Just the other day, two of my students came in from recess upset. These two particular students have experienced conflict between each other a lot this year. They are both nice children, their personalities just don't seem to jive. They are learning to deal with this phenomenon, no different than the rest of us! I won't go into detail about the talks we have and the reconciliation that occurs, but I will tell you what I did that was different than all the other times I have dealt with these two particular students.
Having spent some time facilitating their discussion, I asked them to tell each other to agree to trying to do one or two things to help the other out. The next morning, I brought the students back together and I told them that we were going to use the smart pen to record (audio and written) their agreement so that they could revisit/review what they are trying to do to be respectful to the other.
To my surprise, the students were quite clear about what they had agreed to do. Moreover, they started telling me some of the "Tools for Life" they could use to avoid turning a small disagreement/issue into a big one. Here is the text/audio of our what took place (the text you want start about half way down - "Conflict with Students" - click on those words and the audio/text will begin there):
Both students have taken the opportunity to review our talk by using the smartpen and dot paper to review what we talked about. I want to add that they have done this on their own time (e.g snack time, preparing for recess). Individually, they have approached me to do this and they told me that they wanted to hear themselves again. I asked them what hearing themselves does for them and they responded by saying that they like to hear the conversation because it reminds them of what they need to work on.
I think it's awesome that the smartpen can offer my students assistance around conflict resolution. I am open and excited about the possibilities this 'tool' can bring my students to engage them and spark them to reflect on their words and actions.
I would love your feedback about this blog post. Please feel free to comment!