“Put First Things First” – Work, then Play!

Grade School Readiness - (3rd installment in the “Leader in Me” series)
“Put First Things First”

Ask any kindergartner their favorite subject in school and you would inevitably hear the word “recess.” Not a subject, you say? Well, when you think about it, recess is a vital part of any young child’s day. Recess is a time for talking, letting loose, and playing with friends with limited restrictions.  Going out to “play” as an adult might not be on a playground jungle gym; however, taking time out of our busy days after we have put all our effort into our careers and family is a necessary part of life.

Teaching a lesson about putting work first and then play can be very relevant to a young child but must be taught.  So how do you get young children to understand this important leadership trait?

“Put First Things First” is the third leadership trait described in Steven Covey’s Leader in Me Program. The goal for this trait is to teach the importance of setting priorities, organizing thoughts, and following a plan.

For this goal, we will read the book The Little Red Hen. This fictional character is a perfect example of how hard work really pays off. The children will follow the lead character through the book as she plants seeds, tends to the garden, kneads the dough, bakes the bread, and finally sits down to enjoy her meal while the other characters in this book look on and say they are too busy to work.

My job as the teacher is to point out examples of students using their time wisely during the day so the children will see them as the classroom leaders. Making sure their work is complete before going to a self-directed task, keeping talking to a minimum, and taking their time and making work presentable are just some of the examples the leaders in my kindergarten classroom will possess by the end of the year.



The Little Red Hen image courtesy of Amazon.com

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