Dear Hunnewell,

This year, I am very excited to introduce our work with The 7 Habits of Happy Kids written by Sean Covey. It is a program that empowers young people to make positive, responsible and effective choices.  

Below you will find a quick explanation of the 7 habits we will be covering. Each habit will help the students learn practical character and life skills, promoting positive choices.  Over the course of the year, students will engage in critical thinking activities focusing on each one of the habits and we will be celebrating each habit at an All-School Meeting. Reference to the habits will also be included in our letters to secret pals.

A letter detailing more about each habit will be sent home prior to beginning our work with the students. Having your student re-teach the content to you will give him or her an even deeper understanding! The first habit we are tackling is “Being Proactive.”

Earlier this week your child participated in an interactive read-aloud with their teacher. During an interactive read-aloud, the teacher reads a story aloud, pausing at certain parts in the story and asking a question about the character or actions in the story, and the children then share their thinking with each other. In this case, the teacher read the first story in The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, “Bored! Bored! Bored!” This story is about a character, Sammy, who expects other people to entertain him, until another character, Allie’s Granny, suggests that Sammy can make his own fun, in other words, “Be Proactive.”

This morning the students worked with their buddies. Each partnership read different scenarios and sorted them into Proactive and Reactive categories. Each partnership was expected to generate one proactive and one reactive scenario too. The students in K-2 are coming home with that sort, and the older students are coming home with the list of scenarios. I have attached the project to this letter as an additional reference.

Next week, we discuss the habit, “Be Proactive” at our All-School Meeting. Small groups of the staff have produced videos modeling each habit. After the students have watched the video next week and shared out examples of being proactive, I will be sure to share the video and student comments with you.

The following week the students will write to their secret pal and provide an example of a time they were proactive. As you can see, we are making a commitment to helping students develop these seven habits.

These habits have been proven to improve academic engagement, comprehension and performance by strengthening individual work habits and improving social interactions.  They help improve student performance and support school success by fostering the qualities of independence (goal-setting, organization, time management and planning); interdependence (teamwork, conflict resolution, creativity and analytically skills); and renewal (fun, desire to learn, and good health).

The “Parent’s Place” is available at www.TheLeaderinMe.org.  Here you will find ideas to use at home to reinforce your child’s learning and involve the family in a fun, interactive way! You will also see that this learning is recognized by CASEL, the Collaborative Association for Social Emotional Learning. This is the organization that WPS is referring to as we commit to social emotional learning for our students.  The 7 Habits of Happy Kids aligns very well with the Casel Competencies, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, social responsibility, and responsible decision making.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Sincerely,

Ellen

The 7 Habits of Happy Kids

Habit 1: Be Proactive

I have a “Can Do” attitude.  I choose my actions, attitudes and moods.  I don’t blame others. I do the right thing without being asked, even when nobody is looking.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

I plan ahead and set goals.  I do things that have meaning and make a difference.  I am an important part of my classroom. I look for ways to be a good citizen.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

I spend my time on things that are most important.  This means I should say no to things I should not do.  I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan. I am organized.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win

I want everyone to be a success.  I don’t have to put others down to get what I want.  It makes me happy to see other people happy. I like to do nice things for others. When a problem comes up, I help think of a way to solve it. We can all win!

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

I listen to others’ ideas and feelings.  I try to see things from their viewpoints.  I listen to others without interrupting. I am confident in voicing my ideas.

Habit 6: Synergize

I get along well with other, even people who are different from me.  I work well in groups. I seek out other ideas to solve problems. I know that “two heads are better than one.”  I am a better person when I let other people into my life and work.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

I take care of my body by eating right, exercising, and getting sleep.  I spend time with my family and friends. I learn in lots of ways and lots of places.

Be Proactive Scenarios 

Proactive/Reactive Sort 


The 7 Habits of Happy Kids

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