Capturing Kids Hearts


What is it?  A relationship building approach to discipline that creates self-managing groups.

How does it work?  Teachers use the EXCEL model to communicate with students. Students create their own rules via a social contract. Students hold each other accountable using "checks" and "fouls". An environment is created that emphasizes positivity though "good things" and "affirmations"

The EXCEL model:

  • "Engage": Students are greeted at the door with a handshake, eye contact and a welcome.
  • "X-plore": Teachers listen and attend to the personal, emotional and academic needs of our students.
  • "Communicate": Teachers communicate care as well as content.
  • "Empower": Teachers empower students to gain the ability to "use and do" the things they have been taught.
  • "Launch": Deals with how we "end and send" our students into the world. The purpose is to start our students on a course of action by ending our classes on a powerful note.

The Social Contract:

The Social Contract is created by the students, assisted by the teacher, in effort to answer four questions regarding the environment of the classroom. The four questions include:

  • How do you want to be treated by the teacher?
  • How do you want to be treated by each other?
  • How do you think the teacher wants to be treated by you?
  • How do we want to treat each other when there is conflict?

The resulting answers make up a list of adjectives which serve as the basis for student expectations of behavior in the classroom.

The Social Contract is signed by all classroom members including the teacher.

The document is also shown to classroom visitors and they are encouraged to sign the contract as well.

The document is a living document and is referred to on a regular basis to highlight success and serves as a guide for when problems arise.

The Four Behavior Questions:

These are questions that we ask each other to help stay true to the social contract:

  • What are you doing?
  • What are you suppose to be doing?
  • Are you doing that?
  • What are you going to do about that?

Checks and Fouls:

When a student is not following the social contract, other students will "check" that student. It is a silent reminder of a thumbs up to remind the student that they need to change their behavior.

When a student is being unkind, other students will "foul" that student. The student is then asked to give two "put ups" for the "put down" they gave.

Good Things:

At the beginning of classes teachers will start with "good things", in which students share something good that is going on with them. This creates an environment of positivity and helps build relationships.