January 8

Chapter 5- Conflict Resolution

This chapter, like the others, is split up into 6 sections. Each section has given a description and an example of different conflict resolution techniques.

The first section is on Agreements and Follow-Through. Executive decisions is typically how teachers, and parents, seem to roll, but without involvement from the other party, you will often fall into a rebellious situation. With involvement comes an increase in committment and acceptance by the other party. Having a brainstorming session with the student(s) about some possible solutions to the difficult situations and then reminding students about the agreement made will support them to follow through. When this does not work, it is important to follow through with the original agreement and revisit it with the group once again to come up with an appropriate agreement once again.

Understanding the Brain is a very piece for everyone to learn. Dr. Daniel Siegel’s description of the brain helps give an excellent visual for everyone to learn. It helps us to make the connection between limbic centre and the prefrontal cortex of the brains. It gives an excellent visual of what happens when you “flip your lid”, not allowing your prefrontal cortex and limbic centre to communicate with each other anymore.  This knowledge helps to pave the way for the use of the other strategies within this chapter. Today, January 6th, 2020, my staff had training with he EASE program where this was again reinforced. I have been learning a lot more about this recently and it makes complete sense! I know that I really need to remember this when I am beginning to “flip my lid” and/or my children are struggling as well.

The third section, Wheel of Choice and Anger Wheel of Choice, really hit home with me. It is something I would like to try at home, since disciplinary actions do not seem to work all that well (losing privileges, time-outs, etc). Again, brainstorming with the kids will give them some ownership over the different strategies/solutions. The visual, again created by the kids, gives them options in a quick and easy way (words and pictures). Having a wheel for self-regulation and one for problem solving is amazing! When I first heard about the Wheel of Choice, I was sceptical as I did not fully understand how it works, but after reading the section on it, I really want to try it out.

Positive Time-Out: Cooling Off is another strategy I would like to use. There are many times when I, personally, need the cooling off time. I look forward to using it in conjunction with the Wheel of Choice. It is important to remember that the child is not sent to Positive Time-Out, it should be a choice, and a space where they learn some self-regulation and self-control. Again, giving the child a choice between using the Wheel of Choice and a Positive Time-Out gives them a feeling of being in control, which helps them to learn self-regulation and self-control strategies as well.

In the fifth section, “I” Messages, works to help students take responsibility for their feelings. The use of “I” messages often leads to cooperation rather than rebellion or a negative, thoughtless reaction. Since the use of an “I” message allows a person to name and express a feeling, it becomes a non-judgemental statement and does not imply that the other person had anything to do with how they are feeling in this moment. Taking responsibility for one’s own feelings plays a huge role in our personal self-regulation. It is a skill that all people should learn. This is yet another strategy I need to teach and practice with my children. I look forward to seeing how it playsout with my boys, whose common lines are, “he made me do……”

The Four Steps Tool for Problem Solving discussed in the final section of this chapter, include ignoring it, talking it over respectfully, agreeing on a solution together and asking for help if you can’t work it out together. I often suggest to my oldest son to ignore different things but this is very difficult for him. I wonder how long it takes for children to learn this skill or if there are strategies to teach the ignoring skill? Is the role playing practice enough? They suggest that coupling each of these problem solving strategies with the other strategies could be supportive. Ignoring it pairs well with Positive Time Out, talking it out respectfully pairs with “I” messages, agreeing on a solution and asking for help both pair well with classroom meetings and brainstorming sessions.


I, personally, am really exctied about these conflict resolution strategies. Although I have heard of or used many of these strategies before, it has been really helpful to learn about them once again. Implementing these strategies in my own home and in my classroom should make my life, and those f my children/students a lot more pleasant in the long run. I think the place for me to begin will be using the “I” messages. I have used the positive time-out in the past, and I think that I need to teach my oldest son a bit more about this, as when I try to give myself a time-out, he feels the need to continuously talk to me.


Do you currently use any of these strategies? If so, which ones and how do you feel it works for you?

Which strategies will you try out in the near future?

January 2

Chapter 4- Classroom Management

The first section in this chapter focuses on Classroom Meetings. Classroom meeting allow for students to become problem solvers. It also helps them to learn the necessary social-emotional skills needed to navigate the world in a safe and caring environment. There are 8 essentials for holding an effective classroom meeting that are listed on page 125. During the learning of these skills, students practice their brainstorming, problem solving skills. One teacher even noticed that classroom meetings helped to build some empathy between their students.

In the second section on Class

Guidelines, teachers are encouraged to make class rules and regulations with the students. This helps to build a sense of community within the classroom and gives the students some ownership. This is something I have practiced even in my small groups. Creating a visual of “their” rules, allows me to give them quick reminders of what they chose for rules and we are able to move on within their constraints. This section also invites teachers to get the whole class involved in forming some of the daily routines in the classroom as well. Having the students discuss what steps they need to take to get ready for recess or when they come in from outside would help them to feel in control and give them some ownership of these processes. Setting up these expectations could be done within the classroom meeting.

Section three is all about Compliments. Giving compliments is not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes, students give really superficial compliments, “I like your shirt,” thinking that this will make someone feel better. It is important that the art of giving, and receiving, compliments is taught. Ensuring that we are giving a compliment, rather than praise, is also very important. “I have noticed that you are working very hard at raising your hand in class,” rather than saying, “Good job! You raised your hand!” gives the child a sense of accomplishment rather than just living up to your expectation to get the praise. On page 138, there is an activity outlined in order to show how comments can make people feel. Research shows that student behaviour improves by 80% just by letting them know what they are doing correctly, imagine how getting regular compliments could change the atmosphere of the classroom!

