Integrating Peekapak into a PBIS School

Sue’s 1st grade class reading Peekapak’s story about Respect

At Peekapak, we love hearing about how educators use Peekapak to meet their student and classroom needs. So when Sue Mallmann, a first grade teacher from Lakeview Elementary School in WI, told us she uses Peekapak to support her schoolwide PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports), we said: “Tell us more!”

When Lakeview Elementary School implemented PBIS as a schoolwide, universal system of discipline support for their students, Sue was on the lookout for something to supplement the PBIS program in her classroom and to help create a positive classroom environment. A colleague sent her a link to Peekapak’s website. After exploring the site, Sue felt Peekapak’s program would be a great match to supplement and enhance PBIS.

How did Peekapak tie into Lakeview’s PBIS objectives?

Lakeview Elementary School employs PBIS as a systematic approach to preventing and responding to classroom and school discipline programs. After discovering Peekapak, Sue worked to align lessons from Peekapak to support and enhance character development in her classroom. Says Sue:

“Peekapak’s focus on social-emotional learning and important character development curriculum includes stories that are engaging, and my students relate to the characters and events in the stories. It has been reinforcing to have a variety of resources available to use for instruction of character education and proactive behavioral discipline support.”

Peekapak’s program is flexible and teachers can decide when and how to introduce and teach each unit.

“Weekly, lessons were planned to focus on one character skill. Each Monday afternoon, all three of the first grade classes met together and took part in group, universal lessons. Often times, Peekapak lessons were designed to “hook” students’ interest through using technology or a hands on interactive activity which involved reading or written language. We teach many of the Peekapak units as stand alone lessons based upon the time of year. The theme for November was “Learn about Gratitude” and we are going to be teaching Peekapak’s unit on Honesty next as we decided that it currently relates to some of the concerns we have identified in our first grade group of learners.”

What kind of student impact has Sue seen from her Peekapak-PBIS tie-in?

“We often hear students use language that has been taught as part of the Peekapak program. Empathy, perseverance and honesty are words that have become more commonplace in our classroom and are used as students are interacting with each other. In first grade we are working on demonstrating BEAMing Behavior: B – Be safe, E – Extra Responsible, A – Always Respectful, M – Mindful. Peekapak has supported this with specific stories and lessons on kindness, honestly, and respect.”

What were Sue and her students’ overall thoughts about Peekapak?

“The graphics and characters are very engaging! Our first graders love the characters!  One component that our students particularly enjoy about the Peekapak stories is the “Meet the Characters” introduction pages. Our first graders make connections with the characters based upon their interests. This has helped to keep our students engaged when listening to the stories. Often times our students are so interested in the story that they do not even know they are learning about valuable character traits. The events in the stories that the Peekapak characters are taking part in relate directly to the same experiences that our students have so they can relate on a personal level.”

Overall, Sue revealed that by using Peekapak’s stories followed by Peekapak’s follow-up lessons and activities, she has been able to incorporate instruction of important social skills while also teaching the required literacy skills of reading and writing. Says Sue:

As curricular state and district standard requirements have become increasingly more stringent, Peekapak has provided a motivating way to work on the social skills that are needed for our early learners to interact and get along with each other based upon their developmental skill level.

Sue’s students engaged in Peekapak’s lesson about what Respect looks like and sounds like

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Ami Shah is a Co-Founder & CEO of Peekapak, an edtech startup that teaches social-emotional learning skills like self-regulation, empathy and team work in the class and home. Peekapak is backed by; Silicon Valley based accelerator, Imagine K12, the Edtech vertical of Y Combinator and; the Unreasonable Institute.