Sunday, March 2, 2014

Awesome Teaching Moment FREEBIE

I had one of those awesome teaching moments on Friday. It was after school and I overheard two of my first grade girls talking outside my door. I didn't hear every word but the tone was so sweet and I caught the important bits.

"Avery, I feel sad when you ___. Could you please ___. " Avery then cheerily said, "Sure, Violet. Sorry," and gave her a big hug. Awww…….

My heart swelled. I had taught them to resolve conflicts using this I Message poster. 

This could truly be the thing I am most proud that they have learned this year. This is a life skill that will serve them for years to come!

I originally got the idea from my friend, Robi. Miss you, girl! 

I teach my students to use this sentence frame the first week of school. We go through possible scenarios and practice with our partner. Then I reinforce consistently through the year.

For example, if a student comes up and tells me, “Joe just yelled in my ear.” I don't yell to Joe to cut it out because I want my students to learn to resolve their own issues. Instead, my response is always, “Did you use your I words?” In the beginning they usually say, “No,” so I walk them over and facilitate. 

It sounds something like, “I feel mad when you yell in my ear.  I would like you to stop yelling because it hurts.” 

I teach the offending student that they may not interrupt and must give their full attention to the speaker. The only appropriate response is something like, “Sorry, I’ll stop.” I do not insist on an apology since it wouldn’t be sincere but they must verbalize they will stop the offending action. If the offending student is also upset, I encourage them to use their I words back. It might go something like, "I was frustrated that you weren't listening to me. Will you please answer me when I am talking to you?" 

It works amazingly well! At this point in the year, if the student says they did use their I words, I ask them to try one more time before I get involved. In the rare case that I do have to go over, we also have a talk about respecting the I message, and that they want to be listened to when they use it.

The other day I had to laugh because a student came up to tattle and another student said, "You know she is going to ask if you used your I words. Did you?"    

If you click on the poster or HERE and you can download it for FREE. I hope you have as much success with it as I have.

Congrats to Laura Scheunemann on winning my Magic Tree House Book Club 2 Pack Giveaway!



  1. I love this idea. My teaching partner and I feel like we spend our whole recess duty trying to resolve conflicts between kids. I hope it's not too late in the year to get it going.
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  2. Solving all those conflicts is so hard to do and takes up so much of our time as teachers. This is an awesome idea!

    Keep Calm and Apple On