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Jellybean Jamboree

In the months of September through November, I teach a character education program to all kindergarten students in Mrs. Richie's and Mrs. Harry's classes. Each class lesson takes about 30 minutes.

Character education is such a crucial component in the overall comprehensive guidance program because I am able to reach every kindergarten student in a proactive way in order to give them tools to use throughout their entire schooling years. Teachers will be able to refer to the lessons I teach while helping students through everyday situations with peers, adults, and themselves. Parents will be able to use the unit worksheets brought home to encourage communication from the child about what they have learned and discussed in their class.

This program uses jellybean "puppets" in each lesson to take students through a real-life situation that they can relate to. Follow-up questions encourage participation and children to empathize with the characters. What would they do in a situation like this?



The following units are from the "Jellybean Jamboree" character education program. Each unit and the order that they are taught have a specific purpose in the classroom environment.


Friendship Skills

Students learn from Friendly Francene, the Friendly Pink Jellybean, about ways to be a good friend, such as:
Being Nice (and what that means!)
Sharing (what to share and what NOT to share)
Exclusion (what it means to be left out)
Listening (who do we have in our lives to listen to us and talk to if we're feeling sad)

Behavior Skills

Students learn about good and not so good behavior from Ornery Ordene, the Misbehaving Green Jellybean, such as:
Rules (why we have rules and what they mean - we have rules so everyone is safe!)
Stealing (the difference between sharing and stealing)
Tattling (only tell on someone if you think that someone will get hurt; kids learned that if they tattle all the time, people may not want to be their friend)
Interrupting (what it means and when it's okay to interrupt)
Cheating (what it means and why we shouldn't do it!)

Anger Management
Students learn about appropriate vs. inappropriate ways to handle their anger from Angry Arlene, the Grumpy Red Jellybean, keeping in mind that it's okay to be angry, but it's how we handle our anger which makes the difference:
Buttons (what it means to push someones 'button' and what types of things push our 'buttons)
Bugs (what really bugs us - and, no, we're not talking about insects and spiders!)
Temper Tantrums (what these look like and what to do besides throw one)

Decision-Making

Students learn about all the different decisions they need to make every day, with the help of our new jellybean friend, Decision-Making Dean! Lessons included:
Decisions (deciding to choose healthy foods over unhealthy foods)
What Will Happen? (students thought in their minds what would happen if they made wrong decisions like pulling a cat's tail or deciding not to clean their room)
Consequences (students learned good consequences and bad consequences, but learned that EVERY choice has some kind of consequence!)

Emotional Awareness

Students learn about different emotions, especially those related to sadness. Emotional Eugene, the Feeling Blue Jellybean helped us understand that feeling sad or upset is okay!
Face the Feelings (we could tell how people are feelings, even if they don't or can't tell us, just by their face!)
Happiness & Sadness (we can turn our own frown upside down just by thinking positive thoughts about ourselves!)
It Hurts (what hurts our feelings and practice what we can do to let someone know they have hurt our feelings)
I Feel (how does your jellybean feel today? From happy to excited; angry to frustrated; scared to confident - kids learn all kinds of feeling words!)

Self-Concept

Students learned more about themselves and the people and things around them. Me, Maureen, the Self-Knowing Lavender Jellybean, helped us understand that we should feel good about ourselves and to embrace all of our differences!
Family Tree (students created their own family trees and discussed how all families are different)
Strengths (students were able to realize they all have strengths as well as weaknesses and that's okay! We all need to like things about ourselves)
Love (we talked about people we love, things we love, and the one person who we should love the most - ourselves!)
Please encourage your children to talk about the worksheets and knowledge about the subject, whether it be how to make friends, telling an adult vs. tattle telling, sharing, consequences, etc.

* Note: Some worksheet directions have been altered to suit the developmental needs of kindergarten as well as time constraints during teaching.

As kindergarteners move onto other grades throughout the years, they remember the Jellybean Friends we learned about and often tell me in school, "Miss Rutski, I remember we want to be like Friendly Francene!".