Thursday, October 1, 2009
Today I introduced the TRIBES curriculum to the students. This has proved to be an effective way to empower students and to allow them to become better communicators and friends. We will be doing some activities every week or so that will challenge each tribal “family” to work together, compromise, and express their natural empathy and kindness. Some of the children are already old hands at this, because they were in my classroom last year. To some, this is a brand new idea. Each child was excited about TRIBES once they heard what it was about.
We have four tribal families - the children found each other by putting together puzzle pieces with their names on them. (I loved hearing one child squeal, "I fit! I fit!")
Four caring Agreements are used:
Listen with the heart as well as head.
Express appreciation/no put-downs
Mutual respect (for others, the school and environment)
The right to pass within a peer group
Today, the tribes completed their first assignment. They had to work within their tribe to come up with a name, and to design their tribal banner. Earlier, we brainstormed what the ideal classroom would be like - in other words, how people would treat each other in an ideal classroom - and we will use these ideas to come up with some basic tenets we all can agree to.
You should be very proud of your children. Compromise and listening to others is not an easy task no matter what your age. I’ve heard some inspiring conversations and great compromising. I am excited about setting some interesting challenges. Be sure to ask your child about TRIBES.