StarTeaching Feature Writer
Mary Ann Graziani is a Michigan Certified Teacher with a Masters Degree in Elementary Education. She is married and has two sons.  She loves to read and write, and enjoys passing on that love to the children that she teaches.   Her philosophy is teaching and entertaining children at the same time.

She has published an educational book for elementary school-aged children using high frequency sight words, and is in the process of publishing an entire set that goes with that book.   She has also written a math tale that teaches customary units of measurement to elementary school-aged children in an entertaining storybook tale.   You can  contact Mary Ann at: mgrazi@wowway.com

Pick up a copy of MaryAnn Graziani's book, Fat Pigs Fly!
Fat Pigs Fly! is a delightful story that will spark the imagination of children. Pigs that can fly? Yes, and one of the flying pigs in this story takes a girl for a ride in the sky. The only problem is when the pig has an itch on his back while they are flying high in the sky. You will see smiles and hear giggles as children read the story and look at the beautiful illustrations on each page.

The best part of this book is that it is written by an Elementary School Teacher who has incorporated 41 of the 220 Basic High Frequency Sight Words into the rhyming story.

Sight words are often the guideposts for comprehension of the entire sentence. Since these words are needed to be recognized instantly, they allow for smooth reading and the building of confidence in reading.

A list of the Sight Words used in this story is provided at the end of the book.


Click HERE for to purchase your copy!
Click Here To See All Of Mary Ann's Weekly Math Problems

Past Articles from Mary Ann:

What is Homelessness?
The Call For Smaller Class Sizes
The Effective Teacher
Problem Solving Worksheet and Guide

 

What is Homelessness?

By Mary Ann Graziani

The word homelessness has different meanings to different people. For this article I will give a social definition, economic definition and a personal definition of homeless people in general and a definition of the homeless child. The Steward B. McKinney Act, 42 U.S.C. 11301 (1994) defines homelessness as a person who “lacks a fixed, regular, adequate night-time residence and has a night-time residency that is: 

1. Supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations. 

2. An institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized. 

3. A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. The term homeless individual does not include any individual imprisoned or otherwise detained pursuant to an Act of Congress or a state law. 

The National Coalition for Homelessness defines Homelessness as not having a place to sleep. Losing all contact with friends and family and uprooting your children from school. It means suffering the frustration and degradation of living hand to mouth, and depending on the generosity of strangers, or the efficiency of a government agency for your survival and for your children’s survival. 

My personal definition is that homeless is the deprivation of a personal place of solitude, comfort, and security to call your own. 

The National Coalition for the Homeless defines a homeless child as one who lacks a regular and adequate nighttime place of abode. Children or youth living in welfare hotels, transitional housing, shelters, the streets, cars, abandoned buildings, and other inadequate accommodations are considered homeless. For this paper I will use this last definition to study the impact of homelessness on a child or youth and education. 

My reflection on Homelessness 

The faces of the homeless people are a reflection of the problems of our nation. Thousands of Americans are eating out of trashcans and living on the streets. I see them on the street corner or rummaging through a trash bin looking for food and I cannot help but stare. I stare out of a combination of curiosity and compassion. The simple basic necessities of life that most of us take for granted, these people do not have. Being homeless is more than not having a home; it is the absence of security, dignity, and a place to put things that are a connection to the past. It is relying on strangers and government for survival and having no sense of stability and family roots. 

There is a real person behind the empty face with empty life. They have a past life behind them and hopefully a better future ahead of them. That hopeful future for the homeless can happen if we start with the homeless children. By creating opportunities for them to have options in their lives to choose from besides homelessness and hopelessness. Their parents have had to choose between limited, mostly unattractive alternatives that usually don’t do much to improve their lives. These limited options are what keep people trapped on the streets, frustrated, in crisis, trying to beat the odds. Sometimes after all the options seem exhausted, people just stop trying. If we give the children of these homeless adults an opportunity to achieve an education, they will have options to choose from and have hope to end the endless cycle of homelessness. 

The Purpose of this Article 

In this article I will focus on education and the homeless child and youth. It will examine the statistics of homeless children and youth, the causes of homelessness, the laws that help the homeless children and youth, how homeless children and youth can be educated, and the issues affecting the education of the homeless child and youth. 

