Our kids need tools! I don’t mean the hammer, drill and screwdriver kind. Those might be helpful someday but right now out little ones need things they can use to help them get trough the day.
We started something new this year in my guidance classes, we are starting each one with a tool. We take 1-3 minutes to teach a tool and I will reteach the same one for 2-4 classes in a row. I want to make sure they really got it. The awesome part is when I started the kids thought I was crazy. They said there is no way they have tool boxes in their heads, but they are slowly coming around.
I think it helps that I am using visuals. I have symbols or pictures for each tool. When we learn a tool we put the picture in the toolbox. When we review a tool we take the picture out of the toolbox, reteach the tool and put the picture back in the box.
The tools we are using:
Conscious Discipline– Balloon, Pretzel, Drain, Star (This is a great printable PDF)
This is one of the easiest tools to teach in 3-5 minutes. Once they know each of the tools you can pick a student to come to the front and lead the class in one tools for the next couple of classes.
Count to 10 – Have students use their fingers to count to 10
Deep Breaths – (Practice taking a deep breath in through your nose out through your mouth)
Push Down/Pull Up – Have students sit in chairs with their feet flat on the floor. Ask them to push down on their chair until they lift their bottoms off their chairs. The idea is to push their anger out through their chair.
I Statements – We do a full lesson on this and then one or two students practice with a problem at the start of a few classes.
Stretching – Easy Yoga Moves – pick a few stretches, have the class stand up and do them … they could do it at the beginning, middle or end of class. It really helps if they need to get their wiggles out.
Big Problems/Little Problems – Have a bowl full of example problems and have a student fish one or two out of the bowl… ask the class if they are big problems or little problems.
Yes, these all take 5-7 mins way from the beginning of your lesson, but they also help to make sure your lessons are not hit and runs. That the knowledge, skills and abilities you are trying to teach stay with your students. So that they become things your student use to help them in their day.