Daily Schedule

Friday, September 16, 2011

TRIBES - working and playing together

I only just touched on the Tribes program last night before we ran out of time. This is one of the tools I use to help build inclusion, kindness, and positivity in our classroom. Over the years, I’ve come to depend on this program to help me to help children learn the very important skills of cooperation and compromise. Children feel appreciated and respected.

Four agreements are honored:

▪ attentive listening
▪ appreciation/no put downs
▪ mutual respect, and
▪ the right to pass

I set up most Tribes meetings so that the focus is on helping each other work on doing a specific task, set goals, solve problems and celebrate achievements.


Our first meeting was several days ago, and the children discovered who were in their Tribes “family”. Each child received a puzzle piece with their name on it. They circulated through the room trying to find all of their missing pieces. We ended up with 3 different tribes with 4 children in each. Their first hard task was to come up with a tribal name that each child could agree to. One tribe had a slightly difficult time, as three of the members loved video games, but one did not. A discussion led to an entirely different tribe name, made up of the tribe member's names - very clever.

Their task today was to make up with tribal banner that included the tribe name and each individual name. Two tribes found this very easy and hummed along happily. One tribe was full of strife. And THAT'S OKAY! After struggling through, we talked about it as a whole group, and suggestions were respectfully given and received. This is part of the process - if it were easy every time, we wouldn't need to do Tribes! 


So it is now my great pleasure to introduce to you:


The Happy Starwars Yoshis

The Sparkling Waterfalls

The Electric Eels (The Es and L stand for their names, get it?)

1 comment:

Fran Loosen said...

I have always learned that team development often takes this path:

Form-team gets together
Storm- team has first brush with struggle
Norm- team starts to get it together, establish group norms
Perform- team rocks.

It's good for kids to work through conflict and learn how to handle it now...because working on adult teams means there will be inevitable "storming" in the future. So glad you don't shy away from this, Susan. That's why you are awesome!