Thursday, September 20th, 2012
Special Services Conference Room
Across the country, students are returning from summer break to our classrooms. Over the next several weeks, as you and your students get to know each other, you will be teaching them classroom and school-wide expectations. Plan for a positive start to the year by showing kids how and why to follow expectations, and acknowledge them often for doing so. Here’s a quote you might reflect on or share with your students this week to set a positive tone:
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”
PBIS Tip: Start off the new school year on a positive note! Make a point this week to encourage your students early on for following expectations. This is a crucial time as you set the expectations and routines in your setting for the school year. And your students are a captive audience this first week. Use their interest to everyone’s advantage by being explicit about expectations and classroom agreements. During this time, remember the foundation of PBIS: focus on the positive. Shower students with positive recognition for lining up quietly, getting to class on time, raising their hands when they have a question, and following classroom-specific procedures. Students of all ages will benefit from hearing positive feedback. Plan to start the year by showing kids how to do the things you expect, and acknowledge them often for doing so. You’ll all end the week feeling successful.
Courtesy of Danielle Triplett, PBIS Coordinator
Gresham-Barlow School District
Batman. Wonder Woman. Captain America. When we think of superheroes, these characters likely come to mind. But being a hero takes more than a cape and super-human strength. As author Joseph Campbell wrote, “a hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” Every teacher, counselor, educational assistant, and principal is by this definition a hero. We can inspire our students to be heroes every day, too.
Michael Stephens, a 4th and 5th grade teacher at Powell Valley Elementary School, understands this. He wanted an engaging and authentic writing project for his students. At the same time, his class had been assigned to teach the life skill of responsibility to the student body. He had a brilliant idea, and decided to pitch it to his students: write a script and create a film with various superheroes led by Captain Responsibility. His students couldn’t have been more excited. They spent the next several weeks auditioning for roles, writing the script, and filming. The heroes–Captain Responsibility, the Friendship Twins, Private Problem Solver, Curiosity Man, Ms. Pride, and the rest of the Justice League of Life Skills–even made appearances around the building on occasion, much to the thrill of many star-struck kindergarteners.
“The kids realized they were part of something bigger than this class,” Mr. Stephens explained. “They had a huge audience, and they had more enthusiasm and buy in for this project than anything we’ve done all year.” The final movie was shown to all students at a recent assembly, and proved to be not only entertaining but engaging for students. By featuring real students who taught one another about doing “the right thing,” Mr. Stephens’ students were empowered as role models for their peers.
PBIS Tip: Take a moment to celebrate your heroic efforts. You’ve dedicated your life to something bigger: teaching young people. We teach more than academic subjects; we also teach our students life skills that we hope will stay with them through adulthood. Like superheroes, we sometimes swoop in and help point kids in the right direction. We have many tools to encourage our students to make appropriate choices. Our work allows us to inspire heroic acts through modeling, positive reinforcement, and engaging activities that bring learning to life.
Courtesy of Danielle Triplett, PBIS Coordinator Gresham-Barlow School District
Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
10:00am – 11:30am
special services conference room
With myriad distractions in our busy world, sometimes it’s worth reflecting on why we are teachers. I wanted to be a teacher since my sister, three years younger than me, was born. From the start, teaching emerged as a natural skill and passion. In my current role, I do not teach kids, but adults instead, which generally proves to be equally challenging!
Jaime O’Neill, a retired master teacher who has published four books and appeared on “60 Minutes”, offers up the following reminder for educators:
“You didn’t choose this profession; it chose you. It picked you when you were a student, selected you because getting rich wasn’t your highest priority, because you were absorbed by the subject you teach, because you had a teacher who made you want to be a teacher–one who stirred your interests, fired your passion to learn, and helped you find your way.
Now you want to help your students find their way. You can’t get enough of doing that. You won’t get enough of doing that, not this year, not next year, because there is never enough of helping students if you’re a teacher.”
PBIS Tip: This week, take a moment to remind yourself of the wonderful work you do and the students who need your help finding their way. To be an educator is to be a role model, mentor, information provider, event planner, care giver, and more. (I’ve even had a student mistakenly call me “mom” once!) It is a calling that allows us the privilege of helping students learn and grow, challenging as that may be.
Courtesy of Danielle Triplett, PBIS Coordinator for Gresham-Barlow School District
Thursday, April 5th
10:00am – 11:30am
Student Services Conference Room
Welcome back! After a hopefully enjoyable and relaxing spring break, now is the time to review and reteach your students the expectations in your classroom. However, at this point in the school year, your students have likely heard the rules over and over. Since April is National Poetry Month, consider celebrating by integrating poetry into your behavior instruction as a rule refresher for you and your students.
In Robert Marzano’s Classroom Management that Works, he shares a poem written by Ms. Sweeney, a 9th grade English teacher. She wanted to integrate poetry, a major unit of study in her curriculum, with her behavior expectations:
Bring your paper, pencils, books,
Unless you want my dirty looks.