This issue has particular importance to me since I am a teacher because it affects me directly in the public school system. With the downturn in the economy, I believe this will be an even larger issue in the future. This paper is intended to educate myself and the reader on this issue so that an educated opinion on the issue can be made based on the facts. I want to understand the issues and facts more thoroughly so that I can do my part as an educator and concerned citizen to help. 

Why are Children Homeless 

Children and youth are homeless due to the circumstances of the adults they are dependent upon. The circumstances behind homelessness could be from many different causes. In the book, “Causes of Homelessness: unemployment and falling wages”, the causes of homelessness are identified as poverty, mental illness, lack of affordable housing, not enough government subsidized housing, eroding work opportunities, low paying jobs, lack of affordable healthcare, family breakdown, lack of education, developmentally disabled, lack of social security benefits, revitalization of cities, decline in public assistance, substance abuse, poor job skills, lack of transportation, hard times, downsizing, unequal wages, natural disaster, fire. (Jaroszewski L. 1996) 

Due to all of these unfortunate circumstances in the lives of their families, children and youth may be left homeless. Some children and youth may be put under the care of the State and be held in an institution because they have no other place to live. Children of migratory families are homeless because they are living in accommodations not fit for habitation. Runaway children and youth may end up homeless because they have to live in runaway shelters, or abandoned buildings. School-age children who are unwed mothers or expectant mothers may have to live in homes for unwed mothers because they have no other living accommodations. Children sometimes are left in hospitals beyond the time they would normally stay for health reasons. These children have been left because their families have abandoned them and they have no other place to live. Throwaway children or youth whose families kick them out of their home may end up living on the streets, homeless shelters, or! inadequate accommodations. 

National Statistics on Homelessness 

A composite picture of homelessness in the U.S. as reported by National Coalition for Homelessness Report (June, 2006): 
• 3.5 million people are homeless with 1.35 million of them children 
• 43% are single men 
• 17% are single women 
• 33% are families with children 
• 42% Children under 5 years old 
• 39% are children under 18 
• 25% people ages 25-39 
• 6% people ages 55-64 
• 49% Africa American 
• 35% Caucasian 
• 13% Hispanic 
• 2% Native American 
• 1% Asian 
• 22% are people with mental illnesses 
• 11% are physically disabled 
• 22% are victims of domestic violence 
• 30% have addiction disorders 
• 40% served in the armed forces 
• 25% are working people. 

The number of children and youth in homeless situations identified by State Department of Education increased from approximately 841,700 in 1997 to 930,200 in 2000. In the year 2000, the Urban Institute estimated that approximately 1.35 million children would experience homelessness by 2001. Since I will teach elementary school age children, I was disturbed to discover that in 2000, the State Department of Education reported that preschool and elementary age children comprise the largest numbers of children experiencing homelessness. 

Educating the Homeless 

Educating the homeless child can be a challenge for the teacher and the school district. Many times a teacher does not even know that a child is homeless. There are signs, however, that a teacher can look for to indicate that a child may be homeless. The signs to look for are chronic hunger and tiredness, erratic attendance and tardiness, poor grooming and personal hygiene, consistent lack of preparation for school with books, supplies, homework, and papers signed, extreme withdrawal, shyness, nervousness, anger, and aggression, and resistant to parting with personal possessions in school. 

With all of these obstacles to creating a stable learning environment for the homeless child or youth, a teacher can still help the homeless child in the classroom. A teacher should always maintain the privacy of the child by discussing situations involving the homelessness away from other classmates. Since the homeless child has no sense of stability, the teacher should take steps to help acclimate the child in the classroom. The teacher can do this by assigning a “buddy” to help the homeless student acclimate. The teacher should locate resources for the child to help them participate in school activities such as field trips and class projects. Giving the child a special job in the classroom can help create some stability. The homeless child will probably have special academic needs due to their living environment. The teacher can arrange for tutoring that can help with these needs and help them to catch up when they miss assignments. 

In addition to the teacher, and most importantly, the school district needs to coordinate an educational plan that includes provisions for students in homeless situations. The district can use funding from the McKinney program and other sources to develop an educational program that does not isolate or stigmatize students who are experiencing homelessness. The program should be based on the educational needs of the student and not their living situations. The district can collaborate with teen pregnancy programs to ensure that pregnant teen or parent can have immediate access to the program. A collaboration with the PTA group can work to enlighten parents of the needs of students in the school who are in homeless situations. The district staff development team can also play an important role in helping homeless students. The team should develop a plan to focus on development activities that will meet the needs of students in homeless situations. 

