In order for students to be able to learn to their full potential, they first need to be taught “How to Act”. This goes from how to sit on the rug, learning self-control, how to listen when someone is talking, how to speak at appropriate times, how to be a good friend, etc. During the month of September, we work hard on “Coaching for Discipline.” To help students learn appropriate and positive social behaviors we have introduced two characters: Maxwell, the Merry Moose and Robert, the Rascally Raccoon. Along with our “How I Act” chart and our colored cards, we use Max and Rob to act out situations the children may encounter at preschool (and in life) and how to act on them.
This school year, in Sandy and Mandy’s class, we will be using the HOW I ACT chart. Each letter stands for a behavior we would like the students to steer clear from. The behaviors are as follows: H-Hulabaloo; a loud noise, or commotion, O-Out of Order; talking when others are talking, or at inappropriate times, W-Whining; not talking in a big kid voice, I-Intential disobedience; deliberately disobeying, A-Attitude; having a good one, C-Clowning around, and T-touching (each other) and throwing (wood chips, toys, books, etc.) .
This week the students viewed how Maxwell, the Merry Moose walked with slow steps, a controlled body, and no sound to the rainbow rug and sat down like a pretzel. (criss-cross applesauce) The students also viewed Robert, the Rascally Raccoon run, yell, scream, bump into people, jump in a bean bag, knock over books, and cause a big ruckus and commotion (Hulabaloo) when dismissed from the snack table to the rainbow rug. We then compared and contrasted the behavior, and discussed which behavior was appropriate school behavior.
Next, we talked about choices and that the choices we make have a consequence. It could be a positive consequence, like a stamp at the end of the day, or a negative consequence, like time in the thinking chair. We also looked at our How I Act chart that has every student’s name in it with 4 color cards: Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red. This is how the color card system works: If a child is talking when they are not supposed to be, Mandy or I will remind them not to talk. If they keep doing it, their choice has a consequence, and they have to go “pull a card”. Yellow is a reminder card. Orange is no stamp, but still a hug. Red is no stamp, and time in the thinking chair to think more about their behavior choices. Everyday is a fresh start on green.
During “D” week, we will be reading the book by David Shannon, called “No, David”. We will talk about the choices David made and the consequences of them. We will also discuss how even though David made some bad decisions, his mom still loved him, but not his behavior. We applied this to our classroom and explained to the students that we would still love them even though they may make a bad behavior choice. Throughout the school day, we will be reminding students to act like Max the Moose and not like that rascally raccoon, Robert. We’re hoping for a lot of Merry Moose like behavior this school year!