• The vocabulary used at school can also be used at home. I welcome families to use the same language to support our efforts at school, while at the same time promoting and building a bridge (connection) between home and school.

    *Please know that these are things we continually work on at school. I do not expect your child to already be familiar with what is discussed below.

    • Behaviors are not “good” or “bad”. I use the phrases “thumbs up, okay” or “thumbs down, no way” to support our PAX program. I also use the words “expected” and “unexpected”.
      • Mistakes are meant to be a time for learning and growing.
    • When a child is doing something that is a “thumbs down, no way” or  “unexpected”, you can identify it as so at home and remind them what the “thumbs up, okay” or “expected” behavior is. You can also invite them to state what they could do in order to make the “thumbs up, okay” or “expected” choice if the situation was to arise again.
    • Paxson Elementary expects all students to be a learner during one-on-one, small group, and whole group instruction. All teachers know and understand that students will be off topic or distracted at one point or another. When this occurs, I will remind my students to “engage their brain” or to have their “brain on, mouth off”. This reminds the student(s) that it is time to listen and think about what is occurring at that moment. Then they can correct their current behavior to ensure they are making the “thumbs up, okay” or “expected” choice.
    • When a student is not in the space I expect them to be in, I say “body check” or “body in the group”. For example, if the whole class is lining up and a child is struggling with lining up or standing in line appropriately, I would say “body check” or “body in the group”. It is a quick and easy way to remind the student(s) to ensure they are making the “thumbs up, okay” or “expected” choice.
    • Students are expected to use “whole body listening” when listening to the speaker. Usually that means sitting with one’s body turned towards the speaker, calm feet and hands, eyes looking at the speaker, ears listening, mouth silent, and one’s brain thinking about what the speaker is saying. This is another term for “actively listening”.
    • Paxson Elementary teachers try to help students to stay in control of their emotions and to handle their reactions to problems in a manner that keeps them, and those around them, safe. “Small problems” are problems a student can try solve on their own before asking an adult for help (maybe with a Kelso’s choice).  “Big problems” require adult assistance.  When problem solving with your child, it might help you to ask “is this a small problem, or a big problem?” If it is a small problem, see if they can independently solve it before you or another adult assists them.
    • 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 your child “what zone are you feeling right now? What do you need to do to get back to the green zone?”

    Give these terms a try and ask your child to explain what they mean as well...they are working on them every day at school and hear this language regularly.

    Lastly, building a language bridge between home and school is a two way street. If you have some tips and tricks I can use at school, I am more than happy to hear about them!

    Thank you for your support!