the page. However, in this version, the students have to lead the group without talking. For example, if they have to find out how many like jazz music, they have to act it, until people notice they are acting out jazz music. To add another twist to this, they start acting these out one by one, but then begin doing it in twos, so they get practice with leadership as well.

Groups will have 20 minutes to complete this activity. Have fun!

Sweet moment at International Preschool of Raleigh

Yesterday in Leaders UNITE at the International Preschool of Raleigh, students did a Halloween related activity, which you can learn more about at the following hyperlink: Halloween Discussion and Positivity at the International Preschool of Raleigh. Part of the activity included drawing a picture of themselves in their Halloween costume, based on some of the compliments that they received from their friends. One of the students actually gave me her picture after school, as a gift. She dressed up as a ladybug for Halloween, and made sure to draw her costume’s beautiful wings, headpiece, and striped outfit as well, which her friends It was very sweet, and I will treasure this picture!

Halloween IPR Summer

Halloween Discussion and Positivity at the International Preschool of Raleigh

For Leaders UNITE yesterday at the International Preschool of Raleigh, we took advantage of the fact that it was Halloween. Students did a Halloween-related activity that worked on their public speaking, inquisition, discussion, and encouragement skills. To practice their public speaking, students took turns presenting their Halloween costumes as well as why/how they selected that particular costume. It was very interesting to learn more about students through their costumes, and their reasons for selecting a particular costume.

Then to practice their inquisition and discussion skills, students asked their classmates questions about their costume, which ranged from question about where the person stores the Halloween costume and whether their sibling are wearing similar costume to questions about personal stories behind the students’ choice of costume. I was very impressed with the caliber of students’ questions, as well as the personal touches their questions added.

To encourage positivity and kindness among students, everyone then went around the room and said something they like about their friends’ costumes. The students had much to share, and complimented various aspects of their classmates’ costumes, such as the sparkles, capes, skirt, dress, hair bow, and more.

To end our session, students drew pictures of themselves in their costumes, with a particular emphasis on features that their classmates liked. For example, students liked one person’s costume because it was sparkly, so in her picture of her costume, she made sure to include tons of sparkles. Another student’s costume was admired for its beautiful wings, so that student made sure to spend time drawing the wings in her drawing. It was wonderful to see how students remembered what their classmates liked about their costumes- a little compliment could go a long way!

The students did an amazing job with their discussion today, with everyone waiting patiently for their turn, raising their hand, listening to their friends, and waiting patiently until it was their turn to share. It was amazing to see how focused everyone was on learning about one another’s costumes and their enthusiasm for asking questions and complimenting their friends.

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Leading in their own way at Southwest Regional Library

This week at Southwest Regional Library, we had some new students come to participate in our club. We are always happy to have new and returning students in our club and watch students conduct our activities while getting to know other members of our club. This week, students did the activity The Newest App, but did a website instead. Our former student was also there, but when she did the activity, she did it by herself, so it would be interesting to see how the dynamic was different as she redid the activity with other people.

An interesting thing happened in this session, which reinforced the mission and goals of Leaders UNITE. The first was as follows. While the students conducted the activity and worked together to create their own app, it was clear that all of the students were leaders in different ways, and contributed different things to the group. While going through our post-activity reflection, I spoke with the students about this aspect. One of the students took initiative, she was the one who came up with the app idea, and the person who quickly moved the discussion in a specific direction. It was clear that this student was creative and was serving as a leader, as she created the idea, wrote down everything for the group, and continued to pitch good ideas and reasoning to the group.

One of the other students began to speak up more as the activity continued. And while she was not the person who came up with the ideas, she was just as much of a leader in her own unique way. This student did not come up with the original app idea, but was continuously keeping ideas in check. She would ask, “What is the purpose of that?”, “Couldn’t we do it this was?”, and more questions that steered the website idea into something more concrete, practical, and useful. The dialogue that she added to the conversation was just as important, as it made sure the website the students create was sound, had necessary features, and that everything added to the idea made sense and was feasible. Without this person creating these questions and stopping points for the group, the website might not have ever become as specific or as practical as needed.

