How to Effectively Debrief Behavioral Situations with Think Sheets

Thursday, April 25, 2019

When big incidents occur in our classrooms, honestly, we just want them to stop. Am I right, or am I right?! Sometimes just the thought of rehashing the eruption that had just occurred would make me want to fake sick and head on home! Being well versed in de-escalation is important, and in restorative conversations, but holding space for those conversations in ways that are productive and problem solving in nature can take a LOT of practice with certain students, and often for ourselves. 

These conversations are imperative to helping students process their responses to situations they perceived as upsetting, scary, or frustrating so they can understand how their responses affected others, and how they can work to have safer and more expected responses to those situations in the future.

I have found that using structured think sheets can take some of the overwhelm out of the very needed restorative conversation. 

Think sheets can be used when students are no longer escalated, and can be done independently or with help from an adult. Often times, students respond best to some prompting, while other students with more advanced social behavioral skills may be able to complete sheets alone. When the sheet is completed, students can go through the sheet with an adult to ensure that the situation was processed, that restoration of materials and/or relationships (if necessary) occurs, and that students can develop a plan for future situations.

I have a set of think sheets in my Teachers Pay Teachers store that span the needs of students from Kindergarten through Middle School. This pack was designed so that teachers, therapists, administrators, and anyone in between could use them with any student they work alongside in the elementary and upper grades. 

This particular think sheet is designed to emulate a flow chart, to show students how all of the questions stem from the incident. I love that this sheet has enough space for words or a drawing, depending on how the child would like to demonstrate their thoughts and thinking. 

This sheet above is for our younger students, students with limited reading/writing skills, and students who are more reluctant to reading/writing. I LOVE the clear pictures for students to identify their emotions and the emotions of those who were affected by the behavior. There are multiple versions of this particular page to show many different faces and hairstyles so that any child using the sheets could feel connected and seen through the clip-art. 

This is also available in a less detailed and smaller size version in the event that a full page is just too much - plus it's a paper and ink saver!

Writing can be so helpful in debriefing behavioral situations for our students who are willing and able! This version includes more options for students who need support in determining how to classify their emotions, and still space for writing out their thought processes. 

Lastly is this sheet - all of the questions are to be thoughtfully written out for your students who are able! 

Every sheet type included has a version with and without a guardian signature line. These options are designed for your discretion - do you want someone at home to sign the sheet and return? Will you contact home? Do you just want the student to reflect at school?

Do you use think sheets? If you'd like to get started, check out the product here!


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