Friday, April 17, 2015

4 Square Apology

In Zach Apologizes, when Zach shoves his little brother to the floor, he knows he did something wrong. Even so, it's hard to apologize - especially when he feels Alex kind of deserved it! With his mom's help, Zach learns the "four-square" apology: (1) say what you did; (2) say how it made the other person feel; (3) say what you could have done instead; and (4) make it up to the person. I made a simple form like the one in the book to have my group members complete about a situation when they needed to apologize. Above is a kindergarten child's four square apology.  I like this model because it addresses empathy in step 2. This fits very nicely with the "apology of action" we teach as part of our responsive classroom approach.  
This book is part of the Zach rules series. The other book deals with frustration which I also use. These books are perfect for ages 6-8. There is a Facebook site for the Zach Rules series.

1 comment:

  1. As an early elementary teacher I spend a great deal of my day focusing on social and emotional growth and problem solving. This book is a reflection of the social/ emotional approach that my school is encouraging with our students. Each day we meet students in the moment as they are trying to come up with the words and body language to share in order to solve a conflict or voice their feelings/opinions. Sometimes their attempts at solving conflict end up in hurt feelings that may at times become physical. When we see these situations unfold or hear about them from concerned students, we talk with all parties of the conflict and ask them to each tell their story about how the events unfolded. We then ask them to share how they are feeling and for clear and specific apologies to be offered, “I am sorry for--” in unison with offers of grace and understanding “Thank you for your apology, etc.”. Depending on the situation, students may also work out a plan to mend the friendship further and set up goals for the individuals and partnerships. The four square apology methods seems to be a great reflection of some of the work we are already trying to accomplish with our students and a great tool for further growth and organization around these efforts. I am excited to put this book on our shelf and give students the opportunity for reflection and social growth, outside of those moments of direct conflict or conversation. Reading is a great outlet for students to empathize with characters and situations outside of themselves, but still relate a story and lessons to their own experiences.

    Kelly Ficker
    Seattle, WA