- This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
Simple, beginner positive behavior support. Create STARs in your room with simple Stop-Think-Act-Review problem solving technique
- STARs, everywhere, including a large STAR acronym poster with the words STOP THINK ACT REVIEW.
- Students will demonstrate self-advocacy and postive strategies for facing situations which upset or baffle them to develop action-oriented responses to resolve difficulties.
Start at the beginning of the year, telling the students that they can all be STARs, that there are rules to be learned and practiced to make them a star, just like in athletics! Have an athlete introduce the concept if you can.
Lesson one: Communication as a two-way process that requires an active listener. Without that, miscommunication takes places leading to misinterpretation, misunderstanding and missed opportunities. Introduce STAR as a way to improve communication. Have students practice by sharing individual experiences when they either were not an active listener and missed out, or were hurt because they, as the communicator, did not have an active listener. Close lesson talking about how this could impact the success in school (not hearing lessons, getting only part of instruction, seeming to bully other students, miss out on new opportunities for learning and friendship).
Lesson Two: Focus on STAR strategy by discussing the individual words. In pairs or small groups with post-it papers and markers, have students make their own posters of what they believe STAR means, then have a poster walk. Review what the group has produced and re-direct back to the basic Stop, Think, Act and Review, pointing out that they are already practicing the REVIEW step.
Lesson Three: Stop and Think are the focus. Prepare, from first day student surveys, actual incidents where students were uncomfortable. Model the stop point in each event, and perform a group 'think' to come up with all ideas, even silly ones, for a more positive outcome. Then 'think' further to eliminate and combine actions to take. Review how the outcome might have been different. Would the process need to be repeated for an even better outcome? Perhaps. Have students look for instances as a homework assignment where they could stop, think, act and review.
Lesson Four: Review the four steps, ask students for input on when they caught themselves being a STAR (the homework). In small groups, pass out prepared index cards with situations common to your campus that create conflict. Let the small group have 30 minutes to prepare a short skit, a poster or other presentation of their application of STAR to the assigned situation. All presentations will be assessed only on their ability to clearly see the effect of Stopping, Thinking, Acting and Reviewing the action they've taken.
Lesson Five: Present the STARs to all students who participated in any positive form you can maintain: a student of the week; a chart with stars, star pins, star cookies, jollie ranchers (my students' favorite, tossed out to the STARs on a regular basis).
After the initial instruction, which should create some class bonding and provide an opportunity for you, the instructor, to see the natural leaders, those who are the wall flowers, who needs more support, etc., keep changing up and reminding students to use the stratedgy often, for the little issues as well as the major conflicts, including considering all ideas for a positive experience.
Within content, in non-academic settings, remind, complement and encourage students to be STARs. As them to apply what they've learned in these simple steps to try and be a more successful friend, student and son or daughter.
Extend into older grades with the term 'self-advocacy' for getting what they need and assessing what they want. Stoping and thinking will alwyas get results.