Wheel of Choice: Problem-Solving Made Easier!

Seisen News

Wheel of Choice: Problem-Solving Made Easier!
Tara Carnright

Fitting with their current Unit of Inquiry, Relationships, our grade 1 students are learning about many different strategies to help solve problems with their classmates and friends using the Wheel of Choice.  

With the introduction of the enhanced Primary Years Program (PYP), Seisen elementary teachers continue to strive to better support our students' social-emotional development. Every chance we get, we utilise language which will familiarise the girls with attributes/characteristics that can help them to not only become better learners, but also better friends and humans. In particular, and as part of my job, I am always looking for ways to help students to grow their Emotional Intelligence, or EQ. A large part of EQ involves managing conflict, regulating emotions, and reflecting on one's own actions. With greater emphasis being placed on the Learner Profile, we will continue to embed words such as "Caring," "Principled," "Communicator," and "Reflective" into lessons, so student's can build on their understanding. 

The introduction of the Wheel of Choice, a subset of the Positive Discipline movement by Dr. Jane Nelson, allows for a proactive approach to teaching Seisen students' specific strategies for solving problems. Each week, I am dedicating a portion of time to entering into grade 1 classrooms and, with teacher support, implementing this simple, easy-to-follow curriculum. Typically, students either listen to a story, take part in or watch a role play, use "turn-and-talk" to share ideas, and get a chance to practice the skill. At the end, each student colors in the portion of the wheel that they have learned about that week. 

So far we've learned how to........

  • Give a genuine apology
  • Share & take turns
  • Say "STOP" when someone makes us uncomfortable or irritated
  • Be a Friend

Next, we'll learn how to........

  • Ignore it!
  • Go to a cool-down spot
  • Count to 10

I'm a firm believer in using children's literature to both teach and reinforce skills. At times, children can remember the details of stories better than they can remember your words! There are LOADS of books available in our ES Media Center that can be good "conversation starters" with your daughter about friendships, conflict and how she treats others. Here are some great books that we've used during our Wheel of Choice lessons:

Parents, it'd be wonderful if you could also help your younger students problem-solve using this model. The more repetition and language between home and school, the better! Also, it's important to remember that conflicts happen ALL the time, and that they are mostly small problems your children are going to be dealing with, such as friendship squabbles. Here are some additional tips for helping your kids develop stronger emotional intelligence, which is one of the most valuable qualities they can have. 

As always, if you have questions, concerns, or wonderings about how to best support your child, please don't hesitate to reach out!

~Ms. Carnright



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