Classroom meetings

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Classroom meetings are an effective way to help build classroom community, establish behavioral expectations and norms, as well as explore social issues that need tending to help continue supporting a thriving learning environment.

Class Meeting Guides

CREATING POSITIVE ENVIRONMENTS THROUGH CLASS MEETINGS– Diana Browning Wright

Class Meetings Creating a Safe School Starting in Your Classroom– Ophelia Project

The Classroom Meeting-PowerPoint

Articles

The Power of the Morning Meeting: 5 Steps Toward Changing Your Classroom and School Culture

Promoting Learning by Dr. Marvin Marshall – Classroom Meetings

Class Meetings-Positive Discipline

Practical Activities

Idea Title Grade Description
Weekly Agenda

2-6

An agenda where everyone has a say!
Class Meetings with a Stopwatch

K-6

An easy tip for “keeping things moving” in class meetings.
Speak Up with a Microphone

K-6

A quick idea to encourage only one speaker at a time!
Character Trait Spotlight

K-6

Focusing on positive character traits at class meetings.
“Some Things Are Scary”

2-6

This picture book is an excellent springboard for discussion in a class meeting!
Class Meeting Sign

K-6

An easy sign so that everyone knows when the class meeting is!
A Time to Spotlight Students

K-6

Spotlighting students at class meetings

Source

Visuals to Support Learning

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Relational Aggression 

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Developing friendships and maintaining healthy play is a cornerstone to a child’s education. Within the school is a safe place to practice and try out friendships and try different types of play. It is our job as parents and teachers to take advantage of the opportunities that come with peer conflict to provide the child/ children with an teachable moment. Here are some resources to support that effort.

Relational Aggression

Relational aggression (RA) is a nonphysical form of aggression whereby the perpetrator’s goal is to inflict or threaten damage to relationships, including harm to the target child’s social standing or reputation. This form of aggression may result in long-term psychological harm to victims. Source

RELATIONAL AGGRESSION – Overview

Dealing with Relational Aggression and Children: A Guide for Parents

Research Article It’s mean boys, not mean girls, who rule at school, study shows

Education Article Study: Boys, Not Just ‘Mean Girls,’ Use Relational Aggression

Little Bullies: Relational Aggression on the Playground

Resources From The Ophelia Project

Practical Strategies for Teachers- 5 STEPS for Teachers

Boys

Boys Relational Aggression Curriculum

Girls

Girls Relational Aggression Curriculum

 

Other Resources

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Understanding Playful vs. Hurtful Teasing and Bullying Behavior

Books

I Didn’t Know I Was a Bully (Grades K-5) Paperback – 2006

Tease Monster: A Book About Teasing Vs. Bullying (Building Relationships) Paperback –  by Julia Cook

Relational Aggression in Young Adults: Relational Aggression in Peer and Dating Relationships, Gender Difference, Attribution Bias, Emotional Distress Paperback by Violet Lim

The author Trudy Ludwig Bullying books.

Behavioral practice

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Every kid has a point in time when they need either their parents and/ or teachers to support them with learning new behavioral skills.

Practical Practice Ideas for developing a variety of social emotional skills.

Taking Turns and Being Patient

Please take a moment and practice these skills at school and at home by:

  • Playing a Game
  • Reminding me to wait my turn
  • Asking me what
  •  I can do while I wait for my turn

 

Having rules and Following rules

Please take a moment and practice these skills at school and at home by:

  • Asking your student why rules are important
  • By playing a game with rules
  • By creating new rules

 

Feelings and Emotions

Please take a moment and practice these skills at school and at home by:

  • Asking your student to name as many feelings as they can
  • Encourage your student to verbally name their feelings
  • Verbally expressing your feelings as the parent/teacher
  • Asking your student to identify the feelings of others in a story or on television
  • Have your student show you what different emotions look like

 

Using “I” statements

Please take a moment and practice this skill at school and at home by:

  • Having you student use “I” statements throughout the week (e.g. “I feel…”, “I want…”, “I think…”)
  • Ask student why it is important to use “I” statements
  • Ask student in what setting they should use “I” statements

 

Anger

Please take a moment and practice recognizing Anger at school and at home by:

  • Asking what your students body look like when they are Angry.
  • Ask your student to explain the Grouchometer
  • Ask your student where they are on the Grouchometer throughout the week

