Wednesday, May 15, 2013
A solution kit is a little box containing ideas for stopping conflict, a box, container, or small suitcase that is filled with peaceful conflict resolution ideas. Typical solutions I have put into my solution kit are “take a break,” “take a deep breath,” “tell my story,” and “find a way to have turns.” I have found some already made ones but I think it is useful to have a discussion with the kids and create your own.
I introduce the solution kit from the previous year a week or so after I have introduced the class rules. We go through the solutions, usually after some conflicts have arisen in the classroom, but not while in conflict. Children grasp the idea of the solutions better when they are all calm and relaxed. We talk about a few and how they work, and we role-play or practice doing them together. I might introduce a few each day until we have all of them explained. I also talk about creating new ones if we want to, because these children are so bright they can come up with great solutions too.
As an intentional teacher I plan for when I see a conflict situation arise so we can practice using the Solution kit. The more you help the children use it at the beginning of the year, the sooner the children will be independent in using the solution kit, or creating their own solutions that work. After the first several weeks of school most of my students are independently using the solutions kit, or the skills learned from it. This allows me to focus on helping the children who need a little extra support.