Students learn good behavior
The teaching of peace and productivity through the Pax program is paying big dividends at area schools.
The Pax behavior game is a collection of different classroom tools that help children develop voluntary control over their attention, self-regulate their behaviors and cooperate with their peers. Pax means “peace” in Latin. Children work in teams, encouraging them to work together. When they make mistakes, such as talking out of turn or misbehaving, a team will receive a “spleem.” Teams that receive three or fewer spleems in that timespan are rewarded by drawing an activity out of the Granny’s Wacky Price bag, which is usually a fun game or activity.
This week, National Pax Game Trainer and Consultant Jan Wiebe was with Tami Clum’s first grade class at Allen East Friday. Clum said the program has made marked changes in behavior since they began it in September. Clum’s is just one of 400 pre-kindergarten through sixth grade classes in Allen, Auglaize and Hardin counties participating in the program. Those classrooms have documented a decrease in classroom disruptions of 70 percent through the program.
“When we play Pax games during the day, good behavior increases and negative behavior decreases,” Clum said. “Students become helpful, positive leaders to ensure their teams do not earn spleems. They really look forward to playing a game.”
Students also can write “tootle” messages about other classmates. A tootle is the opposite of a tattle, remarking on a particular good behavior by a student during the day. A classmate can remark about another being helpful, having good behavior or sharing. It becomes contagious because students try to receive a positive message. Clum was particularly proud to receive a tootle from one of her students on Friday.
“Every day I am gaining more Pax leaders in the classroom,” Clum said. “Pax has been a positive tool.”
Devin Miller said the program has helped because “you try really hard not to get a spleem so you can help your team.”
Brayden Williams said, “It makes sure we make good choices.”
Walking into Erin Van Dyke’s kindergarten class at Bellview Elementary in Ashland when it’s time to do a quiet activity, the first thing a visitor might wonder is how the room of about 20 children is so quiet.
Schools in the Rogue Valley are taking part in a program designed to help the students, as well as the community, thrive. The Pax game aims to promote peace, productivity, health, and happiness.
Fads sweep education like teenage fashions and often change with a new administrator or with the last visit to a vendors’ table at a conference. Imagine if your child’s doctor made decisions based on fads. Doctors and healing arts professionals are supposed to make decisions based on the best peer-reviewed, replicated science available. Most of that science is freely available at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (www.pubmed.gov).
A new era of public schooling is coming to some parts of New Mexico, one that holds hope that from kinder, more humane classrooms come children less likely to turn to suicide, risky behavior or drugs.