## Phase 1 Implementation

**Preparing for Intervention**

Prior to the official beginning of phase one, the students had a social studies unit on community and learned about the components that make a community work. We brainstormed what we wanted in our community, and pledged “the golden rule” to one another. For those who are not familiar with this rule, it is “Treat others how you want to be treated”. In this lesson, we each made a handprint to symbolize our pledge and posted our display on the door as an everyday reminder.

Additionally, the school has been working towards building students' confidence and teaching them that they can be anything they work hard to achieve. Every morning the students recite this pledge as well.

**Intervention Phase 1**

The first phase of my intervention showed great success laying the foundation necessary for achieving a safe and supportive classroom community. On the first day of implementation the students showed great interest in discussing feelings and working together to make their classroom feel more like a community. The first phase consisted of four separate lessons with daily reinforcements of the takeaways of the lessons. Additionally, we had appreciation meetings two to three times a week and have the students participate in varying ways of appreciating either another student or themselves. On days following appreciation meetings, I would have the students end their day with an appreciation writing, that always consisted of a lesson as a reminder and sentence frame for support.

**Lessons:**

**Lesson 1 – Self-Awareness**

On the first day of implementation, the students began their day with a lesson on self-awareness. This lesson focused on students identifying feelings and being aware of their own feelings.

To launch this lesson we identified and charted feelings (see chart below). This chart would then be posted on the classroom wall so students could easily reference it for both identifying feelings and our later lessons. Next, I showed students cards with pictures of emotions and had the students identify the feeling. Once identified, I asked them to show me and had volunteers describe how they made their body into a feeling. For example, when I asked the students to show me angry, one student identified his body as “when you feel angry you get red and hot”. Once students could identify characteristics of feelings, I had the students help me brainstorm ideas of how we can handle our feelings, and had the students help me decide of the ways were a good choice or bad choice.

To conclude the lesson, I discussed with the students that everyone has feels angry, jealous, and sad, and those feels are both normal and okay to have. The important thing is how we handle the feelings. We also discussed that feelings such as happy and proud are also normal, and students should make sure to feel good about having these feelings, and act appropriately. I asked the students to spend the day thinking about how they handled their feelings, and let them know that in our lesson that was coming the next day we would learn appropriate ways to handle our negative feelings.

**Lesson 2 – Anger Management**

Our second lesson reviewed our first lesson, self-awareness, and discussed ways to handle our negative emotions. This lesson brought in a “Calming Yourself Down” chart that is used in our schools Second Step Program. The timing of this lesson was first thing of the day, like lesson one, in the day immediately after lesson one. The timing was important because the students were quickly identifying their feelings after our first days lesson, and were in need of guidance of what to do after negative feelings were identified.

This lesson connected feelings that are similar, such as sad, mad and angry. In this lesson, the students were introduced to a three step calming down process; 1. Stop and Think; 2. Ask Yourself: How does my body feel?; and 3. Try. In the Try section, the students learned and practiced four main components of calming. The four components are: 1. Taking three deep breaths; 2. Counting Backwards Slowly; 3. Thinking Calming Thoughts; and 4. Talking To Yourself.

For each of the main four components, we discussed the meaning, brainstormed ideas, and practiced. For component 1, taking three deep breaths, I had the students sit and slowly breathe in and out, three times, putting their hands on their bellys to feel the breath going in and out. For component two, counting backwards slowly, we practiced our counting and I encouraged the students to use the number line on our board. This task in itself was difficult for many students. I also suggested counting forward, if counting backwards was too difficult. For component three, thinking calming thoughts, I had the students brainstorm “happy” things. Ideas the students came up with included a school filled with chocolate donuts, going to the beach, and a sky that rained money. For component four, talking to yourself, the students were each given a minute to discuss their feelings and work out a way they could solve their problem.

To conclude this lesson, I encouraged students to be aware of their own feelings and to use the strategies we learned to deal with their angry feelings. I also encouraged them to begin to be aware of friend’s feelings, as the next lesson we would be doing would revolve around identifying friend's feelings.

**Lesson 3 – Other Awareness**

Our third lesson about other-awareness was very similar to our first lesson on self-awareness, but focused on our friends, as opposed to ourselves. The students were beginning to show an interest and understanding of identifying and managing the own feelings, so this lesson came at a great time, the fourth day of our first week.

The importance of this lesson was getting the students to begin to notice other people's feelings, and the characteristics people show that help to identify feelings. This lesson was successful, with students not only accurately identifying the feelings presented in both pictures and role-play, but coming up with great strategies of helping the person cope or manage their feelings. When positive feelings were identified, students said that they could cheer for friends and hug them. Similarly, when negative feelings were identified students decided they could talk with the person, hug them if they were sad, or give them space if they needed it.

