Explain to the students that they will be doing role-playing activities to become familiar with how to solve problems in Fin’s Peaceful Place. This is an activity that prepares the students for the ‘opening ceremonies’ of this special place in the classroom.
Explain the specific process of Fin’s Peaceful Place:
The two students enter the classroom and let the teacher know that there is a problem. They must get permission to go to Fin’s Peaceful Place.
The teacher tells them to take a seat in Fin’s Peaceful Place and sets the kitchen timer to one minute.
The teacher stresses the importance of taking time to calm down. Explain that methods used to calm down include taking three deep breaths or counting to ten.
Students sit across from each other in Fin’s Peaceful Place to calm down or cool off. They are thinking about what the problem is and what some ideas might be to solve it.
When one minute is up, the teacher sets the timer to five minutes and the students begin by identifying the problem and then brainstorming to solve it. Students should use Fin’s ABCD Steps to Problem-Solving to find a solution. They have 5 minutes to try to solve the problem and come up with an agreed solution.
If they come up with a solution, they both let the teacher know what their solution is and/or what they will do in the future to avoid the problem.
If the students are not able to solve it after five minutes, the teacher may step in to assist or set the timer again to give the students more time to come up with a solution.
Identify two student actors and have the class provide a hypothetical example of a conflict that can occur between two students. Have the student actors go through the specific process above (even using the timer) to demonstrate how Fin’s Peaceful Place is used.
Be sure the Fin’s ABCD Steps to Problem-Solving chart is nearby so it can be referenced throughout the role-playing. Once the students have had some time to cool off, emphasize the importance of using Fin’s ABCD Steps to Problem-Solving in order to reach a mutual solution.
1. Ask: What is the problem?
Have one student identify the problem. Have the other student agree and state the problem as well.
Example, “We were fighting over the swings at recess.”
2. Brainstorm: Ideas to solve the problem.
Have both role-play students identify one possible solution to the problem. Then ask the whole class for other possible solutions to the problem. Explain that they are using the strategy of brainstorming (expressing ideas) to come up with a number of possible solutions.
3. Choose: The best solution.
Once the students have exhausted all possible solutions, the role-playing students choose a solution they both agree on. They verbally state their solution of choice.
4. Do it: Go to the teacher.
When they have agreed on a solution, they are to report the specific solution to the teacher.
It is important that teachers use several examples and role-play situations to help students learn the problem-solving steps so they are well trained before the ’opening’ of Fin’s Peaceful Place. The more practice students have with the process, the more effective they will be at resolving conflicts.