The mistake box is a small physical box with the labels as per attachment. The box is something I taught the students and then I got volunteers to role play using the box with a recent mistake they had made. It was very effective! A couple of the teachers told me their students had already used the box with mistakes they made at recess. You can change the words if you like, but the idea is to have something physical as a prop to help the students help each other with mistakes. I also showed a video of a YouTube called, “Oops, I made a mistake.” It is a cartoon of some girls playing basketball, who sing a catchy song about mistakes. You could also advise colleagues to show the video of Big Bird singing about mistakes. A caution for Big Bird is to tell the students that we know they are too big for Big Bird, but he gives a very clear message about mistakes which they need to listen for. I hope the lesson I sent you makes more sense with these explanations.
A very successful staff activity I did with one of my mentor schools is a Me Box. I am mentoring teachers who want to be leaders in best practices. In this particular school I sent a teacher, Lisa, a sample of my Me Bag photos for Ruth and asked her to request her colleagues each bring a box to the staff professional development session and bring pictures of what is in their quality world. It was an amazing bonding activity of colleagues learning about each others’ quality worlds. Another activity we did with this staff is a People Bingo as per attached. The instructions were that they had to find as many different staff to fill in their name in a box on the bingo sheet as they could and also ask the person what need was met with that activity. It has been a fun and a very bonding staff activity in several schools I’ve done it with.
In Lisa’s school, there were a lot of recess issues. So, the staff did several small sessions on, “What would an ideal recess sound like, look like and feel like?” The staff worked in small groups to fill out a Y-chart. The next session they worked in different small groups and collated the chart responses and found the key points. They are continuing to work on the ideal recess. I believe the next step would be to find out which mistakes are happening and what needs the students are trying to meet with those mistakes. Lisa is presently teaching some grade 4/5 students to become problem solvers on the playground using the mistake box. In one of my other schools I am continuing to role play recess issues and I pretend to be the supervisor using questions on the mistake box. This morning I did a very effective session in which I interviewed students which I have attached.
Feel free to share these ideas with your colleagues if you think they could work in your school setting.