It is important that students enjoy the classroom and each other. It is equally important to ensure that everyone feels positive all year long. Fin’s ABCD Steps to Problem-Solving assists students in solving problems without much teacher intervention. The goal is to create a step-by-step process that the students know and follow to resolve conflicts amongst themselves. Fin’s ABCD Steps to Problem-Solving is key to the success of Fin’s Peaceful Place.
Create and laminate a Fin’s ABCD Steps to Problem-Solving chart for your classroom. The following page contains an example. After you have discussed the Steps to your class, hang the chart in Fin’s Peaceful Place.
Introduce Fin’s ABCD Steps to Problem-Solving by discussing the word ‘conflict.’ Let students know that conflict will naturally occur in the classroom and on the playground and that it is a part of school life. Because conflict is a natural part of their development and growth, explain that it is important to learn how to solve conflicts on their own.
Display the large Fin’s ABCD Steps to Problem Solving chart and review each step.
A – Ask – what is the problem?
B – Brainstorm – ideas to solve the problem
C – Choose – the best solution
D – Do it – let the teacher know
Practice the problem-solving steps by giving examples of potential conflicts and how they can be resolved.
Example: taking turns on the swings. Record the specifics for each step on chart paper.
Introduce Fin’s Peaceful Place. Point out the location, the problem-solving chart to refer to, and the chairs for listening and talking through a problem.
Problem-Solving Part II:
Fin’s Peaceful Place
“Teachers cannot teach and students cannot learn unless there is peace and order in the classroom.”
– Roger & David Johnson
When students have conflicts to resolve, it is important that over time, they learn to resolve them independently. Now that students understand the Fin’s ABCD Steps to Problem-Solving, we want to introduce a special area of the classroom where students can go to resolve their conflicts with each other. This special area will be known as Fin’s Peaceful Place. Not all conflicts can be handled in Fin’s Peaceful Place.
Some issues require immediate adult intervention.
However, if all students are well-trained in the role-play process and are provided opportunities to observe peaceful problem solving, they will become effective at solving most of their own conflicts. Locate a designated space (corner, rug area, table, etc.) in the classroom where students can go when they have a conflict. The location of Fin’s Peaceful Place should be a space that allows students to go to work out their issues, but also provides the teacher the ability to observe and monitor students’ progress.
Set up at least two chairs and post the Fin’s ABCD Steps to Problem-Solving chart within this Peaceful Place. Include a kitchen timer in this space.
Discuss the purpose of Fin’s Peaceful Place with the students. Encourage them to use this place when they have a conflict to resolve with another student. Use the following activities to get the students ready to use Fin’s Peaceful Place on their own. Once you feel your students are adequately prepared to independently use Fin’s Peaceful Place, conduct a brief ‘opening ceremonies’ so the students become inspired to use it when needed.
Keep Fin’s Peaceful Place set-up through the duration of the Fin’s Friends program or all year. Keeping the space available allows students the ability to practice resolving conflicts peacefully and individually.