How to Keep the Peace at the End of the School Year
As the school year comes to an end an increase in behaviors in inevitable. Take last week for example. Math rotations ended and students were headed back to their seats. I look up in disbelieve as I see two students, that I never have to talk to about behavior in an all out battle over a chair...that's right a chair! Meanwhile, there were at least five of the exact same blue plastic chairs in the vicinity. Have we lost our minds!?
Towards the end of the year, the increase in "tattling" is inevitable. The students are growing restless as the end is near. They've spent the last nine months together and need a break. Kids are getting on each others' nerves now more than ever. The little stuff that didn't bother them at the beginning of the year is now constantly being brought up, and the little things that didn't bother you now make you want to pull your hair out!
As a way to combat this negativity, I created the THE PEACEMAKER PROJECT. Rather than focus everything negative, I want to redirect students' energy towards the positive aspects of their peers.
To begin the program, I spend a few minutes teaching the students about what it means to be a peacemaker. A peacemaker decides that they care more about a friendship than winning an argument. We watched this Kid President video on things we should say more often. We also discussed strategies which peacemakers use such as ignoring comments, compromising, and walking away.
After our discussion, the students and I create a "Be a Peacemaker" bulletin board. Every time a student is seen being a peacemaker, they get specific praise. They also get a small peace sign to decorate and add to the Peacemaker board.
Throughout the week, students also can nominate their peers for the Peacemaker of the Week. At the end of each week, we award a winner!
To learn more about THE PEACEMAKER PROJECT click on the images.
What are your tips and tricks for the end of the year?
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