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Paths

Promoting Alternate Thinking

The Promoting Alternate Thinking Strategies Program (PATHS) provides teachers with systematic, developmentally appropriate lessons to help their students develop better thinking skills, more mature and responsible ways of behaving, and to support improved academic performance.

Some goals of the PATHS curriculum are to:

  • Increase children’s abilities to think and solve problems for themselves
  • Increase children’s abilities to use their thinking skills to act responsibly and maturely
  • Improve children’s understanding of themselves and others
  • Improving children’s feelings about themselves (improving self-esteem)
  • Increasing children’s abilities to learn more effectively in the classroom environment

PATHS is part of our daily program, as every class has a PATHS kid each day. The PATHS kid has a range of responsibilities depending on how their role has been described by their class. The PATHS kid also receives compliments at the end of the day – this helps students to practice giving and receiving compliments, and builds self-esteem.

Students are encouraged to use ‘Turtle’ (three steps for calming down) and the Control Signals to manage their emotions and solve problems. From Prep to Grade 1, students practice Turtle. To do Turtle, students need to ‘stop’, ‘take a deep breath’ and ‘say the problem and how you feel’.

Students in Year 1 or 2 and beyond take this a step further by practising three steps for calming down (‘Turtle’ steps), then using the Control Signals to solve problems. The Control Signals are a traffic light system for calming down and problem-solving.

If students are on red they use three steps for calming down (the same as the Turtle strategy). At orange, they ‘make a plan’ – this means they think of something they could do and whether it will help them solve their problem. At green, they ‘Go’, try their best idea and see if it works.

By teaching students these skills, we can ensure they have success in their academic learning as well. All staff have been provided with rigorous training with a qualified PATHS consultant, and have access to comprehensive tools and resources. PATHS skills are taught once a week and the learning content is used to reinforce positive behaviours and expectations.