|Guess My Picture Drawings|
Last year in my math class I put whiteboards up around my room and it changed the learning in so many impactful ways. When I moved into an assistant principal position this year, I did't want to give my the whiteboards up. I wanted to figure out a way they could help me help students.
Way #1 - Whiteboards to calm a student down
The other day I got called to the playground to pick up a misbehaving first grader from afternoon recess. By the time I got out there he was in complete meltdown mode. As we walked to my office, he continued to cry uncontrollably and I knew that there would be no discussion of the problem while he was in this place.
When we got to my office, I grabbed the basket of whiteboard markers and invited the student to draw a picture or scribble or do something on the whiteboard to help him calm down. He grabbed a black pen, looked at me and said, "let's play a game." I asked, "what game?" He quickly replied, "guess my drawing." I replied, "start drawing!"
He began drawing and as he drew, I would state the obvious: "it's a rectangle." Each time I stated the obvious, he would get a huge grin on his face and keep drawing. His first picture was on the left - a spider web and the second was a robot.
The process of drawing allowed me to observe and watch this first grade boy's personality come out. He went from hysterical to smiling, creating, problem-solving and calming himself down. Our game of "guess my picture" provided the student with the opportunity to get himself into a place where we could discuss his behavior. The whiteboards allowed for relationship and trust building which carried over to our conversation about appropriate behavior on the playground and in the classroom. They are becoming my go to empathy, social/emotional and conflict resolution tool for helping students.