While they held on to their Smarties, I showed the PK-2 grade students this video, "Benny and the Birthday Berries":
After the video was finished, I checked in to see who still had their Smarties and told them to hold on to them a bit longer. We talked about self-control and what we have to control at school and home. We talked about what happened with Benny and the other characters in the songs; and what they had trouble controlling. Then we watched this video:
After the video, we talked about why having self-control is good, etc. Then, I did a final check to see who still had their entire Smartie. Those who did received a whole roll of Smarties and those who didn't, did not receive one. If I could tell they had sucked on it and had a disintegrated Smartie, they didn't get a roll.
If we had extra time, I then blew bubbles over all the kids, without giving them any directions other than not to hit each other and be careful with their hands. They of course all wanted to pop them and did. When they were done I asked what they all had the urge to do as soon as I started to blow them, and they answered "pop them." Then, I blew them a second time over the whole group, but this time told them to show me they had self-control and not to move or pop them. All but about one or two kids in each class was able to sit there and just let the bubbles fall. They got a good laugh out of letting the bubbles fall on their heads and not being able to touch them.
For grades 3-5 we did the exact same thing with the Smarties, but watched these two video clips instead of the previous ones and discussed the videos and self-control. They were also able to give me many examples of things that they need to have self-control over.
Practice teaching self-control with your kids at home early on to help them be able to do it on their own with much more ease when they are older! I know I struggle with just eating a few chips and before I know it, the whole bag is gone! ;-)
Just so you know how this experiment turned out, I would say that in the majority of the classes, the kids were able to practice self-control and not eat the Smartie. On average, only about 1-3 kids ate the Smartie in each class. :-)
Good luck to those students (and parents) who will be taking the STAAR test next week!! I made a quick reference to the test next week and needing to practice good self-control with that, too, in the 3rd-5th grade classes. I told them to take lots of deep breaths and just do their best!! Good luck everyone and see my previous blog with tips about test anxiety and how to help them prepare if you need some pointers! :-)