At Home #1: Words We Use At School

Parents at home may find it easier to use the same vocabulary we use at school.  Our teachers consistently use these terms to provide structure for your children, and to apply clear rules and standards to their conduct in the classroom.  We hope parents can take advantage of their children’s training at school, and we hope consistent words while at home will make the transition back to school that much smoother.  Here are ten (10) important words or phrases:

  1. “Work”:
    We have “works,” not “toys”.  The children are familiar with this term and will likely respond positively to you talking to them about their “works.”  (With that in mind, I often remind parents that they, too, need to only speak positively about their own work.  “I had a great day at work today!”  “I was so happy to work with my friends today!”  “I was very busy at work today.”  “I really love my work!”)
  2. “Friend”:
    Everybody is a friend.  We are a friend/friendship school.  “Good morning, Friend.” “We can draw pictures for some of your friends today.” “I’m thinking of three of your friends at school.  Can you guess which friends I’m thinking of?”
  3. “Walking feet”:
    The only place for running (safely) is outdoors in a yard/playground, so anyone running or fast-walking inside or on the sidewalk/parking lot is reminded, “Walking feet, please.”
  4. “Peace”:
    If there is disagreement or sadness among two or more children, we comment, “Please tell me what you’re thinking (or what you think happened)”, followed by, “How can we make it peaceful for you?, or “What can we do to help you feel peace?”  The goal: a quiet, non-dramatic conversation that results in peace for everyone involved.
  5. “Clean up”:
    Every child always takes out and puts away his/her own works.  If the child moves on to another work without cleaning up, we say, “I’ll hold this (the next work) –  or, “I’ll wait here” – while you clean up this work.”  That way, we’re just patiently waiting for the child to do the right thing without directly telling him/her to do it.
  6. “No, thank you”:
    When a child does something inappropriate, we say, “No, thank you,” followed by a reminder of the right thing (“We use our feet to walk, not to step on a friend’s works.”  “Only teachers (or parents) touch doors.”)
  7. “Always choose to do the right thing”:
    Similar to #6, we remind children about the importance of the child choosing to do the right thing.  We often follow this with, “What is the right thing to do? (meaning, what should the child have done when s/he did something inappropriate?)
  8. “Hands are for helping, not for hurting”:
    We say this if a child hits, pushes, or does something unkind to another person or to the materials/furniture/environment.
  9. “I (or the other person/thing) am/is not for hitting/pushing”:
    Similar to #8.  We want the child to know that people and things are not there to be hit or pushed.
  10. “Respect”:
    We ask the children to treat all of the people, materials, furniture, etc. with respect.

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