Thursday, September 18, 2008

Caution appears to be the theme of the year




Usually known as the colors of the stop light - also known as the colors in Colton's Kindergarten discipline policy.

Green obviously means you're good to go. No infractions for the day.

Yellow. Caution. Minor infractions have occurred.

Red. Stop right there. Time out chair. Serious stuff.

In an effort to control the behavior of the class, Colton's teacher has issued a challenge for the students to remain on green the entire week. If they have 5 green days, they get to choose their free time for Friday. I bet there are children in the class who have gotten to choose their free time for 3 weeks in a row. Colton is not one of those children. He has gotten to choose his free time . . . . . . zero times. Still has a great attitude about it, though.

Mommy, if I ever finally get all greens, I am choosing the building center for my free time.

Last week, on about Wednesday or so, his chair had a mind of it's own and "just slipped right out from under me and tipped over. I was sitting in it just like you're supposed to, and I have no idea why it just jumped out from under me."

The week before that, I'm sure he was just trying to be the teacher's helper. You see, you are not supposed to lay down during story time. And someone named Terrance was not following the guidelines. So, Colton decided to "help him" see the error of his ways. I think every classroom needs enforcers, errrr, I mean helpers, like that!

This week, we stepped a little more to the serious side, or so I thought. Tuesday night, on the way home, Colton says -

I already slipped over to the yellow, mom.

What happened?

I'm not really sure

Colton, it was a matter of hours ago. I'm sure if you think about it, you can remember.

I don't know!

When did you marker change to yellow?

Oh yeah, it was after recess. There mighta been a little bit of pushin' and shovin' on the playground.

Really? And were you involved in this pushing and shoving?


Who was pushin' and who was shovin'?

Well, I was mostly doin' the pushin' and Terrance and (forgot 2nd name) were doin' the shovin'.

Great - so you're fighting on the playground?! Colton, we've talked about how to handle arguments at school. You can't just be fighting with other kids!

Mom, we weren't fighting! We weren't even mad at each other. We were just playin' cops and robbers. But, I guess you can't be pushin' and shovin' even when you're just playin'.

Enter Chance - Colton! Everyone knows you can't play real cops and robbers on the playground! You just have to play the tag kind, and they have to walk to the "jail" by themselves. No pushing! Jeez!!! Everybody knows that!!

Yes, apparently now we all know. And so, we just have to figure out how to get all these little nuggets of wisdom through to Colton. He's already figured out that a yellow on Tuesday deems the week a failure, so the incentive to try for green on Thursday is greatly diminished. I'm gonna have to come up with some sort of graduated reward scale at home. Something like - two greens, cheesy prize; three greens - a bit less cheesy prize; four greens - halfway decent prize; five greens - he gets the world. Reds cancel all.

Because the Caution, it's like limbo-land. Nothing bad enough to actually send a note home. No real trouble or consequences. But no reward. And me? I'm a real black and white kinda gal. We're either succeeding or we're not. I'm not much for the limbo-land. I need a chart, and goals, and tracking. And success. We need to find a way for him to have some success. So that on Tuesday, when the yellow monster strikes again, all is not lost.

Does this make sense? Anyone else out there with the same challenges? Would welcome any and all suggestions. Unless they start with how cute Colton is, and how much you love to hear about his antics every week. Cute's not gonna get him to the graduation podium. Thankyouverymuch.


Miller Family said...

I am giggling with a big smile from ear to ear. Ty has the same discipline in his 1st grade (last year in K as well). He comes home and tells me if anyone has gotten on it. Last year, he was on yellow twice. The first time he was just about in tears when he told me and the 2nd time, I found out from his buddy's mom. He wanted to know how I found out and I said that you can't hide anything in a small town. I will ALWAYS find out. His eyes got really big and he told me what happened. This year it has happened once because he forgot he wasn't supposed to talk during journal time. I do like what you are thinking....incentives at home so the whole week isn't shot. Good Luck!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Heather, I just don't see how he's going to stay green when his father is in law inforcement and a man to be looked up to. Colton is just going to be busy enforcing the law and following the example of his dad by shoving the bad guys out of the way at recess. It's black and white really. :)

I wouldn't dream of trying to tell a good mother how to do her job. You'll know what to do, of that, I'm certain.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

ahem....enforcement not inforcement.

tina said...

i think i am going need the same advice when you find the right one! pretty good story though - love the part how older brother knows the "rules of the playground".