Obstacles to Educating the Homeless 

There are many obstacles that homeless children and youth face to enrolling and succeeding in school. According to the Planning and Evaluation Service (2002), the biggest barrier for children and youth in homeless situations is transportation to and from school. States and districts often have limited resources to address transportation needs. 

Another obstacle is that homeless students make frequent moves from school to school, which has a negative effect on their academic success. These students have difficulty meeting state or district mandates regarding the number of days they must attend school or stay enrolled. The slow transfer of district records along with the different course requirements from school to school makes it difficult for the students to be promoted or receive a high school diploma. 

To make a bad situation even worse, the homeless student may not be able to participate in federal and state programs due to their transient lifestyle. There is hope, however, for these children to achieve success in school. The hope lies in current legislation to help these homeless students and the cooperation of some states and school districts that have come up with ways to help overcome these obstacles. 

Legislation to Help the Homeless 

There is federal legislation called the McKinney-Vento Act that protects the educational rights of children and youth that are homeless, but this legislation has not been adequately funded for state and local efforts to fully implement it. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless (1999) the current authorized amount for Homeless Children and Youth program is $70 million, but the amount that Congress has appropriated is $55 million. 

According to the he National Coalition for the Homeless (1999), the recently reauthorized McKinney-Vento Act requires school districts to ensure that children of homeless individuals receive equal access to the same free and appropriate public education as other children. The act requires school districts to stabilize children in their original schools by providing transportation so they can continue their education without disruption. The act also requires that homeless children be immediately enrolled in a new school. It provides financial assistance to states and local school districts to implement provisions guaranteeing school access and stability. Funds are used to help schools provide identification, enrollment assistance, school supplies, and transportation. 

Conclusion 

It is important to have an understanding of the homeless person and their educational rights and issues. I realize that the homeless person is not so very different from the people who are not homeless. We are all human beings, with the only difference being that some people have more and some have less. This is the way it will always be in our nation, so we must find a way to make sure everyone will at least have an opportunity to have their basic needs met. One of those basic needs is an education. 

Any one of us human beings may someday have less if something in their present lives were to change. What if you were to lose your job or your spouse were to die? What if a family member was to develop a serious long-term illness? What if you were to lose you family support system? Since most people in the United States live paycheck to paycheck, and the current downturn in economy, homelessness may be closer than you think. The future looks ominous for everyone. Technology is taking over many jobs and the trend will continue in the future. 

It is time to look at the faces of the poor and homeless and see ourselves. It is time to look at the faces of the homeless children and youth and realize that they need and deserve an education. Ending homelessness depends on educating the homeless children so that they have an opportunity to obtain livable income jobs in the future. Government, state, administrators, and educators can all do their part together to ensure these homeless children have as many options and opportunities to choose from as possible. Their education will provide them hope for a brighter future. We, as educators should be ready to take on that responsibility. 

References: Website: http://www.nationalhomeless.org 

No author (November 1, 2002). Education for homeless children and youth program: learning to succeed. Planning and Evaluation Service. Retrieved on august 5, 2003 from http://www.ed.gov/offices/OUS/PES/esed/learnsucceed/exec_sum.html 

No Author. (June 9, 2003). U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from My.ED.gov 

Jaroszewski, L. (1996). Causes of homelessness. Unemployment and falling wages. Spare Change, October, 1996, 1-4 

Statistical Sources: Michigan Department of Education National Coalition for the Homeless The Urban Institute

The Call for Small Class Sizes

By Mary Ann Graziani

Most teachers would agree that they prefer smaller classes to larger ones. This is no surprise since smaller classes are easier to manage, allow the teachers to cover more learning material, and provide daily feedback to students more easily. In smaller classes, it is easier for the teacher to pinpoint students who require remedial help and they have more time to adapt teaching strategies to a student’s individual needs. 

According to an article in Education World, Charles M. Achilles, a professor of educational administration at Eastern Michigan University states, “Conclusive evidence has shown the benefits of class sizes of 1:15, especially in the primary grades.” Since the early 1980s, a large-scale project in Indiana, a major experiment in Tennessee, numerous smaller studies and evaluations of projects that use low adult-to-student ratios have found that youngsters in small classes (1:15 or so) as compared to youngsters in larger classes obtain higher test scores; participate more in school; demonstrate improved behavior; and retain many benefits of early class-size reductions in their later years of schooling (Hopkins, 1998). 

