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 March Manners - Round 2
Because of the rave reviews we had about the 'newsletter' last March,
we thought it'd be helpful to remind each other how important we are in the lives of our students,and the simple ways we can help lay the foundation for a successful future.  
In order for kids to succeed, it's essential for them to have good manners.   By knowing how to use proper social graces and to be respectful to others, kids develop the skills they need to communicate, make friends and convey a positive impression to others - all things that are essential for a child to be well liked, well received and successful. 

When kids are taught manners, they are equipped with tools that will aid them the rest of their lives. Here's a list of manners that everyone needs to know:
  1. A firm handshake. Like it or not, we often form impressions about someone on the basis of a handshake.  A good firm handshake can say: 'I am someone to pay attention to" whereas a weak handshake conveys the opposite.
  2. Good eye contact. Just like a weak handshake, bad eye contact can dramatically influence someone's perception of you.    Help your student get started off on the right foot by teaching them how to look someone in the eye and give a firm handshake when they meet someone new.
  3. A proper greeting.  Knowing how to properly greet someone gives kids confidence and has a tremendous impact on how they are perceived.  "Hello Mrs. Johnson, it's nice to meet you" will go a long way.
  4. Please, thank you and excuse me. These three magic words are so easy to say but are surprisingly underused.
  5. Not interrupting. Teach your student that when you, their teacher, their parents or even one of their friends is talking, they need to wait for a break in the conversation before jumping in, or politely interject with "Excuse me, Mrs. Johnson, I have an important question for you." 
BE AN OPEN BOOK - Children respond better when they are told why things are important rather than just told to do something "because I said so."  Explain the importance of good manners and why they should treat everyone with respect. 

ROLE MODEL - Kids are sponges and pick up on everything you do and say.  Say "please", "thank you" and "excuse me."  Don't interrupt them when they are talking if you don't expect them to do the same.  If they interrupt you, politely tell them that they should to wait until you (or whoever is speaking) is done speaking before jumping into the conversation.  When you see others demonstrating good manners, point it out. 

ROLE PLAY - Kids love to pretend, so try making a game out of it.  You can role play certain situations with them like what to do and say when meeting someone new ,or what to say if they bump into someone in the hallway.  (Feel free to be as imaginative as possible and use funny voices when acting out the role of the other person). 
BE PATIENT -  It may take your student longer to develop good manners than you would like.  Kids learn through repetition, so when your student exhibits poor manners, just politely tell him or her what the proper response would have been. (Often they know what the correct behavior is, you just have to ask). 

DON'T FORGET ABOUT POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT!  The best way to get kids to continue exhibiting good behavior is to praise them when observed demonstrating good manners.  
The key to teaching kids good manners is to make them feel good about themselves and to make it FUN!

Playing Games is one of the best way to teach kids good manners and sportsmanship (ie. taking turns, how to win or lose gracefully, how to not over react or get angry when someone else makes a good move etc.)  

Talk about your favorite games when you were little and ask about theirs.  Make a list of games you would like to play together.

Here is a list of games that you can play together. (They even have a print out for Battleship!)

This first day of spring was Sunday, March 21.  Here are some activities you can print for spring crafts and puzzles.

Play a game of H-O-R-S-E (you can use different words to help your student with spelling). 

The next time you're with a child, ask them these thought-provoking questions:
  • If you could make one rule that everyone in the world had to follow, what rule would you make? Why?
  • Do you think manners are important? Why?
  • What do you think is the most important rule you have been taught?
  • Who is your favorite tv/book/story character and what do you like about him/her?
  • Who is your favorite person? What do you like the most about him/her?
  • If you could eat lunch with (insert name of favorite character/favorite person) where would you go and what would you eat together?
  • If you could go anywhere in the world with (insert name of your favorite character/person) where would you go? How would you get there?
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