Additionally, this lesson is also is where “tattle-telling” was brought up, as students connected ways they could handle another’s feelings as telling the teacher. As such, we went into a tangent lesson on tattle telling and I introduced two questions that I had learned from a previous professor.

The questions were:

1. Are you telling me because you are concerned or unsafe?

2. Are you telling me because you want them get in trouble.

After introducing these questions to the kids, I encouraged them to ask the questions to themselves before telling me. We discussed that many problems can be solved without a teacher’s help, such as someone taking a pencil or taking too long at the water fountain, yet there are still some things that should be told to the teacher, such as physical violence. I told the students that they could come and ask me if they were unsure about a situation or tried to solve it and were not able. This tangent lesson also segmented well into the fourth lesson of the phase, which was problem solving.

**Lesson 4 – Problem Solving**

Our fourth lesson about problem solving took place on the first day of our second week. This timing seemed appropriate because the students were showing a strong understanding of the first three lessons, we had discussed tattle telling, and there were ready to build on the tools they had with a problem solving strategy.

In this lesson, we reviewed our first three lessons, and then discussed the importance of solving our own problems. To begin, we identified how situations would make us feel. For example, I would ask “How would you feel if someone took your pencil?” and the students suggested feelings such as “mad”, “frustrated”, and “sad”. From there, we brainstormed ways of solving the problem. The solutions students came up with included “ask for it back”, “get a new one”, and “hit the person who took it”. Naturally, this led us to appropriately solving the problem and a discussion of solving versus making it worse.

Continuing with this lesson, I introduced the students to our I-Statement. The original I-Statement we used said “When you feel ___(the problem)__, I feel ___(the feeling)___, because ____(why)___, so what I would like is ___(the solution)___.”

After practicing, this statement was modified and we took out the “because” as it did not add value and caused great confusion. The sentence frame we use continue to use says, “When you feel ___(the problem)__, I feel ___(the feeling)___, so what I would like is ___(the solution)___.”

The students practiced using this with our taken pencil example, then got with a partner to practice another scenario, this time positive, of a friend telling you a funny joke. We continued to practice then until I felt most students were able to use it, and moved forward with our lesson. The students who needed more practice received one on one attention later in the day.

Moving forward, the students were introduced to our Problem Solving Protocol, which included four steps. The steps included: 1. Calming Down; 2. Explanation of the Upset; 3. Discussion and Resolution; and 4. Some Kind of Acknowledgement. We related step one to our Calming Down Chart, steps two and three to our I-Statement, with the understanding that sometimes we need to discuss our problem further to solve it, and talked about the meaning of step four. The two ways students wanted to acknowledge the solving of a problem included either a handshake or a hug, with a handshake being the more predominant response.

To conclude, I introduced students to our safety zone. Our safety zone was located next to the teacher’s desk, and would be (and now is) where our problem solving tools were posted. Students could ask each other to come to the safe zone and it was known that a problem was to be solved. The students also had the option of asking the teacher to mediate or intervene, if they felt they needed it.

**Important Lesson Connections**

While each of the four lessons was very useful and important, equally important was my consistency in enforcing the use of the strategies learned from our lessons.

Appreciation Lessons and Meetings:

Appreciation Lessons and Meetings:

While the two focuses of my phase one were self-awareness and problem-solving, I also wanted to build self-efficacy. As such, the first of my Appreciation Meetings revolved around the feeling of proud. We held the first official Appreciation meeting at the end of our first day. We discussed why we may feel proud of ourselves, had two minutes of individual silent thinking time to reflect on what they were proud about, then sat in a circle and each orally shared what we were proud of ourselves for.

The next day, I had the students spend the day continuing to think about what they were proud of, and ended this day with writing about being proud. I had each student write about what they were proud of, using a sentence frame that read “I am proud because _______.” and draw a corresponding picture. Before each student could turn in their writing, I would ask them to read it with me. Typically, they were very proud of themselves, with the occasional shy and modest student mixed in.

We did these lessons and meetings frequently. Other topics included how you helped your friend, how you helped yourself, and why you appreciated a friend.

**Key Phrases**

The following are phrases that were used and are still used in classroom during this phase include:

-“Don’t stop your friend’s thinking” – This is used when students don’t raise their hands or blurt our answers. We introduced this phrase because students were not raising hands or giving other students a chance to answer questions. To introduce the phrase, we discussed that some of us need more time to think and solve problems than others, and that you are stopping friends from learning if you blurt out. We identified it as being disrespectful and unfair to our friends.