Teaching children conflict resolution skills is probably one of the most important contributions that we can make! So when I came across this idea ... I just had to share.
I would like to thank a teacher named Ms. Lou for blogging about this tool she uses in her classroom in Canada.
So here's how it works:
First, you need a bug and a wand. In her classroom, the bug is a bee.
When a disagreement arises, the children involved take the bug and the wand to a special place in the classroom or hall and discuss the issue. The student who is bothered holds the bug in one hand and the wand in the other.
Holding out the bug, that child fills in the blank "It bugs me when you ......"
Then holding the wand out, says "I wish you would ..." and offers a more peaceful solution to the problem that brought them there. In other words, how things could have played out differently.
So, let's say that one student took a pencil from the other one. The "wish" offered might be "I wish you would ask me first and then let me tell you if it's OK to use."
Then the second student has a chance to respond.
Ms. Lu's idea is that the children need to take responsibility for their tiff and a possible solution too. She noted that she needed to intervene to model this conflict resolution tool when she first introduced it, but also how quickly the students used it on their own.
Thank-you Ms. Lu for sharing this idea. It's s good lesson for all of us to think about a solution instead of just the problem.