You may have heard your child mention "Bobcat Pride" groups or CAT Tickets in the past couple of weeks, so let me share some information on a new program we are implementing for this school year.
I was at a principal's meeting this summer (side note - it's a true fact that teachers and administrators don't actually have 3 months vacation in the summer:) and I overheard a couple of colleagues talking about a program they use in their school to create positivity and teamwork amongst students. I was very intrigued and politely inserted myself into the conversation to learn more. This conversation and idea are what sparked my interest in starting a similar program at Blue Hill Elementary School (side note - it's encouraged in the education world to steal/share ideas :).
Thus, Bobcat Pride groups have been formed and activities are in place to promote that positivity within our school, and hopefully outside our walls as well.
Students are split into nine different teams, each with two staff members as leaders of the group. There are 2-3 students from each grade level on a team. Our Bobcat Pride groups meet first thing on Monday mornings when the schedule allows. We do the Pledge of Allegiance together as an entire school body and then the groups disperse to individual rooms and will focus on a different topic each week.
Next week, the focus is on "Integrity" and being kind in the halls. Teachers will lead the students through the lesson on ways to be kind while passing between classes in the hall. Teachers will ask students to define what "being kind" means. Teachers will shape student responses into observable behaviors (e.g. if they say to be “nice”, teachers will ask for examples of being nice that equate to observable skills such as keeping their hands to themselves, speaking with good purpose...). Each week we will focus on a different topic and students will have, not only the opportunity to interact with proper social behaviors but will get the chance to bond with other students in the school outside their individual classroom.
An incentive program that goes along with the Pride groups is C.A.T. tickets. A ticket is given to a student when they are "Caught Acting Terrific"! The tickets are given to a student when they do something above and beyond what is expected of them. When a student receives a C.A.T. ticket, they earn a point for their Pride group. The Pride group with the most points at the end of each quarter will get to have a special celebration as a team.
Kindness breeds kindness and that is our goal.