Monday, October 8, 2012

Resolving Conflict

This week we'll be focusing on strategies to resolve conflict.  We'll start by defining conflict and reading the story, The Zax, by Dr. Seuss.  In this story there is a north-going Zax and south-going Zax that reguse to go in any direction other than their assigned directions.  These stubborn characters cannot resolve their issue and the world goes on (even building a highway around them) as they stand their ground.  Students easily see that this is not the best way to resolve the conflict.

We then dive into a discussion of examples of small problems vs. big problems that students encounter at school.  Examples of small problems might include: someone making noises when you're trying to work, saving a swing for someone, not sharing, teasing about your appearance, calling you names, etc.  Examples of big problems might include: sneaking off school grounds, writing on the walls, throwing rocks at another child, stealing from a teacher's desk, etc.  Small problems might happen when an adult is not around, which is why we need strategies to help us solve these on our own first.  Students will sort these into two piles.

Students will then be introduced to Kelso and his choices wheel:

We will discuss, model, and role-play different choices to resolve conflict.  Students will be expected to try two of these before going to an adult for help.  Each classroom K-3 will receive a poster to hang in their room for teachers to refer to when conflict arises.  In Kinder and 1st grade, students will receive a coloring book of the different strategies.  In 2nd and 3rd grade, students will create a wheel using paper plates to help them pick choices when resolving conflict.  In 4th grade and up, students will create fortune tellers that they can use when a conflict occurs.

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