Classroom Meetings in Early Childhood (Ages 3-5) “You have to reach the heart before you can reach the head.” Positive Discipline in the Classroom, Nelson, Ed.D., Lott, M.A., and Glenn, Ph.D. 2000 Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, Nelson, Ed.D. AGENDA Philosophy Behind Positive Discipline Classroom Meetings 8 Building Blocks The Agenda/Format LUNCH BREAK Model a Classroom Meeting Common Concerns and Tips What is Unique about Positive Discipline Classroom Meetings? Adlerian Psychology – Humans are inherently social beings Goal– To teach children early in life to effectively solve social problems through collaboration with their peers. Model – Students decide topics, total class involvement, specified format, valuable life skills are taught Primary Needs 1. Perception of Significance in Primary Relationships = Acceptance 2. Perception of Personal Capabilities = Competency 3. Perception of Power to Influence One’s Own Life = Autonomy When a child does not feel he or she can belong in a positive way, they may resort to misbehavior in order to fullfill the need to belong. - Positive Discipline in the Classroom, Nelson, Ed.D., Lott, M.A., and Glenn, Ph.D. 2000 “A Misbehaving Child is a Discouraged Child” – Rudolf Dreikurs The Four Goals of Misbehavior Undue Attention Misguided Power Revenge Assumed Inadequacy Group Activity What Do You Really Want for Your Students? Question: “What characteristics and skills do you think children need in order to be happy, contributing (successful) members of society?” Write your list of characterisitics/skills to share Classroom Meetings Empower Students : The Significant Seven 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. “I am capable” “I contribute in meaningful ways, and I am genuinely needed” “I use my personal power to make choices that influence what happens to me and my community” “I have self-discipline and self-control” “I can work respectfully with others” “I understand how my behavior affects others” My judgment skills and wisdom are improving through daily practice” Classroom Meetings Teach Social Skills Listening Taking turns Hearing different points of view Negotiating Communicating Helping one another Taking responsibility for one’s own behavior Classroom Meetings Strengthen Academic Skills Oral skills Attentiveness Critical-thinking skills Decision-making skills Problem-solving skills Democratic procedures Introducing Class Meetings “No problem is too difficult once it is recognized as a common task.” – Rudolf Dreikurs Key Ingredients: 1. Regularly held meetings 2. Student-generated topics 3. The TOTAL class is involved. 4. Circle format that creates the kind of order that allows more freedom for everyone involved. The Eight Building Blocks for Effective Class Meetings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Form a Circle Practice Compliments and Appreciations Create an Agenda Develop Communication Skills Learn About Separate Realities Recognize the Four Reasons People Do What They Do 7. Practice Brainstorming 8. Focus on Solutions vs. Punishments Building Blocks 2-8 #2 – Practice compliments and appreciations #3 – Create an agenda for the class #4 – Listening Skills, Taking Turns, “I” Statements #5 – Learning about Separate Realities #6 – Why People Do What They Do, Deal with the Belief Behind the Behavior #7 – Practice Brainstorming #8 – Focus on Solutions vs. Consequences, Wheel of Choice or other Problem Solving Cards Group Activity Read more about your assigned building block in your guide. Discuss ways to teach this concept to your classroom. Design a lesson about this building block to share with the whole class. You may do a mock lesson or create a list of tips/ideas….. Building Block Three: Create an Agenda Must focus on the problem that affects the group NOT the person (ie: the swings vs. Joe won’t share the swings) Students and teachers can write what they want to discuss at next meeting. Use the wall or notebook - teacher assists student in writing topic and name (ie: SWINGS – Sally) or with a picture The only items discussed are those on the agenda BEFORE the meeting. Teach the 8 Building Blocks before moving on to problem-solving. Agenda Put a problem / concern you have regarding classroom meetings on our agenda to discuss at our classroom meeting after the break. LUNCH BREAK! Building Block One : Form a Circle Activity: Form a Circle Objective: To create a democratic atmosphere of mutual respect in which everyone has equal rights to speak and be heard. Class-Meeting Format 1. Compliments and appreciations 2. Agenda Items - Solve problems that affect group 3. Follow up on prior solutions 4. Future plans (field trips, projects, etc.) Common Concerns & Tips Timing – attention span, mood Regularly held – 1x day or 1x week Use special signals Use “TALKING STICK” Building Blocks FIRST Hardest part = Letting go of the need to direct the proceedings Re-read Positive Discipline Be Kind & Firm! Reflective Listening – Open Ended Questions Give it at least one month Takes time to come up with solutions Write your concerns in the agenda Discussion must focus on ACTION not PERSON Trust the process……. Six Criteria for Successful Class Meetings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Have class meetings regularly! (In elementary years esp.) Teach the building blocks FIRST and re-teach as needed! Focus on solutions instead of consequences. Pass an item around the circle (talking stick”, stuffed animal, etc.) Use the class meeting format to address problems that arise during the meeting. Allow time for training while teachers and students learn the class-meeting process. Trust the process and use the mistakes as opportunities to learn!!!