As educators, it is our responsibility to create safe and inclusive classrooms where students feel valued and supported. Implementing restorative justice, positive behavior intervention support (PBIS), and responsive classrooms approaches is a great way to achieve this goal. These approaches focus on promoting positive behaviors, repairing harm, and building positive relationships, creating a positive and inclusive classroom community.
In this week’s blog, we will explore a variety of engaging activities and strategies that teachers can use with their students to bring these approaches to life in the classroom. Whether you are just starting out with these approaches or looking for new ideas to refresh your practice, this blog is for you!
- Restorative justice: “Harm circles“: Have students sit in a circle and take turns sharing how a specific behavior has affected them. For example, if a student has been bullied, they can share how it made them feel and the impact it had on their life. The person who caused the harm can also share their perspective and apologize for their actions.
“Empathy walk“: Have students walk in each other’s shoes by role-playing different scenarios. For example, if a student has taken another student’s pencil without asking, the student can role-play the situation and then reflect on how it would feel to have their pencil taken without permission.
“Repair plan“: Have students come up with a plan to repair the harm caused by their behavior. For example, if a student has bullied another student, they can come up with a plan to apologize, make amends, and prevent it from happening again.
- Positive behavior intervention support: “Token economy“: Implement a token economy system where students earn tokens or points for positive behavior and can exchange them for prizes or privileges. For example, students can earn a token for staying seated during class, raising their hand before speaking, or being kind to others.
“Caught being good“: Have students recognize and acknowledge when their classmates are demonstrating positive behavior. For example, if a student is working quietly and independently, their classmates can give them a positive verbal or written reinforcement for their behavior.
“Visual cues“: Use visual cues, such as posters or charts, to remind students of the expectations for behavior. This can help them understand what is expected of them and make it easier to meet those expectations.
- Responsive classrooms: “Morning meeting“: Start each day with a “morning meeting” where students greet each other, share news, and discuss topics related to social and emotional skills.
“Cooperative learning“: Provide opportunities for students to work together in small groups. For example, assign a group project that requires students to work together to complete a task. This will help students develop teamwork and communication skills.
“Class meeting“: Have a “class meeting” where students discuss issues, share their feelings, and make decisions. This can be done by having students sit in a circle and take turns sharing their perspectives on a situation. The teacher can facilitate the discussion and help students come to a resolution.
It’s important to note that these are just examples, and teachers can tailor the activities to fit their own classrooms. Additionally, it’s essential to regularly assess and evaluate the effectiveness of these activities to make adjustments as necessary. The key is to create a positive and inclusive classroom environment where students feel safe, respected, and supported.
Restorative justice, positive behavior intervention support (PBIS), and responsive classrooms approaches are powerful tools for creating safe, positive, and inclusive classrooms. When teachers use the activities and strategies outlined in this blog, they can help students understand the importance of positive behaviors, repair harm, and build positive relationships.
By creating a supportive classroom environment, teachers can help students feel valued and empowered, promoting their success both academically and socially.
Remember, every classroom is unique, and the activities and strategies outlined here can be adapted to fit the needs and interests of your students. We hope this blog has provided you with new ideas and inspiration for implementing these approaches in your classroom.