This product is inspired by one of the classroom expectations in Black Ants and
Buddhists by Mary Cowhey: “Don’t step on other people’s words.” My young students
lacked awareness of just how much they were interrupting each other (and sometimes
their teacher), so I decided to create a visual tracker so we would have some data to
discuss at our classroom meetings, where we talk about resolving challenges in our
classroom. Along the way, I also added the expectations that we don’t step on people’s
feelings (use unkind words, exclude people, etc.) or people’s ideas (laughing at
someone’s thinking or response).
The product contains the following pieces:
• “Golden Rule” Poster: A printable mini-poster showing the “don’t step on people’s…” rule
• Shoe Sheet: Shoes to be printed to create your own tracker (I laminated the shoes and used Velcro to attach them to a sheet of laminated cardstock.)
• Stop and Think Sheets: These sheets can be used in many different ways to have students reflect on their not-so-positive contributions to the classroom community. I tend to give out these slips when a student really needs to reflect, so I don’t always give one out each time a shoe is removed. I require students to have a conversation with me after filling out slips and they also serve as a good reminder of who I need to check in with and help support each day.
*These sheets are made to be printed double-sided, with the shoe on the front and questions on the back.
• Weekly Classroom Tracker: Two versions, one for tracking number of shoes left and one for tracking number of shoes lost. I choose to focus on how many shoes remain, but wanted to give other teachers the option to choose how they want to track. At the end of the day, during our closing circle, we gather together and check-in on how we did as a class.