Class will start–I know I’m pushy–
When in your seat, I see your “tushy.”
You need to know that it’s expected
That you respect and fell respected.
Watch your words and be polite,
Avoid aggression, please don’t bite.
Sometimes you’ll sit, sometimes you’ll walk,
Sometimes you’ll listen, sometimes you’ll talk.
Please do each of these on cue.
Listen to me, I’ll listen to you.
These rules exist so we can learn.
Obey them and rewards you’ll earn.
I also feel compelled to mention,
Breaking rules will mean detention.
If the rules seem strict and terse,
Please make suggestions, but only in verse.
This created a lighthearted feeling in the room as she went over each verse with them, and expanded on the meaning of the rules. When she posted the poem on the bulletin board in the front of the room, she was convinced that the students’ feelings about the rules were more positive than she had seen in the past, when she had simply posted a sterile list of rules.
PBIS Tip: Consider ways to use poetry to teach and remind your students about the behavior expectations in your class. Maybe your students could be assigned individually or in small groups to write a poem that reviews the school-wide expectations, or a specific routine or location in the building. Be it acrostic or haiku, limerick or sonnet, poems provide great opportunities for kids to connect to school expectations in a fun and engaging way!
Courtesy of : Danielle Triplett, PBIS Coordinator
Gresham-Barlow School District
Reflecting on Valentines Day yesterday, a day that celebrates friendship and love, it seems only appropriate to think about the relationships we build with our students. With a growing number of students in our classrooms, there is an even greater need for each student to have a connection with a caring adult in the building. In their book Comprehensive Classroom Management: Creating Communities of Support and Solving Problems, Vern Jones and Louise Jones offer the following in support of the value of relationships:
“Based on their meta-analysis of more than 100 studies, Marzano, Marzano, and Pickering (2003) reported that positive teacher-student relationships were the foundation of effective classroom management and that these positive relationships could reduce behavior problems by 31 percent.”
PBIS Tip : There are likely students who you connect with easily and naturally. There are also kids with whom it takes some effort. Cory Dunn describes it this way: “We have a group of children coming to school every day who are alienated from the adult community. What we are after with these kids is to let them know they are heard, listened to, and cared about.” Cory suggests an informal way to build relationships with students he calls 3 x 3. The idea is to pick one student–someone who could benefit from a positive connection to an adult at school–and make a commitment to talk to him for 3 minutes, 3 times a week. These times are just a guideline; the idea is to spend a small amount of time a few times each week casually checking in with that student. Show an interest in his life. “Did you watch the game on Saturday?” Call home if he’s absent. “Feeling better yet?” By doing a few small things that send an intentionally inviting message, you will be helping one more student feel connected to school and important in someone’s life.
PBIS TIP by Danielle Triplett, PBIS Coordinator for Gresham-Barlow SD
January is named after the Roman god Janus, who had the ability to turn one face at the past and another at the future. As you and your colleagues look ahead to 2012, it likely feels that there is too much to do in too little time. For some teachers, reviewing behavior expectations may feel like “one more thing” that is not needed. However, without a safe and supportive learning environment where expected behaviors are taught and rewarded, teaching kids academic content often proves to be more challenging and less effective.
As Geoff Colvin suggests in his book 7 Steps for Developing a Proactive Schoolwide Discipline Plan, teaching expected behaviors directly to all students is critical:
“At the heart of a proactive schoolwide discipline plan is the notion that expected behavior needs to be taught. Simply put, if you want good behavior, you have to teach it. In this model, the way to teach expected behavior is the same as the methods used to teach any skill, whether it is academics, sports, or music. The basic assumption is that desirable behavior has to be learned, which implies that it has to be taught.”
PBIS Tip of the Week: Since it follows a long break from school, and falls mid-way through the school year, January presents a natural opportunity for staff to remind students of school-wide expectations. What is your plan to reteach students in your classroom and school expected behaviors? Many schools this year are investing the time into structured lessons throughout various locations of their buildings. Others cover behavior expectations at school assemblies, through videos, or by playing Jeopardy-style games. These can all be effective and engaging ways to teach students about the school rules. Additionally, they serve as reminders to staff of the expectations that apply to them as well. This month, consider carving out the time to teach your students about expected behaviors, and make an effort to recognize them for those behaviors often.
(Tip courtesy of Danielle Triplett, PBIS Coordinator for Gresham-Barlow SD)
Feb 29-Mar 2 is the 10th annual NorthWest PBIS Conference in Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA @ Jantzen Beach Red Lion Hotel
New conference strands will include Equity & Diversity, Behavioral Settings, Families & Community, Autism & Developmental Disabilities, and Instructional Coaching
Registration Cost – 1 day = $125, 2 days= $200, 3 days=$275
** Note: Prices will increase by $25 after January 16, 2012.
Conference Information and Registration: http://www.nwpbisnetwork.org/