|Principal & Clinic|
Conflict Resolution Time Machine
Picture Rule Cards
The Safe Place is a center where children can go to change their inner state from upset to composed in order to optimize learning. It is the centerpiece of your self-regulation program. A portable Safe Place is helpful for use on the playground.
Establishing an outdoor Safe Place is a bit different than setting up one for use in the classroom, but it is important for children to have a place to handle tough emotions while engaging in outdoor play. Select a bench or use a small blanket to designate the ground space that will serve as your Safe Place. Carry your Safe Place materials to and from the outdoors using a Safe Place Case (a small backpack, plastic bin, lunchbox or other container). Fill the case with tools and activities that support active calming.
The I Choose Self-Control Board is an ideal portable Safe Place tool. In addition, a Stress S.T.A.R., the I Can Calm book, Calming and Cranky Cream made from the templates on the Make-N-Take CD-Rom, printed breathing icons from our Resources webpage, crayons and paper are all wonderful items to include in your case. Personalize the contents of the case to meet the needs of the children in your care, and remember to model the active calming techniques you wish children to use.
The Safe Place is discussed in detail, including activities and images, in Chapter 9 of Creating the School Family. Helpful music for the Safe Place includes "Bye Bye Crankies" on I Love You Rituals Volume 2, "Snuggle Up" on I Love You Rituals Volume 1, "S.T.A.R. Song" on It Starts in the Heart, "You Can Relax Now" on Kindness Counts, and "Calm Your Brain" and "Safe and Calm" on Brain Boogie Boosters.
The Time Machine provides a way for children to "go back in time" to re-do hurtful interactions using new, helpful language. It is an entire conflict resolution and assertiveness training program condensed into seven practical steps that are used with students who’ve infringed upon each other immediately following the conflict. Regular use of the Time Machine is the key to bully prevention and victim empowerment. With the many opportunities for conflict the playground presents, having a Time Machine on hand is essential to children’s growth and learning.
The vinyl canvas Conflict Resolution Time Machine coaches children and adults through the necessary steps for resolving conflict in a healthy way. The assertive language used with the Time Machine is supported by the story in Shubert's BIG Voice, is discussed in the Conscious Discipline book, and is detailed with activities in Chapter 12 of Creating the School Family. The Time Machine process is:
Step 1: Roll back time. Have the participants and the class (when applicable) roll their hands backwards signifying going back in time.
Step 2: Are you willing? Ask for willingness. "Are you willing to solve the problem so everyone in the class can learn helpful ways?" If willing, the victim stands on the "I don't like it" side of the mat, and the aggressor on the other side.
Step 3: Breathing star. Be a S.T.A.R. Everyone Smiles, Takes a deep breath And Relaxes.
Step 4: Tree of hearts. Wish each other well. Everyone places their hands on their hearts and offers well-wishes to each other.
Step 5: 1-2-3. Focus on the goal. The adult and/or the class chants, "1-2-3," and the participants respond, "Let's do it," to build unity.
Step 6: Sentence starters. Coach the children to use helpful words. Have the victim speak first using the sentence starter printed on the Time Machine. "I don't like it when you ____. Next time, please______." Help children reframe their thoughts to show how they want to be treated. Instead of, "Stop it," teach phrases like, "Next time say, Move please, instead of pushing me."
Step 7: Hearts and globe. Connect to repair the bond and show there are no hard feelings. Participants connect with a handshake, a hug, a high-five or other connection.
Music that supports the Time Machine includes "BIG Voice" and "Turn Back Time" on Kindness Counts.
The right hemisphere of the brain is in charge of self-regulation. Because the right hemisphere processes information in images, it is important to show children visual images of what acceptable behaviors look like. The Picture Rule Cards provide specific images of what children can do to be successful members of the School Family.
Each rule in Shubert’s Picture Rule Cards consists of an image of a hurtful behavior and two images of helpful choices. This provides children with a clear "no," plus two choices for positive behaviors that will maintain their commitment to the safety of the classroom. You may need to customize your own playground picture rule cards by photographing children demonstrating the two helpful choices and one hurtful/unsafe behavior. Mark through the hurtful/unsafe choice and then post each set of cards together in the appropriate playground areas. (Example: Post the swinging rules near the swing set.)
Tell children, “My job is to keep you safe. Your job is to help keep it safe.” Discuss what would help them feel safe in the classroom/on the playground. Post Picture Rule Cards around the locations where they will be used. (Example: Post lining up pictures near the door.)
Jobs provide each child the opportunity to contribute to the School Family with meaningful responsibilities. Every child in the Conscious Discipline classroom has a job. The School Family Job board provides a management system for the jobs.
Create a list of the routines, rituals and duties you conduct every day on the playground. Select the jobs that are most important and can be done by your students. Every student in the class will have a job. Some jobs, like the “Equipment Collection Team,” may be conducted by a group or committee.
Display your jobs visually so every child can see them. Supply props as needed, like providing a Kindness Tree (younger) or Kindness Notebook (older) for the Kindness Recorder, and a drum for the “Playground Timer” to signal time to line up. Teach how to do each job, rotating jobs weekly. Each child will teach his/her job to the next child when they rotate.
The Conscious Discipline book and Chapter 11 in the School Family book provide more information about classroom jobs. Music that supports the Job Board includes “Jobs Matter” on Kindness Counts and “I’m a Helpful Person” on Songs for I Love You Rituals Volume 2.