Our schools have adopted PBIS this year. That stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. You can read more about it here. This is a school-wide effort in both of our buildings, though it differs slightly from one building to the next.
In our preK-2 building, we are all about Bees. Posted everywhere in the school on bright yellow posters, students are reminded to Be Safe, Be Kind, and Be Responsible. They can earn ‘buzzies’- little fuzz balls in black, white, or gold, when they’re displaying these behaviors. There’s a honey jar for the buzzies in each classroom, which when full, gets emptied into a larger container in the front office. When that’s full, the school earns a celebration. These have ranged thus far from extra recess to pajama day.
Similarly, in our grade 3-8 school, there’s also a school-wide effort underway. In this building, students are striving to Be SMART.(S=Safe, M=Mindful, A=Accepting, R=Respectful, and T=Truthful) When they exhibit these skills and behaviors, they earn ‘Smart Cells’, those glass beads often used for games like Mancala or in vases. Again, they fill containers in the classrooms and then contribute to the ‘brain’ in the front of the school. They also earn ‘cell-abrations’ when the brain is full. They have had dance parties, extra recess, and even a gum-chewing day, with gum provided by the school!
The reason I bring this up and describe it here is that all students are so familiar with this that they can recite the behaviors to anyone and everyone. Thus, our work with students and technology has been positively impacted as well. When introducing email to a kindergarten class and a first/second grade class last week, it was easy to connect proper use of email to being safe, responsible, and kind. The kindergarten teacher blogged about her class using email as well. When talking about the internet with third graders, we generated lists of what being ‘SMART’ online looks like. Here’s an example of a list that one group of third graders compiled in a shared Google Doc.
The tone in our schools has changed this year with the influence of PBIS. There are others in the buildings gathering data and more involved in the implementation of PBIS, but so far I’ve seen very positive impacts in the area of digital citizenship as well.
Just wanted to share. Comments are always welcome.
(Glass bead image: Creative Commons/flickr By ‘tuchodi’ http://flic.kr/p/m5Xm)