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences are the subect of the fourth section of Chapter 4. Three-way conferences eliminate the fear students had about what what being said about them by their teachers and parents. They allow the student to showcase their strengths and discuss or problem solve their difficulties. Students can really add to the conversations about their work while at the same time allowing encouragement from both the parents and teacher. At my school, the primary teachers use three-way conferences for each of the three reporting periods. As a parent of a child going through this process, I learned a lot more about my child’s learning. He was able to show the work that he was proud of and we were able to discuss some of the areas in which he was struggling. Together we came up with some appropriate goals he could focus on for the next term. We left the conference feeling as though we learned something about our son, while at the same time helped to support his further development. I am sad that this process is not continued in the intermediate classes at our school, but I do look forward to having my youngest son move in to the grade 1 class next year, where we will begin this once again.

The fifth section of this chapter discusses classroom jobs. I am sure that most classrooms have classroom jobs, from handing out papers to turning off the lights when they leave the classroom. The authors suggest having the class brainstorm job possibilities, allowing students to feel ownership over these jobs. Classroom jobs teach students responsibility and give them a sense of capability and belonging to a community.

Contributing is the subject of section six. Research has shown that people are born with a desire to contribute but often children are discouraged by their parents from doing so-typically because the parents believe that the child can’t do it correctly or because they are in a hurry. When children are not required to contribute, they become entitled, expecting everything to be done for them and this will often transfer into the classroom as well. It has been shown that those who contribute more also have a greater mental health.

Avoiding Rewards is the final section in Chapter 4. Although students love rewards, and they are quick and effective, they do not encourage long-term behaviour changes. Children need to feel that they are making a difference in order for their behaviours to change. Giving rewards may work in the short term, but when the reward is no longer desireable, or no longer there, they may resort back to the original behaviours. We need to encourage children to look for the inner satisfaction of their actions, this is where the real pay-off comes from and the real behaviour-changer. Not gonna lie, I have been encouraging my son’s teacher to use a sticker-type reward system to encourage him to come inside from recess. He is really struggling with his time in Kindergarten. He tells me constantly that he hates school, that it is boring and all he wants to do is play. I think the real reason he does not like school and that he is having some behaviour challenges is due to the fact that he does not have a connection with the adults in the building. Since he went to the same building for day care, where he also had some behavioural dfficulties, the staff already had preconceived notions about my son. He is living up to these notions for them. I am hoping that these external rewards will get him through his time in Kindergarten so that he can start over when he transitions to his new school for Grade 1. I know that this is not the best solution, but I am not sure that I can change the teachers at his school 🙁


How can you implement these ideas into your classroom?

Do you already use any of the strategies in your classroom? How doe they work for you? Do you have any stories that might inspire others?

January 1

Chapter 5- A Need for Change

In this world’s shortest chapter, we are given food for thought. Interoception is a relatively new topic but look at how important it is for many individuals, those with Autism, ADHD and other self-regulation difficulties. The challenge in this chapter is to learn more about interoception. Work hard at building the IA of our students with the end goal that they become more aware of themselves and those around them. Help our students be all that they can be, in the present and in their future!


Thank you for reading with me! Ihope that you enjoyed the book as much as I did!

January 1

Chapter 4- Building Interoceptive Awareness

This chapter is, really, what we have all been waiting for! The section with the strategies! There are two different types of interventions, those for reducing Interoceptive Awareness and one for building Interoceptive Awareness. Those strategies being used in cases of reduced interoceptive awareness will give the child indications of whne to complete the necessary task, such as alarms for using the washroom. IA Builders increase attention to the functions of the body and thus increase one’s awareness of these necessary features.


Strategies for Interoceptive Awareness Builders are found on pages 71 through 88. Each strategy includes a mini-lesson plan for each one. At my school this year, we are doing an inquiry project on anxiety, teaching students about anxiety, what it is, how it feels and how to work with it, including strategies to reduce these feelings. One of the first things we have been doing is asking the kids to do a body scan- a thoughtful process about where they feel their anxiety when they do feel it. In this chapter, we see the stages of the body scan for those that are not yet aware of the feelings inside their bodies and then it works its way up to the feelings when a child is uspset, anxious, sad, etc. There are also strategies learning about heart rate and games that teach a child how to lower their heart rates. These is also an IA Builder called  “Interoception in Others” in which they use the skills they have learned about themselves in order to see these feelings in others. I think I might have to play this game with my own son, who often does not see how others are feeling until it is way too late.


Which strategies do you already use? Which would you like to try out? Is there a strategy that you might change somehow to suit your own needs?

January 1

Chapter 3- Assessment

In order to measure a child’s Interoceptive Awareness, it is necessary to use an assessment tool. The problem is, there isn’t an effective tool for children, yet. The tool that is currently available, the Mulitdisciplinary Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness, is geard towards adults. Kelly Mahler has spent some time developing an assessment tool, which she updates frequently as she learns more and more from her clients. This tool is a question and answer format that is designed to be done as an interview. She has also designed a questionnaire that targets self-regulation skills. Finally a third questionnaire for the caregiver of the individual helps round out the information on the children with whom you may be supporting. Since it is important to understand a child’s challenges before supporting them fully, working through these questionnaires will give you a good starting point.


Obviously, assessment is very important, and there is an example of the assessment in the appendix of the book, but I can honestly say that I am a little upset that you have to purchase a whole other book in order to be able to assess interoceptive awareness of the children I work with. Thankfully, it is only $27.95 + shipping, but I was hopeful that this book would give me a wasy to assess and utilize the necessary strategies without having to purchase another book.