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Keith’s Corner: Entry 21: Love

Type: Article

In this diary entry, the children at Keith’s school wear their hearts firmly on their sleeves, exploring the related themes of love, affection, respect and politeness.

R–E–S–P–E–C–T

We recently introduced pupil behaviour charts at our school. Now, each child gets a smiley, or sad, face next to the various goals we have for the week. The charts are stuck on a cupboard door so they’re easily visible. Always apologizing if you’ve pushed someone over, not shouting in class, not interrupting and being kind to others are some of our goals.

Naturally, children are very competitive. And any competition needs an incentive. If a child has achieved only smiley faces by Friday afternoon, they get a special sticker. If they get four special stickers, they get a stamp. And, if they get four stamps, they receive their very own ‘golden smile’ badge!

Clear communication is a crucial part of pedagogy. Often, children are unruly because they don’t know what is expected of them. This may occur because the rules haven’t been laid down clearly enough. And that makes it all too easy for children to fail to behave in the way we want them to.

Minding your p’s and q’s

Recently, we spent some time talking about being polite. This naturally morphed into a game. It was an action game where the kids walked around softly bumping into each other and then promptly apologizing. The teacher added some gestures to the apologies, like bowing or curtseying, and they had lots of fun with this. And, when teacher yelled ‘Freeze!’, the kids had to hold their bows, which led to even more fun!

Our teachers noticed that there was lots of interrupting going on in one of the groups. To help overcome this, they played the interruption game. This was actually more of a case study but its point eventually hit home. The class sat in a circle and one child was instructed to begin reading a short text. The role of the other children was to start speaking to one another. After a while, the reader got very upset. Then, the others were asked what they had learned from the short text – of course, they hadn’t learnt much as they weren’t listening. All the children took a turn at reading so the point was driven home!

Apart from the new charts at Anglia School, we’ve also got three daily behaviour laminates. Basically, a smiley face (printed on green), a neutral face (on yellow) and a sad face (on red), all laminated. Whenever a child has been conscientious, their name gets pinned on the green laminate.

As the three laminates are stuck on the wall right across from the main door, parents are able to see where their child’s name is when picking them up. And, if their child is proud of where their name is, they’re bound to point it out!

A love of books

Two of the books we read were Froggy’s First Kiss, about a frog with a crush, and The Biggest Kiss, which shows us that everyone needs kisses! They were greatly enjoyed by all. A bonus was that The Biggest Kiss features animals in interesting places, as well as rhyming, and so this provided us with an opportunity to revise both.

Sharing the love

One of the books we read is called The Day It Rained Hearts about a girl who catches raining hearts. It shows Cornelia, the main character, making lovely heart crafts. So we made lovely heart crafts of our own!

One of our crafts involved cutting out a heart shape from red card. Another involved making hearts using our own handprints – follow this link to see what the finished article looks like. When they had completed their works of art, all children chose someone to dedicate them to – their mums, their dads (or their mums and dads), their brothers, their sisters … This was also a good excuse to revise language for members of a family and to talk about what each of them likes. And, of course, making something for someone is a perfect way to show them how much we love them.

Love and respect from Anglia School!

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