Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Please use your words and solve your own problem...

How many times have you suggested this to the kindergarten students in your class? I have children that would sit  and never let me know that they needed a pencil. I hate when children suffer quietly or at the beginning of the year sob over a problem because they do not have the words to express their needs. How do you deal with this in your room? My friend Alma suggested to me that they need "powerful words" that would enable them to solve their own problems so you do not have to constantly deal with small classroom issues during instructional time. We all know how those "little" issues can consume your day and destroy your patience. Am I the only one who is worn out by: "He's being mean to me.", He's walking up the slide.:, or "They won't let me play ." The list goes on forever. These are some of the cards I created for our teachers to use in the classroom to help our little ones learn to express themselves and treat each other respectfully. This next card was Belinda's idea (my go to person for great kinder ideas) and I L*O*V*E her suggestion: 

You have to hear a five year old saying this to another child. It sounds hilarious. Some of the teachers told me they wanted to use these cards and make a big book about manners. I have other cards but here are some of my favorites. What do you use at the beginning of the year? 


Heather's Heart said...

These are great!

As part of Conscious Discipline, we talk about using your BIG VOICE (There is even a Shubert book to go along with this skill). My kiddos become experts about letting someone know when they don't like something. We also make lots of anchor charts for this. They really learn to solve most of their problems without me.

CD has also taught me to notice instead of judge (no more I like the way _____ is _____). My kiddos pick up on this and will notice each other. For example, I notice you aren't working, is there something I can do to help you get started?

Many of the jobs in Our School Family like the Cheerleader and the Kindness Recorder help with so many of the problems while teaching them to be problem solvers who are encouraging and helpful. Plus, it is one of the cutest and sweetest things I have ever seen! =)

Heather's Heart

Cindy said...

Fran, I love these! One way we use to establish a caring culture in my room is by making a few simple rules:
"We don't say or do anything to hurt anyone on the inside or o"
"We choose to have a tidy room"
"When it's time to work, we work" (my kids always add...When it's time to play, we play). ;-)
As you know, much of what we do in Kindergarten blurs the lines between "work" and "play" ;-)
There's more...but this came to mind first! ;-)

Mrs. Ann Greene said...

This is a great idea, Fran and you are so right. Sometimes our little ones come to school and have no idea how to verbalize what they are feeling. Or, sometimes they say unkind words because they may only hear negative comments at home.

At the beginning of the year, we spend the first three weeks discussing rules and manners. One of the activities that I do involves charting positive comments vs. negative comments. Doing this activity seems to help and it does give them the words to say when they are having a problem. I keep this chart up all year near my classroom management chart and rules and refer to it as needed.

Thanks for sharing.

Ann :)

debbie said...

These are brilliant. These cards put children back in the driver's seat and help them learn to develop lifelong friendship skills with their peers. Great visual reminders!

Anita, IL said...

I really discuss class rules and teach routine the first few weeks of school. We also use a year round program called 2nd step that presents a scenario, discusses/brainstorms what they should do, and then they act it out and give feedback.

LOVE your charts! What a great way to empower the kids!

Fran Kramer said...

Thank you for all these great comments. I think this is such an important topic. As our numbers grow classroom management is crucial. I think kindergarten teachers set the tone for the future!

Jill said...

I love these. I was used to a wonderful kindergarten teacher who took care of these problems. Then I changed schools and was stunned by kiddos who stood be ause a chair wasn't right there or the lead broke on a pencil and there were more right on the table, but they didn't reach for one. I have the solve your own problem/use common sense lesson the first day and every day for a week. I was always practical as a child so it was an eye opener to see such helpless little ones.

Ziggyfriends said...

Fran, I love all of the great ideas that you post on your blog. Are these powerful word cards available? We talk about this and use 2nd steps at the beginning of the year, but I really like these as an anchor for reference as they grow and develop their social skills. Plus, they're really cute! I also really have enjoyed Heather's discussions of CD.

Vickie said...

Love these!! We spend a lot of time talking about solving our own problems, so these are great! I also can not take it to hear the sobs and cries because the pencil broke, the glue won't work, etc. It's amazing how many kids come to school and have never really been talked to before.
Mrs. Plant's Press

Miss Trayers said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I have to be better at giving them the tools they need to solve their own problems.


Terry said...

Hi Fran,
Where could I get a set of your cards? TpT? I want to teacher next door to you. I am learning so much from you. I have a wish list a mile long of your materials and ideas.

rooneyhunt said...

These are fantastic. I am forever asking "Did you use your words to solve your problem?" , when my kinder friends come to me with a complaint. I especially love the last card! :) Will you put this packet for sale? I would love to incorporate them in my class next year!
~ Amy

Heidi Butkus said...

I LOVE this! Thanks so much for posting it.
Heidi Butkus

Sara said...

I would LOVE to use these at the beginning of the year! PLEASE make them available for us! They would go great in our PBIS lessons!

Fran Kramer said...

I will make these available soon.Thank you for all the great suggestions. You guys are so smart.

EmBellish said...

Love these! These terms are SO classic in my classroom.
Student: "Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Bell! (because of course one time is not enough) _________ cut in front of me in line."
Me: "Did you ask them to stop?"
Student: "Well, no."
Me: "Go use your words."
Student: "okay" with a sigh.

Hahaha, I just loved this post because it made me reminiscent of SO many times this scenario (or one like it) occurs in the primary school classroom. Absolutely Classic.

Tangled with Teaching

Greg said...

This is great. I teach at an inner city school and language is a huge issue for us. We work hard all year to get our students to use their words. Sadly, many of our students aren't engaged in conversations at home so their language is delayed. These will be a great help for my students. THANK YOU!!!

Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten

t. ulch said...

Can't wait for you to make these available! They are great!

Kindergarten Myles said...

I think the pictures are key. We'd role played and discussed but I still had a lot of students interrupting groups just to verify that they knew what to do next. One day, I drew rather badly on the big white board by my reading table. The kids were intrigued so we discussed again. A few days later, I heard "it says it right there. Ask a friend for help. I can help you". Looking at your cards, a light bulb went off that drawing and posting more behaviors may just be the reminder they need.

Thomas said...

One of my sweet friends (often being the one wasting our learning time), would ask me the same question over and over all the time. He either didn't listen to the answer or kept asking because he wanted a different answer. One day, I chose to ignore his same question. He stood beside me for a long while and then said, "Mrs. Thomas, you are wasting my time!" I laughed out loud!
Love the posters you made!

teacher1903 said...

Thank you so much for sharing! This is a wonderful visual reminder!!!

Dana said...

I Love these cards! Are they available to purchase?

Dana said...

I Love these cards! Are they available to purchase?

Fran Kramer said...

This is on my list for the summer!