- Understand how to help students express feelings to manage conflict.
- Define a sequence of steps to initiate the Tribes TLC Process in the classroom
Welcome to class #4.
Throughout each class and the course, you will experience the Tribes TLC® (Tribes) process as you learn it, apply it, and reflect on it. Assignments are designed to answer ‘why, what, and how’ the Tribes process applies to you, your students, your classroom, your school, and your life.
Building a learning community always begins with an opportunity to share personally, as well as objectively.
Class #4 Assignments
1) Community Inclusion
We begin this class with an energizer. (Read about energizers on page 197-198 (227, DG 310, EA) and 380-390 (384 – 389, DG 472-476 EA) in your book. And, I will add to that list of outcomes; energizers are a great opportunity to reflect on a behavior you want to reinforce. For example, the energizer “three ball pass” is great fun and students are likely to focus, cooperate, participate, and work together to make it successful. So, after completing the energizer, do not miss the opportunity to reflect on those behaviors and gently and assertively state that you will expect more of what you just experienced…teamwork, focus, etc.
An important point about energizers: an energizer is meant to be ‘short-lived’; it should only last about 10 minutes. Quit while it is successful and you have an opportunity to come back to where you left off, or extend it into content, or make it more challenging. If you let an energizer go on too long, you deserve what happens! The fun and challenge of ‘three ball pass’ can quickly turn into a pandemonium pitching fest…and you just killed the energizer for good, when it could have had a nice long ‘shelf life’.
So, when you stop an energizer and your students are begging for more… smile, reflect, and know that you have another ace up your sleeve for later!
The energizer for this class is “This is a scarf…” It is not in your book.
In a live classroom, this is done in a community circle. You will need a scarf; I suggest the scarf be rather large, like a ‘wrap’, and one that you don’t mind putting on the floor, getting pulled on, etc.
A person begins by saying (while holding the scarf), “This is a scarf, but it’s not really a scarf, it’s a _________.” This is where he/she thinks creatively to use the scarf to visually demonstrate and say what it might be…for example, “a magic carpet!”
Your assignment, in this online energizer, is to copy this statement, and insert your own creative idea:
“This is a scarf, but it’s not really a scarf, it’s a _________.”
Post on the class forum. Please challenge yourself to not repeat any ideas!
Let’s see how creative we can be.
When all have posted, identify a behavior that you, as a facilitator in your own classroom, could reflect on as a positive expectation. That is, what just happened in this energizer…that was something you will expect to continue? Example: I didn’t hear any judgments or put-downs while people were sharing; I hope that continues for the rest of our class today! Identify a positive behavior and challenge/encourage students to keep it going.
On the other hand, post your thoughts on this: What if you begin to facilitate an energizer or strategy, and it just isn’t going the way you expected…your students are misbehaving, not interested, or uncooperative…it is headed for disaster! What can you do?!
3) Community Circle Inclusion – Wishful Thinking p. 378 (382, DG 471, EA)
Again, just like ‘something good’ in class #2, please take a moment to reflect and post a statement that begins with “I wish”.
I will remind you of the agreements (remember the importance of modeling and clarifying…and never assume that just because you have the agreements posted and you have taught them well, that you don’t need to remind or explain them again!) with this example:
Attentive Listening means not commenting, interrupting, or asking questions while each person makes his/her statement.
Mutual Respect is present in choosing something appropriate to share, as well as accepting and valuing what has been shared.
No Put Downs applies, again, to what one chooses to share (personal, global, practical, outlandish…do not make others feel ‘wrong’ in their wishes)
The Right to Pass gives each of us pause to choose the level of sharing (something ‘light’ or something ‘deeper’), as well as the right to not share, yet still be a part of the community and learn about others.
When all “I wish…” statements have been posted, please post a reflection statement to one of the following questions:
- Why are wishes important?
- How were you influenced in making a decision as to the wish you posted?
- How did you feel about putting your wish in writing, for all to see? (if you passed on this, maybe you can explain why you passed, or how it felt to ‘pass’)
4) Read Chapter 8…again! (p. 132 – 142, DG; p. 223-237 EA)
This chapter is your ‘right hand’ resource and reference; your ‘left hand’ is your own experience and learning from that. Every group you interact with will be different. The wonderful thing about the Tribes TLC process is that it is a process; it will have a different effect on everyone. Jeanne Gibbs acknowledges that ‘everyone is at their own place on the Tribes trail.” Your gift is to facilitate the process. Consistently modeling the agreements, reflecting on learning and actions, providing opportunities for meaningful participation, having positive expectations, building collaborative skills through the stages of group development (inclusion, influence, and community)…this is Tribes. The strategies and energizers are the ‘vehicles’ that make the process flow.
Look at the Tribes trail, p. 71 (p. 82, DG; p. 82 EA). Where are you, personally? Where do you think this class is, as a whole?
Post a response on the forum, to either, or both, of those questions.
5) Teaching I-Messages
Read pages 111 – 113 (139 – 140, DG; 231-232 EA)
View the video at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYf3H70qldI
Sure, this video has some flaws, but there are two important points this video makes:
- In a true I-message, there is no ‘you’.
- An I-message is not necessarily a magic bullet! The last line in the video is, “using I-messages is a positive way to express your feelings and can help others to understand you better.”
I-messages are appropriate and effective in initiating conflict resolution. They are not necessarily effective or appropriate in a ‘bullying’ situation, or when harm has been done.
A challenge for students in using I-messages is that teachers do not model this as much as they think they do. I-messages may be inconsistent in their effectiveness student-to-student, but they are extremely effective teacher-to-student! Every day teachers miss opportunities to use an I-message! As a teacher, I struggle to say “I feel frustrated when I am constantly interrupted!” It is much easier to say “You need to stop interrupting and blurting out in class!”
Your challenge/assignment is to use an I-message every day for a week, in your classroom, workplace, or home.
Post a reflection, during this week, that communicates how you feel doing this, what difference it made in your communication or situation, and/or what difficulties you encountered in creating your I-messages.
6) Journal #5 – What do I want to remember about I-Messages? (Remember, this is a personal, not shared, thought)
7) Getting started
We are now halfway through the course. You have enough knowledge and experience to begin (or continue) to plan how you will implement the process. There are three parts to this assignment; state how you have/will:
- Introduce, teach, and support the Tribes agreements
- Build community inclusion (learn names, use the community circle, initiate groups, etc.)
- Use a strategy or energizer to relate to content (take another look at all those strategy lists I have sent you for your Tribes folder)
I encourage your participation in this particular assignment; just like the ‘good stuff’ I will send you from my Tribes folder, we have a tremendous opportunity to learn from one another here – across grade/age/subject areas.
I will send you some attachments for your Tribes folder
Class #4 class page assignment checklist and QUICK LINKS TO FORUM