 

Words and there meanings

Please take a moment and practice these skills at school and at home by:

  • Asking your student what kind of messages words send.
  • Ask your student to give examples of “Nice” words
  • Ask student why people may say “Not Nice” words

 

Anger

  • Asking what your students what they should do when angry
  • Ask your student to explain things that may be triggers for Anger
  • Ask your student what they can say if they are Angry
  • Practice “Stop and Think” to calm down

 

Teasing

  • Ask your student, “What does teasing look like?”
  • Ask your student what are their options for dealing with teasing (ignore, agree, tell adult, ask, “Why did you say that?” Say, “I want you to stop”).
  • Role-play situations and ask your student what they would say or do in these situations.

 

Consequences

  • Recognizing that there may be both positive and negative consequences.
  • Have your student list positive and negative consequences throughout the week.
  • Role-play scenarios and have your student state appropriate consequences.
  • Play a board game that has consequences

 

Problem-Solving

  • Role-play disagreements and ask “what does each person need?”
  • Have students consider consequences
  • Have your student make the best choice or make a plan to help with problem solving.
  • Reflect on whether or not the plan worked

Other Resources:

Vanderbilt CSEFEL- Practical Strategies for Teachers/Caregivers

“You Got It!” Teaching Social and Emotional Skills

Fostering Social and Emotional Skills Development in Early Childhood – PPT

Resilience Booster: Parent Tip Tool – APA resource

 

Selective Mutism

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What is Selective Mutism

Selective Mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as school. These children are able to speak and communicate in settings where they are comfortable, secure, and relaxed.

 

For Teachers

Understanding Selective Mutism A Guide to Helping Our Teachers Understand

SELECTIVE MUTISM: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TEACHERS

Tips for Helping Kids With Selective Mutism Go Back to School

For School Psychologists

Selective Mutism DSM-5 312.23 (F94.0)

Silent Suffering: Children with Selective Mutism

Tool Kit- Supporting Children with Selective Mutism Practice Guidelines

CASP Article-Selective Mutism: A Three-Tiered Approach to Prevention and Intervention

PREZI- Selective Mutism

School Evaluation Form

For Speech Pathologists

Selective Mutism – Speech-LanguagePathologist

A Socio-Communication Intervention Model for Selective Mutism

Speech-Language Therapy and Selective Mutism

Selective Mutism: Assessment and Intervention

Good PPT

School Speech Questionnaire and other supportive tools

Great Blog Post on Treatment of Selective Mutism with Tools!!!

Resources for Selective Mutism:

source

Book- The Silence Within: A Teacher/Parent Guide to Working with Selectively Mute and Shy Children. by, Gail Goetze Karvatt

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0615121519?tag=pediastaff0d-20&camp=213381&creative=390973&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=0615121519&adid=0V5WF1JFZHYN95DPRADE

Wikipedia – Selective Mutism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_mutism

The organizations which have information on selective mutism:

K12 Academics

NYU Child Study Center

Selective Mutism Foundation

Selective Mutism and Childhood AnxietyDisorders Group

Child Mind Institute

http://www.childmind.org/en/clinics/programs/selective-mutism-program

http://www.childmind.org/en/nightline-selective-mutism/ 

Selective Mutism on Line http://selectivemutismonline.com
 

 

 

Parenting Balanced Kids

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Last night I attended the talk by Dr. Denise Pope at Cabrillo College. She recently wrote a book called – Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools, and Healthy Successful Kids. For the past thirteen years, she has specialized in student engagement, curriculum studies, qualitative research methods, and service learning. She lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student health, engagement with learning, and integrity. Her book Doing School: How We are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal.

 

Denise is a three-time recipient of the Stanford University Graduate School of Education Outstanding Teacher and Mentor Award. She has been featured on CNN, World News Tonight, the Today Show, NPR, among other television and radio programs. Source

She had a great message and I could not stop thinking about how applicable it was to our kids. She of course has written books (which I plan to read) and is published professionally, but what I found remarkable was the amount of resources on her website.

Here are a few:

Videos
Research based fact sheets
Publications
Websites
Crisis Information

 

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Dr. Wendy Mogel is another champion of today’s children.

Tip Sheet

ANONYMOUS A 26 step program for good parents gone bad

Really fun video!