To address this problem there have been many class size reduction programs initiated in many schools throughout the nation. Today, however, with educational budget cuts in many states, there would not be enough money to fund class size reduction programs adequately. When student - teacher ratios are high, teachers are unable to meet the needs of all students and budget cuts make class size reduction programs impossible. 

There are solutions that are simple and require no money or commitment from anyone other than the teacher themselves. When used, they can make managing a large class more simple. 

Solution 1: Classroom management plan. When presented with a large group of students, the most important thing is to manage the classroom. There must be a way to gain the students attention immediately, without having to yell or shout. Rules, and consequences for breaking each rule, must be decided, posted, and strictly adhered to. Students can be involved in helping develop the rules and consequences. They can be decided together as a class on the first day of school. Consequences for each rule should be posted and followed each and every time the rule is broken. It is imperative that all students be held accountable for following the rules at all times. The teacher must be seen as fair. If even one student is allowed to “get away” with something, then the whole discipline plan falls apart and the teacher loses management of the class. When planning out rules and consequences, the teacher should include the administration in his/her ideas so they can help enforce the ! rules. Often, a school will have rules that apply to every student and teachers support each other by encouraging students to act within these guidelines. Hopefully, it will never come down to having to enforce rules. Dr. Harry Wong states “the number one problem in the classroom is not discipline; it is the lack of procedures and routines. . . A vast majority of the behavior problems in the classroom are caused by the failure of students to follow procedures and routines” (Wong, 1998). A teacher’s classroom management plan, therefore, must consist of how things are to be done in the classroom, starting from the moment they walk in the door. A procedure might be: walk in, put your backpack in your cubby, sit at your desk, and write a page in your journal. Eventually these procedures become habits and things will run smoothly. The first few weeks of school may require the teacher to “remind” students several times what the procedures are, but it will pay off in the long run ! (Wong, 1998). 

Solution 2: Encourage students to work independently. Students who work independently of the teacher are more successful. “The fact that the teacher does most of the work at school explains why there is little learning in school” (Wong, 1998). This is especially true when trying to teach a large number of students. A teacher will become exhausted trying to keep the kids in line and focused on a lecture. If, instead, the teacher gives students activities to work on; they learn more. They not only learn from each other, they learn by doing. This frees the teacher up to walk around and assist. “The research says that the person who does the work is the only one doing the learning” (Wong 1998). Students can act as “teacher assistants” by being given various jobs within the classroom. This will also help the students be more independent and responsible. Students may have jobs such as feeding the class pet, taking the attendance cards to the office, monitoring the clean up o! f toys, collecting homework, cleaning the chalkboard, etc. These jobs will give the students a sense of pride in their classroom, while taking some small but necessary tasks away from the teacher. 

Solution 3: Keep Parents Included: Give them copies of lesson plans, or form a calendar of main lesson topics, which they can follow (i.e. September topics: Johnny Appleseed, signs of fall, subtracting 3 digit numbers). Make sure parents are aware of special dates like conferences or open house. Invite them and make them feel welcome. One of our teammates keeps her lesson plans posted on the wall of her classroom, because parents are always asking what the topics of discussion are. Parents like to supplement the topics at home, and also send theme related show-and-tell items with their children. Parents and teachers working together is the best scenario for any child. A teacher should do all he/she can to keep parents in the loop with what is going on in the classroom. “Parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers” (Wong 1998). 

Another way to help parents stay involved is through weekly newsletter sent home on Fridays. This is a simple solution that a teacher can implement into their classroom. One easy way to manage the newsletter is to let the students design and write it. This is one way to give the gifted and talented students something that is educational and fun to work on. This will keep them from becoming bored and disinterested in the class. It will also give the teacher additional time to work with the students who may need extra help in various academic areas. 

An additional method of communication with parents is to set up a website where parents can log on and keep up daily with what is going on in school. Sometimes the newsletter will just sit on the counter all weekend and not be read. Parents, who work long hours, often have some free time at work where they check personal email or surf the web. If a teacher sets up a classroom website and keeps it updated, parents can keep abreast of school happenings. Also, this helps in divorced families, because both parents have a way of keeping up with what is going on in school. If a parent only sees their child every other weekend, they will appreciate a way to keep up with their daily lives. Maintaining a website is not difficult or time consuming. It may make a huge difference in the lives of your students. This is another area where students who are doing well academically can have a fun and have an educational project to work on. Allowing students to help maintain the website will provide the same benefits as students creating the newsletter, and additionally, will integrate technology into the curriculum. 

