Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a proactive approach to establishing behavioral supports and social culture to help students achieve social, emotional and academic success.
Renee Gogolewski is a Kindergarten teacher at Woodson Kindergarten Center in Austin, MN. She was seeking a program to complement her center’s PBIS focus. For more information on PBIS, click here.
Please describe your experience with Peekapak
Ms. Gogolewski: The Peekapak program is a comprehensive approach to social/emotional situations relevant to kinders. The curriculum falls in line with our vision as a PBIS Team to reach students in a more personal way and delve into more teachable moments when issues arise in the classroom.
The layout of the books are interesting and visually captivating and my students enjoy the characters and the illustrations. They can relate to situations presented and are more at ease discussing personal stories after learning that others (meaning the characters) are working through similar issues.
Do you have any tips you can share with teachers new to the Peekapak program?
Ms. Gogolewski: I’d recommend implementing this program on a regular basis and sticking with it. As with any new curriculum, there is a learning curve for both teachers and students and time needed for students to familiarize themselves with the program.
Why do you think SEL skills are important for young children to learn?
Ms. Gogolewski: Research continues to reveal the importance of SEL as part of the whole child, not just for academics. Teaching young students to be aware of how they are feeling and how they can react to their feelings in a positive way is an important aspect of life in general. Reaching students at a young age and helping them develop this healthy habit is a privilege.
Young children often find themselves in situations where “not being fair” or “tattling” or “hitting” are ever present. It is exponentially more beneficial to teach the importance of why these behaviors are unacceptable and to teach what empathy is, rather than to dole out a negative consequence. One more thought: when we teach SEL at young ages, we can see students who need extra attention in this area and begin a plan to help them be successful as they progress in their educational career.