 

 

Movie on the topic

How to Raise an Adult- Julie Lythcott-Haims

 

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Link-BOOK

Last night I went to see Julie Lythcott-Haims (website) speak about her book How to Raise an Adult- Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success at Aptos High School. It was a mind stretching experience!  She was funny, experienced, dynamic, humble, courageous, and  practical! The experience I was left with was enlightening, therapeutic, and hopeful. Leaving the talk my mind hasn’t stopped thinking about my own children and the kids I work with everyday.

Main themes included:

Parenting Style

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Fostering Independence in four steps

  1. Do for the child.
  2. Do with the child.
  3. Guide and step aside.
  4. Child is independent  with the task.

Reflection

My questions to myself as a parent:

  1. When I parent am I fostering independence?
  2. Am I responsive to my kids interest or am I leading with what I would like for them to do?
  3. As a parent am I modeling good practices to demonstrate independence for my kids?

As a educator I ask myself:

  1. When I consult with a parent who needs to engage in activities to better develop a child’s resiliency and independence, am I scaffolding that in an attainable way?
  2. Given that hovering parents are becoming a more typical reality in our community what am I doing to hone my skills to support their needs?

Reviews

NY Times

Washington Post

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Talking with children using engagement and active listening

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As, I work with children I have noticed that some adults generally refrain from talking to children. I am a big proponent of encouraging adults to talk to kids and forge relationships when they can, the benefits of doing this are great for children in a variety  of ways.

  • Why do teachers talk with children? There are many excellent reasons, such as these:

    • • Children enjoy social conversations with adults.
    • • A few enticing words can encourage children to engage in a particular activity or behavior.
    • • Thought-provoking questions or using new words can extend children’s thinking and curiosity.
    • • Adults can directly answer children’s questions. A great deal of research supports the value of talking with young children.
    • • When adults purposefully talk more with children, children develop larger vocabularies (Hart & Risley, 1999; Hoff & Naigles, 2002).
    • • When children have larger vocabularies, they become better readers in middle childhood (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998).
    • • When adults talk to children with longer, more complex words and sentences, children have higher IQ scores (Hart & Risley, 1999).

• When adults talk with children in a responsive and sensitive way, they encourage children’s social and emotional development (Ensor & Hughes, 2008; Harris, 2005). In general, talking with young children encourages development in many areas: spoken language, early literacy, cognitive development, social skills, and emotional maturity. Speaking with children in increasingly complex and responsive ways does this even better. Source

So what to do?

What Can Adults Do?

Adults can play a major role in children’s ability to identify, understand, and express emotions in a healthy way. The following strategies are key in fostering emotional literacy in young children:

Express Your Own Feelings. One way to help children learn to label their emotions is to have healthy emotional expression modeled for them by the adults in their lives. For example, a teacher who knocked over all the glitter can say, “Oh boy, is that frustrating. Oh well, I’d better take a deep breath and figure out how to clean it up.” Or a parent who just got word that she got a promotion at work can say, “Wow! I am so excited about this! I feel proud of myself for working so hard.” Parents, teachers, and child care providers can make a point to talk out loud about their feelings as they experience them throughout the day.

Label Children’s Feelings. As adults provide feeling names for children’s emotional expressions, a child’s feeling vocabulary grows. Throughout the day, adults can attend to children’s emotional moments and label feelings for the children. For example, as a child runs for a swing, another child reaches it and gets on. The first child begins to frown. The teacher approaches her and says, “You look a little disappointed about that swing.” Or a boy’s grandmother surprises him by picking him up at child care. The boy screams, “Grandma!” and runs up to hug her. The child care provider says, “Oh boy, you look so happy and surprised that your grandma is here!” As children’s feeling vocabulary develops, their ability to correctly identify feelings in themselves and others also progresses.

Play Games, Sing Songs, and Read Stories with New Feeling Words. Adults can enhance children’s feeling vocabularies by introducing games, songs, and storybooks featuring new feeling words. Teachers and other caregivers can adapt songs such as “If you’re happy and you know it” with verses such as “If you’re frustrated and you know it, take a breath”; “If you’re disappointed and you know it, tell a friend”; or “If you’re proud and you know it, say ‘I did it!’” The following are some examples of games young children can play.