The benefits of creating a newsletter and website will provide a method of communication for the parents, so they can keep track of what is going on in school. Most parents put their kids on the bus in the morning and don’t see them again until dinnertime. When they ask their child “what did you do in school today?” the answer they get is usually brief, something like “not much” or “the usual.” Even worse is, “nothing.” As teachers, we want parents to be interested in their child’s school. We cannot expect this from them if they don’t even know what is going on. This excerpt was taken from research done by the National Education Association on why it is important for parents to know what is going on in their child’s school: 

“Here are just some of the reasons it is important for parents to be actively involved in their child's education:

1.When parents are involved in their children’s education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go farther in school—and the schools they go to are better (Henderson and Berla).

2.The family makes critical contributions to student achievement from pre-school through high school. A home environment that encourages learning is more important to student achievement than income, education level or cultural background (Henderson and Berla). 

3.When children and parents talk regularly about school, children perform better academically (Aston & McLanahan, 1991; Ho & Willms, 1996; Finn, 1993).

4.Three kinds of parental involvement at home are consistently associated with higher student achievement: actively organizing and monitoring a child’s time, helping with homework and discussing school matters (Finn, 1998).

5.The earlier that parent involvement begins in a child’s educational process, the more powerful the effects (Kathleen Cotton and Karen Reed Wikelund. "Parent Involvement in Education," Research You Can Use. NW Regional Educational Laboratory).

6.Positive results of parental involvement in their children's schooling include improved achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior, and restored confidence among parents in their children's schooling (Institute for Responsive Education. The Home-School Connection: Selected Partnership Programs in Large Cities. Boston: Author.)” (National Education Association 2003).

 

 

The Effective Teacher

By: Mary Ann Graziani

    The students of today are our future.  A teacher is an important part of making a better future through teaching their students.  What more rewarding career can there be than teaching?

     A teacher has a tremendous amount of power over their students to either positively or negatively affect their students’ entire lives.  The effective teacher motivates students by creating a positive learning environment where students want to learn because they have a teacher who respects them as individuals.   They  help their students by recognizing each individual talent without favoritism or criticism.  An effective teacher has a genuine love and respect for children. They enjoy working with children and want to work with them to create a positive and nurturing learning environment.         

    An effective teacher will treat each student as an individual with unique personal experiences that they bring into the classroom community. The unique experiences each student brings can be used collaboratively and creatively in group work where all students will learn from each other through shared discussions and reflections of their personal experiences. Everyone is included and needed in the classroom community.  An effective teacher will encourage imagination and creativity through exploring, observation, and freedom of expression. Every student is involved in the decision making process that involves their classroom and encouraged to make choices that affects not only them but also their classroom community.  Diversity is embraced in the classroom and lesson planning is inclusive of everyone in the classroom. 

     An effective teacher believes that all children can learn and grow.  Every child is given choices and personal freedom of expression in order to promote their growth in learning.  The effective teacher knows that if children are shown respect, they will show respect in return.  They show respect by enabling children to assume responsibility for their own learning.  The effective teacher encourages their students to build meaningful relationships with them and their fellow classmates.

     The effective teacher knows that all children are unique in their learning style and that their understanding is based on their own unique experiences.  They understand that by catering to individual learning styles, teaching can be geared to develop the whole child.

     To truly learn what qualities it takes to be an effective teacher; perhaps it is best to look at what the students believe makes a great teacher. Brian Zkmund-Fisher, Coordinator of TA Support, Eberly Center for Teacher Excellence (1998) compiled information from numerous student evaluation forms to find out what students think. Here are some of the responses:

Enthusiastic in discussing course material.

Makes me feel free to ask questions.

Listens to what students had to say.

Manages student participation in an equitable way.

Encourages students to participate actively in class.

Raises challenging questions for discussion.

Never intimidates or embarrasses students.

Helps students learn from one another.

Uses student questions as a source of discovering points of confusion.

Is readily available for consultation with students.

Treats all students with respect.

Gives constructive feedback on students' work.

Grades assignments in a fair and consistent manner.

Manages class time effectively.

Stresses important points in class.

Slows down when discussing complex and difficult topics.

Is consistently well prepared and organized for class.

Is well prepared to answer questions.

Grasps and responds to student questions and comments.

