In an effort to help our families understand a little bit more about the school-wide programs we use at Four Mile Elementary, we will be sharing monthly updates about the RAMS Way and the Olweus program. Here is our update for the months of November and December. Please see previous articles for an overview of each.
As mentioned last month, Four Mile uses Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to help students know what is expected and reinforce the positive behaviors at our school. Two methods that we use to reinforce positive behaviors are RAMS tickets and the MVP Award.
Typically, the more successful a student feels, the more they want to feel successful (which, in essence, can help foster intrinsic motivation). PBIS helps students to recognize their successes by using a tangible representation (RAMS tickets) partnered with clear positive feedback. RAMS tickets are given intermittently by teachers when students demonstrate the RAMS Way. When a teacher notices a student following the RAMS Way, they verbally reinforce the student and sometimes give them a ticket. Students can use their tickets to purchase items from the RAMS Cart every other week. Items on the cart include: Football with Mr. Kayser or Mr. Mohning, Lunch with Mrs. Parrie and 3 friends, RAMS Table (invite friend to sit with you at a special lunch table), Art Project with Mrs. Murphy, pencils, school supplies, stuffed animals, Sitting in the Teacher’s Chair, iPad Time, and so on. Items can cost as little as 5 tickets and as much as 250 tickets.
The MVP (most valuable player) award is given to at least 2 students in each class monthly. Students can earn this recognition by being a consistent example of the RAMS Way (Respectful, Always Responsible, Motivated Student with Manners, and Safe). Students can also earn this recognition by showing great improvement in any of those areas. All of our teachers are looking to reinforce the positive growth our students make both inside and outside of the classroom. Not only can classroom teachers give this award, specials teachers, cafeteria staff, office staff, etc. can recognize a student for their RAMS Way choices for the month. When a student earns an MVP awards they receive a certificate describing why they were selected as well as a mini sports ball with “Four Mile Elementary MVP” printed on it. Students are also recognized at the next RAMS Way assembly. We appreciate all of our students hard work and try to encourage them to make positive choices.
The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) has been helpful in developing a safe and caring classroom environment, specifically through classroom meetings. Our goal is to share some of the hot topics in each grade level each month, as well as provide a detailed example, called a “Classroom Spotlight”. Here are November and December’s HOT TOPICS:
Kindergarten: Kindness, Including others, Being safe with our bodies (not hitting)
1st Grade: Self Control, Handling bullying, Listening, Friend behaviors
2nd Grade: Growth Mindset, Perseverance, Empathy/Kindness, Gratitude, Handling Bullying
3rd Grade: Equality vs Equity, Handling conflict/anger, Classroom issues, Service Project (weaving mats), Kindness Project
4th Grade: Recess issues (football, basketball, conflicts), Handling bullying, Taking perspectives/Empathy, Thanksgiving plans
5th Grade: Choose KIND (related to book/movie, Wonder), Taking perspectives (trying to understand another’s point of view), Understanding bullying, Being thankful
Multiple classrooms at Four Mile have discussed the book, Wonder, and have even used the topics from it (Kindness, Perspective, Courage, etc) for class meetings. Wonder is a story about a boy with a facial deformity and follows him, as well as others, along his journey of starting 5th grade after being homeschooled his entire life. Ultimately, the book demonstrates that we can CHOOSE how we see the world and we can CHOOSE how we act in the world. We can also CHOOSE to understand that everyone has a story that we might know nothing about. The bottom line of the story is if given the choice, CHOOSE KIND. Both our 3rd and 5th graders did posters related to Wonder revolving around the concept CHOOSE KIND. 5th graders discussed the characters and how you can’t always tell what another person is thinking or what’s going on in their lives, so sometimes we need to take a moment to try and understand. They also talked about how it can be difficult to find the courage to do the right thing when it may not look “cool” to do it. If you haven’t read or saw Wonder yet, it’s a great platform for so many meaningful discussions with kids!
This year’s Season of Sharing was a great success. As a school (Staff and Students), we raised nearly $2000. This money was used to help provide food, clothing, winter gear, and gifts for 56 children (40 of them are Four Mile students, others are older or younger siblings)! We also received extra help from local sponsors and programs including Keystone Bank in Pleasant Hill, Pleasant Hill Lion’s Club, Channel Prime Alliance, Four Mile families, Kindercare, the Eastern Stars chapter, and of course our local Police Departments and the “Shop with a Cop” program. We are so fortunate to have so much support for our families in need of a little extra support! It truly takes a village and our village is phenomenal!!