• Adults can cut out pictures that represent various feeling faces and place them in a container that is passed around the circle as music plays. When the music stops, the child holding the container can select a picture designating an emotion and identify it, show how they look when they feel that way, or describe a time when he or she felt that way. To extend this fun activity, give the children handheld mirrors that they can use to look at their own feeling faces.

• Children can look through magazines to find various feeling faces. They can cut them out and make a feeling face collage. Adults can help the children label the different feeling faces.

• Children and adults can play “feeling face charades” by freezing a certain emotional expression and then letting others guess what the feeling is. To extend this activity, ask the children to think of a time that they felt that way.

• In the mornings, have children “check in” by selecting a feeling face that best represents their morning mood. At the end of the day, have children select again, and then talk about why their feeling changed or stayed the same.

• Finally, the teacher can put feeling face pictures around the room. Children can be given child-size magnifying glasses and told to walk around looking for different feeling faces. When they find one, they can label it and tell about a time they felt that way. With a little creativity, teachers and other caregivers can play, adapt, or develop new games, songs, and stories to teach feeling words.  Source

Active Listening has some good ideas for promoting good communication.

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Active Listening

The most common problem in communication is not listening! A Chinese symbol for “To Listen” is shown below.  It is wise beyond the art. The left side of the symbol represents an ear. The right side represents the individual- you. The eyes and undivided attention are next and finally there is the heart.

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This symbol tells us that to listen we must use both ears, watch and maintain eye contact, give undivided attention, and finally be empathetic.  In other words we must engage in active listening!

Active listening is a skill taught to teachers and police officers, counselors, ministers, rabbis and priests. It is a skill we would all do better having learned, practiced. To begin being an active listener we must first understand the four rules of active listening.

The Four Rules of Active Listening

1. Seek to understand before you seek to be understood.

2. Be non judgmental

3. Give your undivided attention to the speaker

4. Use silence effectively

Let’s explore the rules of active listening.

1. Seek to understand before seeking to be understood. When we seek to understand rather than be understood, our modus operandi will be to listen. Often, when we enter into conversation, our goal is to be better understood. We can be better understood, if first we better understand. With age, maturity, and experience comes silence. It is most often a wise person who says little or nothing at the beginning of a conversation or listening experience. We need to remember to collect information before we disseminate it. We need to know it before we say it.
2. Be non judgmental. Empathetic listening demonstrates a high degree of emotional intelligence. There is a reason kids do not usually speak with adults about drugs, sex, and rock and roll. The kids already know what the adults have to say. Once a child knows your judgment, there is little reason to ask the question unless the intention is to argue. If we would speak to anyone about issues important to them, we need to avoid sharing our judgment until we have learned their judgment. This empathetic behavior is an indicator of emotional intelligence as described in Chapter 3.
  1. Give your undivided attention to the speaker.The Chinese symbol that we used to describe listening used the eyes and undivided attention. Absolutely important is dedicating your undivided attention to the speaker if you are to succeed as an active listener. Eye contact is less important. In most listening situations people use eye contact to affirm listening. The speaker maintains eye contact to be sure the listener or listeners are paying attention. From their body language the speaker can tell if he is speaking too softly or loudly, too quickly or slowly, or if the vocabulary or the language is inappropriate. Listeners can also send messages to speakers using body language. Applause is the reason many performers perform. Positive feedback is an endorphin releaser for the giver and the sender. Eye contact can be a form of positive feedback. BUT, eye contact can also be a form of aggression, of trying to show dominance, of forcing submissive behavior. All primates use eye contact to varying degrees. We should be careful how we use it when listening. If we want to provide undivided attention to a child, a better way to show your attention is to do a “walk and talk”.
  2. Use silence effectively.The final rule for active or empathic listening is to effectively use silence. To often a truly revealing moment is never brought to fruition because of an untimely interruption. Some of the finest police interrogators, counselors, teachers and parents learn more by maintaining silence than by asking questions. As an active or empathic listener, silence is a very valuable tool. DO NOT interrupt unless absolutely necessary. Silence can be painful. It is more painful for a speaker than for a listener. If someone is speaking, and we want them to continue talking, we do not interrupt. Rather, we do provide positive feedback using body language, eye contact, and non word sounds like “umh, huh”. Silence is indeed golden especially when used to gather information as a listener. Source