Is able to give alternative explanations when needed.

Uses examples and illustrations which are clear and concise.

Is able to explain concepts in terms students can understand.

Relates theories and concepts to practical issues.

Gives directions for assignments that are clear and specific.

Carefully explains each step of new processes and techniques.

Is patient with students.

Encourages students to seek their own solutions to artistic questions or problems. 

 

     The effective teacher has the ability, motivation, and above all, the wonderful opportunity to elevate humanity and themselves in the process of teaching. Can there be a better career than this?


Problem Solving Worksheet & Guide

By: Mary Ann Graziani

Problem Solving Worksheet/Contract

The rules of this worksheet and all people involved in this problem are to:

·        Solve the problem

·        Tell the truth

·        Listen without interrupting

·        Be respectful

·        Take responsibility for carrying out the agreement

·        Keep the situation confidential in our classroom.

 

It’s time to take action.  Walk through a problem through these questions.

 

1.  What is the problem?




2.  Why am doing what I am doing?   CIRCLE ONE

Is it because something hurts me?

Something that I need that I am not getting?

Something that I dislike in them because I don’t like it in myself?

 

3.  How would it feel if someone did what I am doing to me? Circle one

Angry

Frustrated/Annoyed

Embarrassed

Fearful

Hurt

Lonely

Not cared for

4.  What are people trying to tell me about my behavior?  Circle One

That I make them feel uncomfortable

That I am not helping others

That I am not being fair

That I am not taking responsibility for my actions

That I am making someone fearful

That I am being dangerous or unsafe to others

That I am hurting others

That I am not doing my part to help the group

That I am being annoying

That I am not sharing

That I am being rude

That I am being mean

That I am being selfish

Have I heard them?

Do they know I am listening?

 

What do I want to change? 



How will I tell them that I want to change without anger and blaming.

Follow these steps:

Stop, calm down, and think first.

1,  Explain the problem

2.  Make Eye contact

3.  Be friendly and use a friendly voice

4.      Use nice words and smile.

5.      Ask what you can do to help solve the problem.

6.  Use body language that is showing your nice words and friendly voice.

How can I handle my feelings?   Circle one:

Write it down

Talk to a friend

Punch a mattress

Go for a walk

Find a quiet place to think

Use humor

Tell yourself positive things

Relax and breathe deeply, think calm thoughts, stretch

How can I solve this problem?



I have decided to take this plan of action to solve this problem:

I agree to follow this plan because I understand it the best thing for me, my classmates, my teacher, my parents and everyone in my life.  I want to be happy and make those around me happy.

Signature:_____________________________________________

 

·        TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS.

 ADMIT IT WAS YOUR FAULT AND APOLOGIZE TO THE OTHER PERSON AND SEE IF THERE IS A WAY YOU CAN MAKE IT UP TO THEM.

·        COMPROMISE

FIND A WAY TO WORK THINGS OUT SO THAT YOU ARE BOTH HAPPY.  DO A LITTLE TO PLEASE BOTH SIDES.

·        BE HONEST

·        STOP, TAKE A DEEP BREATH, THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS, AND CALM DOWN.  AFTER YOU ARE CALM THEN TRY TO SOLVE A PROBLEM.

·        STAY AWAY FROM SOMEONE WHO IS BOTHERING YOU.    GO TO ANOTHER AREA AND FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO PLAY WITH OR BE BY YOURSELF.

·        FIND A QUIET SPOT TO SIT AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO TO MAKE THINGS BETTER FOR YOURSELF AND OTHERS.

·        TAKE A WALK.

·        RETURN SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T BELONG TO YOU IF YOU TOOK IT. 

YOU CAN GIVE IT BACK TO THE PESON AND APOLOGIZE.

YOU CAN GIVE IT TO THE TEACHER TO HANDLE IT.

YOU CAN SECRETLY RETURN THE ITEM TO THE PERSON  WITHOUT THEM KNOWING.

·        IF YOU FIND YOURSELF HURTING SOMEONES FEELINGS

1.   STOP

2.   APOLOGIZE

3.   THINK OF A NICE THING TO SAY TO REPLACE THE BAD THINGS. 

MAKING SOMEONE SAD MEANS YOU ARE SAD INSIDE AND WANT THEM TO FEEL THE SAME WAY YOU DO.   INSTEAD  SAY OR DO SOMETHING TO MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY AND YOU WILL FEEL HAPPY TOO.   THIS WAY YOU BOTH FEEL GOOD!