The other student, the student who had done this activity a few weeks ago by herself, also took on a very important role in the group in her own unique way. The students’ website idea was similar to Quizlet, but for a broader variety of subjects and with more features, such as a study break feature, combining words to make sentences feature, and more features for learning Language Arts. However, this student loved Khan Academy, and the features that that program had to offer. While the other two students didn’t know what Khan Academy was, this student took initiative to bring in ideas from that program to give the rest of her team ideas of how to broaden their website and include even more features. Again, although this might not have seemed like a stereotypical leadership role, this student was also serving as a leader by integrating other information to fill in holes in the website idea. It was also great to see this student work with others on this new website idea, which was very different than the one she had created when she did this activity on her own.

This day was a perfect example of what Leaders UNITE stands for and why I created the club in the first place. Everyone leads in different ways, and no one needs to be exactly one type of mold to be a leader. People can take on different roles in a group that are all equally important and contribute different things to the overall idea and group dynamic. And while these may manifest themselves differently in different people, the goal of the club is for students to discover how they lead, and then to become comfortable leading in their own unique way. I was proud to be able to reiterate this idea with students during our group reflection, and I was thrilled to be able to witness this taking place from an observer perspective. It is not bad to be the one who doesn’t come up with the idea. It is also not bad to be the one that does come up with the idea. The goal of the club is not say you can’t be the loudest person in the room, but instead that you don’t have to be. The idea of the club is to foster communication and teamwork while also taking into account people’s individual leadership skills. And while I will continue to work with this group on teamwork and different aspects of leadership, it was great to see them all take on their own unique, important leadership roles in a team.

Synthesizing ideas to create a videogame

Last week at the International Preschool of Raleigh, students did a new activity called The Newest Videogame, which is based off of one of our most used activities, The Newest App. At this session, students were first asked to list topics that they loved that were featured in their favorite videogames. They mentioned many different things, such as space/the planets, princesses, spider webs (like from Spiderman), rocketships, and lunch/food. While students knew the activity was going to be about a videogame, they did not tell them what they would be doing with the list of activities that they created. After this, students were told they would have to work together to create a new videogame, specifically using the words they mentioned before.

Together, students worked to create a videogame that incorporated all of the features they mentioned before, and they did a wonderful job. Students seemed to really begin grasping the concept of synthesizing ideas and building off of someone else’s idea. While one student suggested that the game be to build bricks, the next student added onto that with ease, noting that the game should use spiderwebs to knock down some of the bricks. Students continued to build on this idea, creating a game where you build bricks and stack food ontop of the bricks, while spiderwebs can shoot out and knock down bricks, and planets and princesses can work together to knock down spiderwebs. It was great to see students really understanding and utilizing the concept of combining different ideas/topics into one videogame.

This is also a point where I began to see huge growth in the students. Since working through the Story Pieces activity a few weeks ago, students have greatly improved their ability to synthesize ideas together, and have done a wonderful job of basing their ideas off of a concept that someone else mentioned. It was so wonderful to see this growth after one of our activities, and it is great to see these skills shine through in these students, and at such a young age!

Leaders UNITE: leaders in recycling!

Today for Leaders UNITE at the International Preschool of Raleigh, students became leaders in recycling! The school plans to get some recycling bins soon, and today, Leaders UNITE students learned what it means to recycle. Students then created a rule list for recycling to paste in school for all of their other friends to learn about recycling. Students then made a supply list of things they want to recycle at school, so that teachers could go shopping for different types of recycling bins for their school. The first pictures shows their recycling rules list. The second picture shows the rule list alongside some of the students’ drawings of recyclables (paper, newspaper, glass bottles, recycling bins) and some animals that can be saved when we recycle!

Great job being leaders in the community, students!

IPR recycling initiative

IPR recycling initiative 2