Capturing Kids’ Hearts™ Parent Information

On August 24-26, our entire staff was trained in a program called Capture Kids’ Hearts, which is designed to build stronger relationships with students while developing self-managing classrooms. The core of this training outlines a process that our staff will use to develop more meaningful, engaged relationships  with students.

We know from research that students will achieve at higher academic levels and develop stronger connections with school when they develop stronger relationships with each other and with staff. When students feel connected with a caring adult at school, we know that attendance improves, behavior issues decline, and student achievement soars. Tahquamenon Area School staff has always cared for students and this process only reaffirms our commitment as a staff to show our care to students.

We want all of our students to learn to take full responsibility for their actions and to realize that they have choices in how they respond to a situation in and out of school. Capture kids’ hearts provides a framework for our staff to build stronger connections with students, while encouraging teamwork and responsibility.  All of our staff will use the skills they have learned in the training to create safe and trusting classrooms.

This process increases students’ willingness to learn and it empowers them to take charge for their own learning.

We want to share with you some of the components and concepts of capture kids hearts that you can expect to see in every class this year.

The EXCEL Model™ provides strategic action steps that are visible to students while providing a consistent guideline for teachers to follow in the classroom.

  • Engage: Staff members will typically greet each student at the classroom door with a handshake. (This is a great way to engage every student before class starts)
  • X-plore: This is an opportunity for teachers and staff to listen, offer encouragement, and help students to be grateful. This typically takes ony a few minutes during class. Students are typically asked to share some good news that is happening in their life. When students share their good news this honors and validates their experiences. Let’s face it, we all like sharing our stories with others.
  • Communicate: This is usually the time in the classroom where the curriculum is taught and shared with students. The communication includes conversations between the teacher and student where the teacher becomes a facilitator and resource while helping students learn. When possible lessons are linked to real-world applications.
  • Empower: Our teachers want to empower students to increase their interaction with each other, while helping each student to self-manage their own behavior. In addition it is the opportunity for students to practice the skills they just learned as well as increase problem solving capacity.
  • Launch: Finally, our teachers will make a consistent effort to end the class on a positive note, and closure to the lesson while encouraging students.

Each class develops a social contract to establish the classroom rules and expectations for how the students and classroom teacher want to be treated. The social contracts are posted in each classroom to serve as a reminder to students on the agreed upon ways we treat each other with respect. Students were actively involved in developing the social contract and it is designed to help students practice good practices and social skills. The social contract also lets students know what behavior is acceptable and what is not.

The goal of the social contract is to help each student develop “self-managing” skills. When a student gets off-task or violates the classroom social contract, the teacher will engage the student with four questions

The Four Questions helps redirect students and encourages every student to take responsibility for his/her behavior when they are not doing what is agreed to in the social contract, These four questions are used by the staff with students to help keep every student on track and involved in the learning process.

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