·        IF YOU ARE ARGUING OR FIGHTING ABOUT SOMETHING NOT VERY IMPORTANT LIKE TAKING CUTS IN LINE OR GOING FIRST REALIZE IT IS NOT WORTH IT TO FIGHT.   LET THE OTHER PERSON GO FIRST AND SMILE.  REALIZE IT IS NOT IMPORTANT AND EVERYTHING WILL END UP THE SAME WAY EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT FIRST.

·        START OVER

IF YOU ARE NOT BEING FAIR THEN APOLOGIZE AND ASK IF YOU CAN START OVER AGAIN BY BEING FAIR THIS TIME.   IF YOU CAN’T START OVER GO FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO AND REALIZE NO ONE WANT TO PLAY WITH SOMEONE WHO IS NOT BEING FAIR. 

·        IF IT IS REALLY NOT IMPORTANT JUST LET IT GO.

·        IF YOU HURT SOMEONE YOU NEED TO STOP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING IMMEDIATELY.  IF THEY ARE BLEEDING OR SERIOUSLY HURT, FIND AN ADULT TO HELP OR TAKE THE PERSON YOU HURT TO THE OFFICE FOR HELP.  TRY TO HELP THE PERSON AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.  HURTING SOMEONE AND MAKING SCHOOL AN UNSAFE PLACE IS UNACCEPTABLE.  TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACTIONS, BE HONEST AND EXPLAIN EXACTLY HOW THINGS HAPPENED,  AND NEVER HURT ANYONE AGAIN.

 IF IT WAS AN ACCIDENT THEN APOLOGIZE AND EXPLAIN THAT IWAS AN ACCIDENT AND YOU DIDN’T MEAN TO HURT THEM.  TELL THEM YOU WILL BE MORE CAREFUL NEXT TIME.

·        IF YOU ARE NOT RESPECTING THE PROPERTY OF OTHERS AND YOU BREAK OR RUIN SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T BELONG TO YOU TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. YOU CAN:

1.  APOLOGIZE

2.  TRY TO FIX, CLEAN, OR MAKE IT BETTER

3.  REPLACE  IT WITH SOMETHING ELSE

4.      BUYING A NEW ONE TO REPLACE THE DAMAGED PROPERTY.

5.      FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT UP TO THE PERSON.

6.      KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF AND RESPECT THE PROPERTY OF OTHERS.  

·        IF YOU ARE TOUCHING, PUSHING, OR “IN SOMEONE’S FACE” THEN STOP, MOVE, AND GIVE THEM THEIR PERSONAL SPACE.   ASK FIRST BEFORE YOU GO INTO SOMEONE’S PERSONAL SPACE.  

·        IF YOU ARE BOTHERING, ANNOYING, OR DISTURBING SOMEONE MOVE AWAY TO ANOTHER AREA AND LEAVE THEM ALONE.  TRY TO IGNORE PEOPLE WHO ARE BOTHERING YOU.  JUST WALK AWAY AND FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO OR SOMEONE ELSE TO BE WITH.  

WHAT YOU CAN SAY:

·        USE NICE WORDS, NICE SMILE, AND BOY LANGUAGE WHEN YOU WANT TO TALK SOMETHING OUT TO SOLVE A PROBLEM WITH ANOTHER PERSON. 

·        I THINK YOUR GREAT BECAUSE….

·        I AM SORRY

·        WHAT I DID WAS WRONG AND I WOULD LIKE TO….

I SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE THAT.  WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE IT BETTER?

·        I DIDN’T LIKE WHAT YOU DID TO ME.  IT HURT MY FEELINGS.

·        I STILL WANT TO BE FRIENDS BUT I DID NOT LIKE WHAT YOU DID TO ME.

·        I WANT TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM WITH YOU.  WHAT CAN I DO?

·        I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY

·        I SAID THIS BUT WHAT I MEANT TO SAY IS…..

·        HOW CAN I MAKE THIS UP TO YOU.

·        WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE THINGS BETTER

·        I WANT BOTH OF US TO BE HAPPY.  I WOULD LIKE TO COMPROMISE.

·        I STILL LIKE YOU AND WANT TO STAY FRIENDS.

·        CAN I GIVE YOU A HUG

·        CAN I SHAKE YOUR HAND?  

·        CAN I HELP YOU?

 

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