Let’s talk about Good Choices and Bad Choices. What are good choices? How can we make good choices? Why should we make good choices? These are not just important questions for little ones themselves, but most likely questions they have in general. Are you addressing, answering, and specifically addressing these questions in your classroom?
More Than The Terms Good Choices and Bad Choices
First, let me tell you that the terms teachers use to discuss choices vary. I want you to know that I get it. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to phrase these choices as long as you are delivering them with the correct intent. There are 5 wording choices you can choose from.
Some of the terms you could use include:
-Good Choices and Bad Choices
I happen to use the words “Good Choices and Bad Choices” but I want you to know there are many wording options that look the same, but include those options.
What Are Good Choices?
This is such a significant question! I was shocked to discover that, this year, many of my learners simply didn’t know. Many thought it was maybe something they shouldn’t do but when I asked them why… they explained that a mommy or daddy would tell them not to do something.
First, we start with a whole group chart to discuss what are good choices as a class. This is a great way to pick their brains to see what they think AND what I need to talk to them about.
Next, we work on a class sort with examples. I have found this set to be significant because it has actual examples that could occur in your classroom. You can choose the cards to match behaviors in your room. Best yet, you can adjust the cards you use year after year!
Then, depending on the grade level and ability level that you teach, you can use a writing sheet with the sort cards or the cut and sort. This part of the section makes a great reminder piece for those who missed the whole class lesson or need a reminder lesson down the road.
You can see my sorting activity in the classroom below.
How Can I Make Good Choices?
This step can be so hard for some of our little learners. This lesson also begins with charts. Use these for whole group discussions on how to make good choices. I think it is significant to mention how perfection isn’t required, but practice makes progress.
Next, you can also use this sorting portion with specific examples. Again, you hold the power to mix and match the cards and situations to your needs.
One of my favorite sections would have to be the scenarios. You can read through things that actually happen in the classroom and decide together if it was an example of how to make good choices or not an example of how to make good choices.
If you have an area for students to think about their choices, you can also use these visual cards as additional support. Let me show you one way to display these.
Why Should I Make Good Choices?
A good choice at home may be different than a good choice at school. And good choices are usually good for everyone, not just for one person. I also feel this is a huge step in getting your class to buy into wanting to make good choices, especially when sometimes making those choices is hard! Simply put, we make good choices because it is the best thing for everyone. Check out these good and bad choices sorting cards.
How Can I Calm Down?
When talking about making good choices, all my years have shown me that some students struggle with keeping calm and calming down when things don’t go the way they think things should go. Whether it be not getting what they want, losing at a game, or even someone else making a choice they don’t agree with, some little learners need some extra help calming down.
This is why I included this section in the choices pack. I think it fits the needs of those students who need more help making those calming choices so they can make good choices. You will find charts, sorting cards, and strategy cards for visual reminders.
You can see one way to use a calm-down chart on a regular basis.
I LOVE the scenario pages. You talk with a student about a scenario and you both decide how they could react to help them calm down. I have worked with my whole class on these, and then one on one with students who need more help. Sometimes talking through situations before they occur is the most helpful way to work through problems before they occur.
Check Out These
Let’s Talk About Choices is HERE
You can see many of these activities below.