Positive Discipline

“…Positive Discipline in the Classroom is based on a foundation of mutual respect. Creating an atmosphere of caring (kindness and firmness at the same time) is the first piece of the Positive Discipline puzzle, and putting this piece in place ensures that the foundation is not built on sand.” (Nelsen, Lott, and Glenn, Positive Discipline in the Classroom, 23)


And so we began the Positive Discipline portion of our first staff meeting of the school year by sharing the ways in which we show students we care. A few of these ways are:

"I’m so excited to have you in my class!” Say or show

Spending time with them during recess or before school, getting to know them, and caring about their interests and lives.

“I trust you” in words or through actions.

Having a healing basket in the classroom, creating a safe space.

Serving tea

Showing attention to all students

Showing excitement about their work

Showing students their thoughts count by listening, changing, or incorporating

When hurt - paying attention and seeing the problem and caring

Playing and joking with students

Allowing students to share their concerns, feelings, and complaints

Teachers sharing own interests outside of school

Having empathy

At Orchard, we care about your students and we want them to know that we care about them, so we hope that our message of caring gets through.



Earth Day Everyday

Welcome back! This year the teachers have decided to have Earth Day every day instead of just celebrating for one day, or a few, in April. To this end, we all began the year by brainstorming two or three ways we will/or already do incorporate this theme in our teaching.


  1. Currently has students put clay scraps into a metal bowl for recycling.  Students see the cycle for creating clay.

  2. Empty water containers into a bucket to reuse water.

  3. Wash hands in sink bucket, rinse and dry with cloth towels.


  1. Have students air dry or dry hands on clothes after washing.

  2. Use natural decorations for sugar skulls for Dia de Los Muertos.

  3. Use less paper in creating books in Spanish.

Jane Joel

  1. Compost vegetable waste  - save bits for soup or stock at the end of the week.

  2. Use bulk ingredients in jars.

  3. Use eco-friendly soaps.

Valerie Phipps

  1. Recycle markers and crayons. Email crayola and ask what they do with the markers and their tops.

  2. Students make own paints.

  3. Do campus cleanup with leadership.

Valerie Cameron

  1. Use less paper (make fewer copies).  

  2. Inform the students about the Better World Shopping Guide.

  3. Upcycle/share information regarding clothing exchange and make dog toys out of t-shirts.

Aubrie Polito

  1. Use reusable sleeves for worksheets.

  2. Use dry erase markers and boards for work instead of paper.

  3. Use natural cleaning sprays.


  1. Encourage students to use scrap paper more frequently.

  2. Have kids create a packed lunch guide to send home.

  3. Make produce bags as a sewing project.

  4. Harvest from home to share with school rather than buying food for school purposes.

  5. Buy fewer chais to go.


  1. Stop buying Expo whiteboard markers and buy the refillable whiteboard markers that can be used for years.

  2. Spend the first or the last few minutes of archery class picking up microtrash in the archery range.

  3. Get Tuck (old lunch hut cook) to come instruct the students on microtrash.


  1. Gather information on how/what/why - reduce, reuse, recycle.

  2. Hold an earth themed science fair.

  3. Perform more science projects with recycled materials and earth art.

  4. Create bat boxes and install on the campus.


  1. Use rags instead of paper towels as much as possible.

  2. Help reduce water waste when students are washing hands. Pose it as a problem for the students to solve.

  3. Buy peanut butter in bulk from New Leaf instead of purchasing plastic jars.

  4. Have regular cleanup of the area by the math cabin:  garbage, weeds, etc..


  1. Write a song with the students about helping the earth.

  2. Find a song that reflects recycling, specifically reduce and reuse.

  3. Make musical instruments out of recycled materials.


  1. Recycle all trash instead of it ending up in the landfill.

  2. Plant new plants.

  3. Pick up litter.

Many of these ideas have already been put in action around our campus. We have also purchased and installed new paper towel holders in the bathrooms which have reduced the amount of paper used and the paper towels are 100% recycled. And we are mostly using rags instead of paper towels in our classrooms. Please feel free to use any of these ideas in your homes and share with us some of your strategies if they seem applicable to our environment. Also, speak to Manila if you are interested in organizing a clothing exchange or toy exchange.