Friday, March 29, 2013

Peace Window

How do you help your kids learn to manage their own conflict? I've heard of several options - the tattle jar, comment bucket, read-alouds, etc. I like those, but I've found that they sometimes enhance the problem, if that makes sense - they allow the child to "tattle" and expect that the adult will handle it without having to think through the situation on their own.

We use something called a peace window - based on the Montessori idea of a peace table.  Ours has a different name because I ran out of room to put an actual peace table ... so I grabbed some window markers and off we went!

The concept is simple; there are only a few rules:

  • You have to go to the peace window if you're invited, but you can't invite someone in the middle of a lesson - only during group or individual work time (or play time). 
  • The person who did the inviting starts, and you can't interrupt. 
  • You  start by saying, "When you ______, I felt _______." 
  • The other person can explain their side.
  • Then you have to use the sentence started, "I'd like ______," and tell the other person what will resolve the situation from your perspective. The other person is free to accept or try to compromise. 

It has made a HUGE difference in my kids. It took a lot of modeling and practicing our conversations, but now they leave me out of most situations, and I only get called in if a compromise isn't able to be reached, or if things are getting heated. I'd say 90% of the class uses it judiciously and 10% still needs me there for most conversations. That's a big improvement over the beginning of the year when I heard, "Ms. BBZ, he/she _____" ... all. day. long! 


  1. We use iMessages- "I feel ____ when you ____ because _______. It's great to give them sentence frames so they don't get flustered with how to start!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  2. Hi! I found your blog on the TpT forum and I am the newest follower of your blog and store. I would love it if you could check out my blog and store when you get a chance! :)

    I love the Peace Window idea! I taught 2nd grade for 11 years and wow, there is a lot of tattling that goes on. I love that your students are responsible for their actions and solving their own conflicts. Your window is perfect for giving them these wonderful tools! Love it!

    Beth :)

  3. I love the Peace Window! The girls at our school participate in a program called Girls on the Run--it's a national program, so you may have heard of it. The "When you... It makes me feel.... I wish you would..." is a central part of that program too, teaching kids how to talk about their feelings in a framed, nonthreatening manner. I just love it! After coaching the girls for a few years, I adopted the phrase for my classroom as well. So, we also use this in fourth grade. LOVE the window idea. Great visual and 'peace'ful reminder. Awesome!

  4. iMessages ... is that an auto correct of "I Messages" or is it a new name? I love it! So hip.

    Stacey - I LOVE Girls on the Run. We have a similar running club at our school. A wonderful, empowering thing for young kids. :)

  5. I love the idea of a peace window! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love this. We do something similar to this called the Time Machine that is part of Conscious Discipline. We learn how to us our Big Voice. It is amazing how the kiddos learn to solve their problems. I love how it has ended tattling. =)

    I love your blog and have stopped by before. I thought I was already following you (and thought you were following me too) but for some reason it is not showing up when I check your list and mine. I am now an OFFICIAL follower. I would love for you to hop over and visit me when you get the chance. =)

    Heather's Heart

  7. Hey Heather! I've never heard of Conscious Discipline, but a quick Google search tells me I might have some new reading material. :)

    I'm now an official follower over at your blog too - awesome!

  8. I think this is the perfect solution for second grade! They are old enough to know the rules and ready to learn how to talk about conflict with other kids. Great idea!

  9. LOVE your idea of the peace window. We already do the I statements to solve wouldn't be hard to add a Peace spot in my room. In fact, a wooden toy box/seat perfect for two was just donatedd to my room; I'm having it painted and I think I'll use a peace theme and it can be the peace bench. Thanks for sharing!

    First Grade Friendzee

  10. This is such a wonderful way to get kids problem solving! I love it!

    A Day in the Life of a Kindergartner

  11. This is beautiful! Sharing, tweeting, pinning...And btw, your blog is eye candy--so lovely!

    Lessia Bonn
    I am Bullyproof Music

  12. Thanks Lessia! I LOVE Creative Collective (my clip art supplier). :)


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