Help Kids Create Personal Building Blocks for Success – A Short Shot

Listening is key to learning, as this colorful set of blocks points out. Help kids create personal building blocks for success. This activity is a Short Shot!

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Dr. Seuss, beloved as a children’s author in countries around the world, wrote about “the places you’ll go.” 

If you are literally or figuratively “traveling” with children this summer (Northern Hemisphere) or winter (Southern Hemisphere), please check out my new series…

Short Shots – one and done ideas to improve your students/campers ability to stay focused for longer than the time it takes to say “Short Shot!”

Why a Short Shot Series?

Teachers never stop being teachers, that’s why.

In school or out, our brains (consciously or not) are always looking for ways to help kids understand this…every activity – fun and/or functional – is best done with focus.

Educators agree that the skills needed to sustain concentration are critical in an increasingly distracted, disrupted world.

With that introduction, here’s a Short Shot…

Help Kids Create Personal Building Blocks for Success 

Begin this activity by making a model of a building block set like one that features listening as a key to learning.

Personal Building Blocks for Success can read across or up and down, like a crossword puzzle. Encourage kids to be creative in their thinking and designs.

Personal building blocks for success can be a block set that breaks one complete thought or expression into pieces, like “You can/ learn/ something new/ every/ day/ if you/ listen,” or…

a block set with single words that connect with the concept of success. This type of block set has a word or two on each block, like Success/ Earned/ Skills Mastered/ Hard Work/Dedication/Patience

Get your materials ready:

  • Pre-cut cardstock blocks (rectangles or squares) in different colors
  • Colored markers or crayons
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Twine or thin ribbons
  • For Simpler Option (See below): Full-size pieces of cardstock in different colors and glue

Activity Steps:

1. Show the model to the group, pointing out that the “blocks” are two-dimensional, not three, but will serve the purpose.

2. Guide your student/campers in brainstorming about their personal building blocks for success. Ask kids to jot down ideas for reference when they “build their blocks.”

3. Show the model again, noting the format. Encourage kids to look again at their ideas and choose the key words they will print on their block sets.

4. Invite everyone to select a set of pre-cut cardstock blocks, markers or crayons and write the key words on their blocks.

5. Help kids arrange their building blocks for success in a suitable sequence.

6. Punch holes in the cardstock blocks and string the blocks together with string or ribbon on top so that kids can hang up their block sets.

Simpler Option: Follow Steps 1 – 5 above, then glue the single blocks to a full-size piece of cardstock.

Display the Personal Building Blocks for Success – Build pride in getting good work done and let kids see each others’ concepts of success by displaying what you have helped kids create.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet



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Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
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