Can't We All Just Get Along?

Sunday, February 8, 2015
We have had quite the few weeks in 2nd grade. Telling each other to 'shut up', hitting each other and wrestling at every transition time. This has been quite the shock for me. Coming from 4th grade we pretty much got it when your teacher said 'stop'. I did some serious thinking and put together some lessons for my dear friends. 

I'm lucky to have 20 minutes each day for Class Meeting, this time is spent teaching those social/emotion lessons and our Leader In Me lessons. 

I started the week addressing the bad words that kept flying around the classroom. Enough was enough! 

We started by reading I Can't Believe you SAID that! by Julia Cook [purchase your copy here].
This lady gets it! Her books are exactly what you need to keep your kids engaged, laughing, and learning valuable lessons. 

In this story Cook teaches the importance of your 'Thinking Bubble' and your 'Talking Bubble'. We spent a lot of time talking about what types of things STAY inside your 'Thinking Bubble'.

Once we established what things STAY inside our 'Thinking Bubble' we needed to address the flat out bad words that were floating around the room. When I pulled this book out the kids all gasped in horror! They all thought I, their teacher, was going to say....a...BAD WORD, at school! 

Elbert's Bad Word by Audrey Wood [purchase your copy here] is a great book to address the idea of replacement words. 

Next, it was time for the Toothpaste Lesson. OH, the fun of the Toothpaste Lesson! You may have seen this one floating around on Pinterest. The concept is simple - squirt a bunch of toothpaste out of tube and then ask a student to put it all back. Being the brilliant educator you are, you realize that this is virtually impossible. The point is to emphasize that the toothpaste represents our words. Once they come out, they're out for good! Yes, you can sorry, but you can't clean up the mess right away. Words hurt! 

My Tweeter of the Day posted this one for us. 

Once we had squeezed all the toothpaste out and tried putting it back we took some time to reflect. 


Next we made a list of expectations - what is okay for school and what is okay ANYWHERE else.

We had a very long discussion about the 'anywhere else' category. Some students were allowed to do these things outside of school and some weren't. That is why we talked extensively about following school expectations all of the time and leaving that other stuff outside of the classroom. 

Finally, to end on a positive, we talked about Bucket Fillers. 

This book, How Full is Your Bucket? is great! [purchase your copy here] I love this book because it discusses how you feel when your bucket is low. Which the kids connected back to the bad behavior. Some even said that when they've been picked on or left out they really don't care about getting 'into trouble'. This lead into a great conversation! 

We had a lot of fun brainstorming different ways to fill each others buckets. 

After 2 weeks of behavior lessons I'm confident that I will see changes in my students over the 2nd half of our year. 

Do you see these same behaviors in your room? How do you handle them? 
I can't wait to hear from you! 

2 comments

  1. Thank you so much for posting what a REAL classroom looks like! Sometimes I read blogs and think....really? Their classes look perfect and they have the perfect lesson and everything LOOKS like it went as planned. How refreshing to see that it doesn't always look like that! Thanks...and update and tell us if things are improving!

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    1. Thanks so much for your sweet feedback. I will say my classroom isn't the perfect classroom you might come across on Pinterest. We have strong behaviors, I get frustrated, the kids get frustrated, but it's okay! That's all part of the gig :)

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