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BLUE BOMBER VOICES: Lake Placid educators putting the wow in positive behavior

November 2, 2018
By KEITH FENTON - Lake Placid Elementary School , Lake Placid News

The Lake Placid Elementary School community is developing a creative personal approach to PBIS.

PBIS is an acronym for Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports; a framework of ideas geared toward guiding individuals to recognize, repeat and reward positive behavior. At LPES, we're hoping to spin a unique creative twist into PBIS by throwing in The Wow Factor. Wow makes folks turn their heads and take notice. Wow can make a difference.

The theory behind PBIS lies in publicly recognizing positive behavior in lieu of consequences for questionable behavior. PBIS emphasizes safe, responsible and respectful actions. Our goal at LPES is to use these core principles to teach positive character education traits and behaviors by publicly recognizing students who exemplify them.

Each character trait is carefully considered and discussed with our PBIS team and follows the annual theme chosen by our principal. Last year's theme was "What Kind of Superhero Are You?" Each child was reminded that we can all be superheroes and our character traits reflected this theme. Because we want to immerse our students in the idea of positive behavior, we also recognized superheroes in our neighborhood. Students worked together to create thank-you bags for local superheroes, including the fire and police departments, the local electric and transportation companies and the hospitals.

We try to embed these character traits in to our school culture. Students hear about the trait in the classroom, they see examples in the hallways, and they read about it in the newsletter.

You may have noticed a large display outside the elementary school office. This is a visual display of student behavior success. Each time a child is noticed exemplifying the given character trait they receive public recognition for it. For example, this year's theme is "Be the Nice Kid," and each trait presents examples of how to make the decision to be nice and what that choice looks like for each trait.

September's character trait was "citizenship." Staff and students looked for children demonstrating citizenship through honesty and integrity. They then wrote their name on a leaf, and the office added the leaf to the visual display for all to see. At the end of the month, we host an event to celebrate our success of learning and demonstrating this character trait. In this case, we made applesauce from apples donated by Florence Orchard in Peru, and the students got a special treat as a thank you for a "nice" start to the school year.

The rest of this coming school year we hope to build on getting noticed. We want children to consider being noticed for their positive behavior. We want children to recognize their peers emulating the same admirable behavior. We'll drive this process with creative, student-driven projects throughout the building that students will strive to be associated with projects that will "wow" students, staff, parents and visitors and hopefully generate curiosity and questions.

Each month of the school year, we will present students with a new character trait and behaviors to look for. In October, we were looking for students displaying determination by setting and achieving their goals. December will see our students celebrated for their generosity by sharing their time and talents without expectation of return. We believe natural combinations of character traits, yearly events and holidays will foster a feeling of comfort and belonging throughout the Lake Placid Elementary School by recognizing, repeating and rewarding "The Nice Kids."

(Keith Fenton is a special education teacher at the Lake Placid Elementary School. He also coordinates the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports program.)

 
 

 

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