• How to Talk to Kids

    Posted by Bonnie Schraeder on 10/1/2020

    Through our MBI/PBIS (positive behavior interventions and supports) and our Social Thinking curriculum, Russell School has adopted specific language when working with students.

    The vocabulary that we use can also be used at home.  We welcome families to use the same language to support our efforts at school while at the same time building a familiarity between home & school. 

    • Behaviors are not “good” or “bad”, “right” or “wrong”. We use the words “expected” and “unexpected”.
    • When a child is doing something unexpected, you can identify it as unexpected and remind them what the expected behavior is. You can also invite them to “change their plan”
    • We use the term “group plan” to refer to the activity that is planned. Example: “the group plan is to be on the carpet for the story”.
    • We are expecting students to be a learner during whole group instruction and sometimes they are off topic. We remind them to have their “brain in the group”.
    • When they are not in the space we expect them to be (class is lining up, but they are not) we remind them to have their “body in the group”
    • We use our “whole listening body” when we are listening to the talker. Usually that means sitting with calm feet and hands, eyes looking at the speaker, ears listening, mouth quiet, brain thinking about what the talker is saying.
    • “Eyes are like arrows” and they tell us what you are thinking about. If you are looking at your friend, you are thinking about your friend.  If you are looking at your teacher, you are thinking about what your teacher is doing, You may need to remind students to “think with your eyes”.  When kids make guesses we call them “smart guesses” or “wacky guesses”  not right/wrong, great/weird.
    • We try to help students with their reactions to problems. “Small problems” are problems we can solve by ourselves (maybe with a Kelso’s choice).  “Big problems” are those that need an adult to help us solve.  When problem solving with students, it might help you to ask “is this a small problem, or a big problem?”
    • Students feel a wide range of emotions in their day (and sometimes it is not connected to school events!). Kids can check in with their zone:

    Blue Zone=tired, sick, sad, hurt, disappointed, hungry

    Green Zone=Happy, content, ready to learn

    Yellow Zone=Frustrated, scared, nervous, silly, excited, wiggly

    Red Zone=very angry, upset and out of control

    You might ask a student “what zone are you feeling right now? What do you need?”

    Give these a try and ask your student to explain them as well...they are working on them every day and hear this language regularly.  Thanks for your support!

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  • Welcome to Kindergarten!

    Posted by Bonnie Schraeder on 9/2/2020

    We are in the midst of our first full week of kindergarten!  The students have worked hard and grown so much already!

    As we continue through this month we are learning to be part of a community.  At Russell School we "Know the way, Go the way and Show the way!"  We are learning and practing our Russell Be's: Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Safe and Be a Learner.  Ask your child to tell you what those mean.

    Also, ask them what their "house" color is--they each belong to a "house" (like a club) that includes Kindergarten through 5th grade students and staff.  It's a group of friends that they will learn and grow with for their 6 years at Russell School!

    Love them, encourage them and pump them up for each new day!  Thanks for sharing your kiddos with me this year!  It's already an amazing year!!

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