Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Passing the Positive

I was reading about this idea over on Simply Kinder and immediately knew I wanted to implement it and what the special item was that would be passed around!  A few years ago, my mom bought me a little owl carved out of stone that sits on my desk.  I think he's so cute!  And I knew that the kids would enjoy having him perched on their desks, too. 

So today, I brought up the idea of Passing the Positive during our morning meeting.  We talked about how I would start by giving the owl to someone I saw displaying positive behavior, but how the student who has it should pass to another child if they see him/her doing the right thing.

I was so impressed with how well this works!  The kids really want to get the owl, but even more importantly than that, the kid who has the owl really wants to find someone else to celebrate!  This builds great peer support in the classroom. 

The child who happens to have the owl on his/her desk at the end of the day gets the prize box!  It will change each day, and we talked about how you can't "hoard the positive" and not pass it because you want the prize box.

Sophia said, "I think we should call it 'Passing to the Positive' instead of 'Passing the Positive' because we are passing it to the person we see being positive."  So precious.  We talked about how it could be accurate either way: we are passing the good feelings as we pass the owl to someone else, so that's passing the positive, but we're also passing to the positive by passing it to someone who's doing the right thing.

The owl can't leave the room (we don't want to lose him in the trash at lunch or get him germy in the bathroom), but I am going to start a similar reward system at lunch with a light-up tea light.  Someone was talking the other day about how those displaying good behavior in the cafeteria could "let their light shine" so everyone knew they were doing a good job.  Basically, one student will be chosen each day for good behavior at lunch and get to have the tea light in front of them as they eat.

I just love positive behavior incentives!

I was working with a student today on pointing with one-to-one.  His concept of word seems to be hit and miss - he's able to point to poems and he's able to isolate a word in the text when you ask him to find a certain word.  But he definitely gets confused the more words there are on the page.  Sometimes he gives up and just makes up entire sentences.  We've tried the dots under each word to press as you go, and we've tried cut-apart sentences, but the thing that's been working the best is using unifix cubes (or any concrete material) to move as he says each word.

You just have to keep working with students until you find something that clicks for each individual child!  Teaching is never a one-size-fits-all job.

And since the kids had something to pass the positive today, check out what my sister sent me for my birthday!  She's living in Korea right now, and she knows how much I love Asian stationary after visiting Japan and spending way too much in their stationary stores...

Tell me how you cannot use these things and smile every time you see them?!

The adorable emoji binder clips and post-its! The fancy Kate Spade gold owl push pins!  The gold paper clips!  I forgot to grab a picture of the little owl and chick stickers which are just too cute! 

She definitely passed me the positive. What a teacher nerd. :) 


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