What do you mean 4 Parts?!

We’ve all heard someone (or maybe it was us?!) tell a child to “say sorry”. The kid quickly, or begrudgingly, forks out a “SORRY!” along with a facial expression that clearly communicates the child is not in support of the words coming out of their mouth.

We use 4 parts to an apology in my crew (that’s what I call my class) because it gives the person making the apology the ownership. It allows them to choose to fully explain themselves. It shows they have thought through their apology and have a plan for moving forward.
All that from 4 parts? Yep.

When you have to actually construct 4 sentences about what happen, why you’re apologizing and the plan for moving forward you can’t just let the words slip out of your mouth to appease the on- looking adult.

Real life- in my personal life and teacher life I have witnessed how this simple framework for apologizes have helped people…

-take ownership
-truly work toward a solution
-feel more confident
-be more independent
-avoid future problems

This along with several practice sheets are available (without the watermark) for download here!

Teaching the 4 Part Apology

I have used this with Kindergarten through 8th graders.

Here’s how I would teach this to literally any group.
1. Explain the why in context. I typically use a story from the classroom. “I notice people keep pushing as they go into the coat room and people are getting hurt and feeling upset, but i haven’t heard anyone acknowledge they are hurting their friends.”
2. I give them a possible solution. I show them the chart and tell them “I think this will help us, what do you think?”
3. Then I let them talk. Discourse. Always. We discuss what the parts are, what they think of them, how they might work, or really anything that comes up after I ask them, “What do you think?”
4. Then we PRACTICE! Yep, we practice apologizing. I give scenarios verbally to the whole class with low stakes things that happen ALL the time. Then, I allow a volunteer to try it out. We continue this in class meetings daily. We might even write some apologies!

5. Then we reflect. How did he do? What parts did she include? Is there anything else they could add?

Here is where this resource comes in. Then, once we’ve gotten good at the 4 part apology and everyone knows it… things will start to slip. It will loose its new sparkle. And let’s face it… we’ve moved on to new things & I’ll get relaxed on holding the expectation. SO, we will revisit. We will do more practice! I’ll hand out a written scenario of something that is commonly happening and kids will write the apology then pair up and give their apologizes verbally (role play- a great way to trick kids into practicing while thinking it’s a game).

Other Ideas

What else?

Obviously the possibilities are endless here. If you use this I would LOVE to hear how about it. Please share how you use the 4 part apology in your class in the comments!! Can’t wait to hear from you.

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