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!