Does anyone use the restitution form of classroom management?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by looking in ct, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. looking in ct

    looking in ct Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2007

    My new school uses this.
    It seems like it makes sense, but it seems like it takes alot of time out of the lesson etc...
    I am teaching second grade and it seems like it works better for older students.

    Any experience with this?
    :) :thanks:
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 17, 2007

    I've never heard of that system. Can you summarize it?
     
  4. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 17, 2007

    I am not a brief person, so here is my version:

    I use some elements of restitution. It's part of the Responsive Classroom program. Basically, it's the kids coming up with a way to right a wrong.

    For example, when a child does something to hurt another child (generally emotionally, like not sharing) instead of fixing the problem by saying something like, "Bobby, give the ball to Jim, it's his turn. Say you're sorry." I would say, "what can you do to fix this situation with Jim. It seems like he's feeling pretty bad right now." They can work back and forth to come up with a way to fix the problem. I don't tell kids to say they're sorry because I don't think it's sincere. Sometimes they will automatically decide to apologize. Sometimes they will just fix the probelm on their own. Sometimes their solutions are not what I would do (harsher) but they come up with them on their own and both agreed.

    Restitution is a little like logical consequences. Instead of a 3 strikes you're out type policy, where every negative action (regarless of whether it's not turing in homework or if it's teasing) are dealt with the same way-- in restitution you will have many ways of dealing with a problem.

    In my class, many times the kids will write an apology note, especially if something happened with an adult. When dealing with other kids, they can come up with a solution pretty quickly, and it's usually like, "ok, your turn. Sorry." I have had times, particulary with girls, where they would go off and talk for like 20 minutes. You need to allow for them to work through their problems. Sometimes I would go and work with them, because they need some guidance in problem solving. This kind of system does require that you let the kids have the space to fix the problem, which might mean standing in the hall solving it while you are teaching a lesson. I figure I would rather do this, because if they are mad and upset during the lesson I am making them sit through because it's time to do the lesson, they are not listening or absorbing the information anyway. Taking 5 minutes to work it out, is a better use of time. They can come back ready to be attentive to what's going on in class.

    This also works well with teaching I Statements. I'm pretty sure this is how they go:

    I feel _________ when you ________. I need _______.

    I taught this last year and it worked really well. I also model I statements by using them myself. I don't know if I LOVE I statements, but it's what our school counselor recommended. They work... but it always feels a little strange to me to put the feelings out there. (That's probably me, the kids seem ok.) We also use I statements for positive things... just for extra practice.

    Other schools may do it differently.
     
  5. Buttons

    Buttons Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2007

    If you are interested in Restitution you should read Restitution by Dianne Gossen. I went to her workshop and it was very good. She explains in a very straightforward way why and how restitution works. I think the main idea is.. we are not focusing on praising or punishing, but rather problem solving and natural/logical consequences.
     
  6. Ms.T

    Ms.T Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2007

    littleschool, that sounds really similar to Love and Logic, which I use. I think it is really funny to see kids give themselves much harsher punishments than I would have. They know when they need to punish themselves!

    It does take a different mindset to use these sorts of systems. This is not a quick and simple, pull a card sort of thing. But I believe that these problem-solving methods work better in the end. It helps the kids learn how to solve problems on their own, which is what we want. You do have to have more time to attend to behavior issues, but I don't feel that it is overwhelming.
     
  7. MsTeacher98

    MsTeacher98 Companion

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    Aug 17, 2007

    Wow! This is exactly what I was looking for. I am not very good with classroom economies, card pulling stuff. I always seem to forget or get disorganized or whatever. They don't really fit my personality because I don't really get the connection. This follows my own internal logic, so I think it would be a much better fit. I assume that you do a lot of role modeling, etc. Does it end up saving you more time in the end because the kids have kind of figured it out for themselves or no? And what about when you have a sub? Are they able to manage or is it harder? I'm going to check out the book! Thanks for this post!!
     
  8. Buttons

    Buttons Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2007

    Here's the explanation of Diane Gossen's workshop. Restitution I -
    Introduction to Restitution

    Restitution focuses on relationships not rules. On responsibility, not obedience. And on respect, not gold stars. Research has repeatedly shown that when students and teachers treat one another with respect, the environment for learning improves and test scores go up.

    Restitution is based on control theory which is a theory of internal motivation. Traditional discipline programs are based on stimulus-response psychology and focus on consequences either positive ones such as rewards or negative ones such as the removal of privileges or detention.

    Restitution teaches students self-discipline and skills needed to accept personal responsibility for one's actions. Restitution strengthens.

    "The focus of restitution is restituting the self which teaches students to behave to be the person they want to be rather than to please others. An important part of this workshop is the social contract that includes the beliefs and values the teacher and students decide together are important.
     
  9. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    Aug 17, 2007

    I now use Love and Logic, and I also think it sounds similar to Restitution. It's good to know there is something else out there to cite... just in case I need to justify the "system" I use. I am the only one in my building who doesn't use card pulling! With the reward/punishment system, I still always had the kid or two who gave up and continued to misbehave regardless of how low on the system he or she had gone. So I questioned whether it was really effective. It's not like the other system ever took care of every kid's behavior... there was never 100% compliance. Now that I use Love and Logic, instead of having kids feeling defeated and negative, I can talk about responsibility, decision making and a way to make things better concerning the offended party. I do this whether the kid has made daily mistakes, or does so once a week or once a year. The offender can keep his or her dignity. Last year was the first year I made this change, and I am absolutely certain it was the best thing I did for my sanity and the kids' well being. It's what I was trying to do all along, but now I have guidance, resources, and research to back me up.
     
  10. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 17, 2007

    You do need to model restitution, especially if you have older kids who are trained by rewards and consequences or are used to visual systems like flipping cards, getting marbles, etc.

    During the first few weeks of school and throughout the year, we role-play various situations. For example, we role-play what to do if a member of a group is not working with everyone else...there are many solutions to the problem. We role play using the I Statements, what to do when someone is excluded etc. How to help someone who is feeling sad, what you can do if you are feeling left out, etc. This year I brainstormed with the class a list of "Things Friends Do That Make You Feel Good" and another list for things that make you feel bad. For awhile we looked at the list daily, and did a role play to show how someone could solve the problem if someone makes them feel bad. We also talked about things done throughout the day on the good list, and the kids shared compliments and stories of things friends did that made them feel good.
     

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