Last fall, I published a post that discussed all the different ways we’ve taught and reviewed Kelso’s Choices over the years at our school. We stuck with some of the original plan but I mixed it up some with my ‘big kids’. PS These conflict resolution activities work even if you don’t use Kelso’s Choices!
After whipping out the plush frog and getting them excited for the return of Kelso, we talked about why we learn about Kelso’s Choices EVERY. YEAR. Some buttercup always points out “because we forget them sometimes”. Then we watched both video clips again (links and stopping points/discussion questions in the link above). I swapped the order of the videos this time because I wanted us to end on the scenarios where characters used “Ignore”.
I wanted our focus with the rest of the time then to be on “Ignore”, in part because I think they should use it more and in part because they need to use it more correctly. Last year at a conference, I attended a session where the speaker (Dan St. Romain) used a lot of call and response, call and repeat, and hand gestures as he was presenting. It was awesome modeling and I vowed to include more of these practices into my own teaching.
This was the little “chant” we did – I would say the words and do motions and they would repeat. Some classes got really into it and it became rap/songlike. I’m somewhat self-conscious still (maybe one reason puppets never became my jam?) so this was a little bit of a stretch for me but it was TOTALLY WORTH the increased engagement.
With the biggest kiddos, I skipped the ‘teaching’ piece and jumped right into reviewing and applying Kelso’s Choices. In my first couple classes, we gave SCOOT a try. Each desk held a numbered conflict scenario, I projected a list of Kelso’s Choices, and they used a scoot sheet in a dry erase sleeve to track their responses.
I love this activity and it accomplished one of my objectives of the lesson. But, since this was the first time they had played scoot EVER, I had to devote significant time at the start of the lesson teaching and modeling how to play. Fifteen minutes of prep, 26 scoot stations…you do the math and see…there wasn’t time for anything else.
So then we went for my go-to: quiz, quiz, trade. I gave every student a conflict scenario, projected the Kelso’s Choices, had them mix and mingle, finding partners and asking each other “What would you do?” Because I had done this activity with them a few times last year, this took far less pre-teaching and meant we had time afterward for the next part of the lesson.
One of the biggest misconceptions I think students have about the strategy of “Ignore” is the idea that ignoring someone’s mean/annoying behavior means they’re going to stop. They might stop and that’s awesome, but that’s not the reason we choose to ignore. I ask them why we ignore then, if it doesn’t mean the person will stop. It takes a little scaffolding but we were able to get ourselves to “so it doesn’t bother us/so we don’t worry about it.” Then we talked about how hard it can be to really ignore with our brains. Sometimes we have to ‘coach’ ourselves into ignoring. We can tell ourselves things in our brains that will help us ignore. For this part of the lesson, I had the students that had a scenario card with a star on it (that I added before the lesson) keep them and read them aloud. After each one, students ‘coached’ their brains into ignoring, and wrote on white boards what they would tell themselves.
I LOVE all things CBT and self-talk. It was still a stretch for some of their brains (metacognition is tough stuff). That said, it was a great entry into this alongside the work of ignoring.