about kelso's choiceAbout Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management Skills program:

Kelso’s Choice effectively teaches young children peace-making skills. It is a proven resource to increase confidence, reduce tattling and is a preliminary tool to prevent bullying.

About Kelso’s Choice: The program is a powerful and timely tool to build a vital life skill for the young people in today’s world. The program philosophy is simple: each child is smart enough and strong enough to resolve conflict.

Unlike some programs which tout peer mediators who are trained to intervene as conflict managers, Kelso’s Choice assumes that all young people are capable of becoming peacemakers. Kelso’s Choice empowers children to solve problems on their own with the guidance and support of trusted adults.

About Kelso’s Choice: how it is unique

The Kelso’s Choice program is a unique resource that caters to the age group and accommodates the demanding schedule of elementary-level counselors, teachers, home school instructors, parents and more.

Kelso’s Choice is made to engage its young audience. Elementary-aged students and special needs children have limited attention spans. Each component of the program fits into an allotted 15-45 minute time span and engages auditory, visual and kinesthetic learning through Total Body Response lessons. The nine solutions, also called “Kelso’s Choices,” are paired with strong visuals and body movements that make the lesson easy to grasp for young, developing minds. These solutions and visuals are reiterated in several styles, through several lessons and activities to strengthen recall.

Kelso’s Choice was created by two elementary school guidance counselors to fulfill the void of an effective and easy-to-implement character education program. It is engineered to grow with the children as they develop and as their conflicts become more complex. Additionally, each component is varied in style to keep students interested and engaged lesson after lesson. There are tools for teachers, administrators, parents and others to use between lessons to strengthen the link between Kelso’s Choices and everyday situations.

About Kelso’s Choice: how it is used

Most schools implement Kelso’s Choice on a school-wide basis including teachers, classroom assistants, administrative staff, custodians, and cooks in the process. When all of the adults in a school ask students to follow the guidelines of the program, clear, consistent and firm expectations result. In addition to being used in school-wide programs, Kelso’s Choice is often presented to small groups of students or used during individual counseling either to reinforce the lessons taught in the classroom or to provide problem-solving techniques. The material has been successfully adapted for use with diverse student groups, including students experiencing physical, behavioral, learning, emotional or psychological challenges. The program has also been proven effective when teaching anger management skills and impulse control.

About Kelso’s Choice: how it works

The basic program consists of 23 lessons, with 16 additional reinforcement activities for review and reinforcement. Typically, classroom teachers or guidance counselors present the material. Within the core program, students are first taught to discriminate between “big” problems that must be shared with an adult, and “small” problems that they can resolve.

After mastering this distinction, each of the nine skills are taught to the students. For example, specific strategies for “MAKE A DEAL” are taught and practiced, including how to flip a coin, how to pick a number from one to ten, how to compromise and make a trade-off, etc.

The program encourages students to try two choices from “Kelso’s Choice Wheel.” If the “small” problem persists, they are told that adult intervention is warranted. Because terms such as “Ignore” are linguistic in nature, each skill is reduced to distinct operational skills, so young learners understand the meaning and function of each behavior.

The sequence of the lessons is flexible, and allows for the age and experience of the students. Activities include having younger students illustrate huge colored chalk circles of “Kelso’s Choice Wheel” on the playground and having them create clay dioramas of animals who are solving their conflicts using the nine skills. The key benefit when talking about Kelso’s Choice is that you can pace the learning for your students.

In other lessons, older students are role models who act out viable solutions to conflict situations suggested by younger students, or they create individualized conflict management “choice wheels” in which they identify actual situations in their lives that require conflict management skills.

Total Body Response, or auditory, visual and kinesthetic learning activities are provided, as are all levels of learning mastery, from simple identification through synthesis. One remarkable and useful thing about Kelso’s Choice is that all learning types are addressed. Throughout the lesson, two important messages are presented: every student can make good choices (not just student mediators) and every student can make the choice that fits them best.

Because of cultural or personality differences, it is not mandated that specific “small” problems must be handled in exactly the same way by all students. Instead, students are allowed to make individual choices … some students might use a more assertive approach (TELL THEM TO STOP), while others may select a less assertive choice (IGNORE).

What’s most special about Kelso’s Choice are the thousands of counselors, teachers and children who help make it the vibrant, growing community it is today. We are delighted to hear the many stories you share with us about how Kelso’s Choice made a difference in your classroom, your community and your life. Join the conversation on Twitter: click here.

If you’d like to see a full listing of everything included with our foundational kit, Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management Kit -4th Edition,
please visit its product page: click here.

Diane (Hipp) Lee is the co-author of Kelso’s Choice. She is a National Certified Prevention Specialist and International Prevention Trainer. Diane has delivered hundreds of trainings across the world at professional conferences, at community forums and in elementary, middle and high schools. Prior to her work as a professional trainer and consultant she spent 15 years as an elementary school counselor. During those years she teamed with Barbara Clark, and together they created Kelso’s Choice.

Diane is an award winning children’s author. Her book Stuart the Donkey won USA Books 2010 Children’s Fiction book of the year. This book is first in a series of self-help books for young children. Diane is the founder and President of Positive Solutions Consulting, Inc. a company that strives to unleash the potential goodness in humankind by promoting proactive, positive solutions to life’s challenges/opportunities. Positive Solutions Consulting promotes healthy, purposeful thinking that can ignite passionate leadership in children and adults and offers innovative interactive trainings and products as a way to leave positive footprints on this earth. Her greatest “JOY” comes from exploring the world of nature with her grandchildren that call her Meema.

Barbara Clark
was awarded her doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from Washington State University in 1981. She has over 30 years of experience in the fields of educational research, teaching, consulting, and public school counseling. She began her career at the University level, where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Educational Psychology, Research Design, and Educational Statistics and Measurement. Upon moving to Southern Oregon, she worked for 18 years as a Certified Child Development Specialist, teaching affective education and counseling elementary children. For the past 5 years, she has worked as a licensed School Counselor at a high school with over 2,000 students, where she has taken an interest in school security and positive behavior support. For many years, she has served on the Executive Board of the Riverside Center, a non-profit agency serving the needs of severely emotionally disturbed youth.

When working with young children at the elementary level, Barbara and Diane saw the need for a simple and pragmatic conflict resolution program, and they were inspired to create Kelso’s Choice. The philosophy of the program reflects her belief in the intrinsic promise and capability of all individuals, as they have the power to make clear and positive choices in their lives.

Kelso’s Choice is distributed by Cerebellum Corporation™, the nation’s leading producer of educational DVDs and media products for elementary, middle school, high school and college teachers and students. Our mission is to combine solid educational content with cutting-edge technology and top-notch writing.

Recommended by thousands of teachers and college professors, Cerebellum programming covers the most difficult core curriculum topics using on-screen graphics, young actors, and humorous script to engage the student. Each title is written by an academic team comprised of professors from leading universities, including Yale, University of Virginia, George Washington University and Georgetown University, to name a few. Our award-winning videos and DVDs cut through the confusion with a clear and concise format, high-tech computer graphics, and a fun approach to serious education. The result is a product unlike any you’ve ever seen.

Awards include 3 Parent’s Choice Awards, 21 Telly Awards for “Best Non-Broadcast Educational Video” and have also been named to the “Best Films and Videos” list by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Each year we realize new markets for our videos and DVDs namely parents, teachers, school boards, home schoolers, libraries, continuing education students and knowledge seekers. This diversity has allowed us to refine our products and develop the most effective and efficient learning tools available today.

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