Kelso the Frog has made quite an impact in Qatar, where Qatar Academy Primary School had it’s first ever “Kelso Day”! The event was such a success that it was even featured in The Qatar Tribune, shown below.
We contacted school counselor Krisztina Douglas, who organized Kelso Day, to find out more about how Kelso is being used at their school. Read our Q&A with her below to find out more about Kelso Day and gather some new ideas on how to implement Kelso’s Choice at your school!
What is the idea or objective behind the Kelso Day? I know that Kelso’s choices have been used by the school for a number of years now but is this the first time that a day was specifically assigned to be a Kelso day?
Krisztina: We’ve have had a “crazy hair day” and “twins and triplets day” among others, but this is our first ever “Kelso Day.” We had great participation – almost 900 students dressed in green from preschool to grade 5. Even our Early Education Center joined in by coming to school dressed in green; the children are 6 months old – 3 years and they are also part of our Qatar Academy family. They may not know who Kelso is yet, but they will! Our preschoolers are taught just 2 of the choices, “Tell them to stop” and “Apologize”. That is the focus for 2 years and then once they get to Kindergarten, they are ready for the whole wheel.
What are the activities lined up for the day?
Krisztina:It will be a regular school day but we hope that seeing everyone dressed in green reminds them about Kelso’s Choices and gets them excited about it again. We have been using Kelso’s Choices for several years now so we want to keep the students and staff enthusiastic about it. Students will be given a black and white Kelso wheel to color and decorate to take home so that they can share the idea with their families and use the wheels when conflicts arise at home.
What are the ongoing efforts of the department to ensure that the program is being implemented?
Krisztina: Every year, each class in Kindergarten through grade 5 has Kelso lessons. Where possible, we link in with the first unit of inquiry. Our school counselors provide lessons and teachers and assistants follow up and support the program on a daily basis. The idea is that everyone in classrooms, on the playground, and in the hallways is giving the same message; that even young children can solve small problems on their own. The counselors have worked with the music teachers to incorporate Kelso songs and raps into music classes and assemblies. Last year the school purchased a few 3D standing Kelso statues. Each one shows a different choice printed in English and Arabic. They are positioned in various locations around the school and are moved from time to time to new spots. This year Qatar Academy has also started a house system and Kelso is part of that as well. The house system is a positive reinforcement initiative where students can earn “caught you being awesome cards” when they are caught using Kelso’s choices, as well as for a number of other positive behaviors. Each card earns one house point for their house.
Any other info you’d like to share?
Krisztina: Another exciting first this school year was when grade 5 students prepared lessons for their younger buddy classes about Kelso. They had freedom to present in a variety of ways; some used iPads, some used Kelso puppets, some performed plays. It was amazing to see the older students sharing their knowledge with their 5 year old “buddies” who are fairly new to Kelso’s Choices. As they move up through the school, they will become very familiar with Kelso’s Choices, and hopefully will become experts at conflict resolution.