First graders at Tashkent International School use the Peace Table to solve conflicts. The Peace Table was established during their first unit of inquiry, Who We Are. First graders have continued working on this unit throughout the school year.
Firstly, a child can invite another child to the peace table. The rule is that if someone invites you to the table, you must join them. The student who initiated the discussion speaks first, explaining how she or he feels about an interaction and explaining why. The second child then repeats what the first child said.
The students have a ‘microphone’ and they must take turns talking and listening; the microphone helps establish whose turn it is to speak. The second student then has the opportunity to share his/her feelings. When finished, the children look through the solution cards and choose an appropriate solution; one of those solutions is to get a teacher for help if needed.
Another teaching tool from the first unit was the book Have you Filled a Bucket Today? which gives children the language to explain to others ‘You are filling my bucket’ or’ You are dipping in my bucket’ as part of the communication process.
Teachers recently met with students to reflect upon how the Peace Table has been working. During the discussion, they discussed taking the strategy of the Peace Table with them to engage in these conversations at recess, lunch and in other classes. The general consensus was that the peace table usually works, but sometimes doesn’t.
Some first grade testimonials:
People go to the peace table when they are angry or sad. The Peace Table makes me worried when I dip in someone’s bucket. We can communicate about our feelings; we say okay, I will not do that again. – Aisy
Sometimes the Peace Table will not work. Yesterday my friend joked me, he said he would play with me today and he didn’t. – Xinbei
If I dip in a bucket and I talk then when I talk to someone nicely then I feel happy. When you go to the Peace Table, you can talk nicely and you can be friends. – Yusufbek
When somebody dips in my bucket, I always feel angry or grumpy, but when I say I feel grumpy and angry then that people will say Seohyeon feels angry and grumpy. When we finish talking at Peace Table, then I will be okay. Then we will be a good friend. – Seohyeon
I am also doing the Peace Table at home with my brother. Does it work? Not so. – Matwej