When we ROCK, we take Responsibility for our actions, we make good Observations and Choices, and obtain, use, and share Knowledge to help us be positive members of a caring community.

What is ROCK?

Have you ever heard someone say, “Let’s Rock!”? What does that mean? It might mean a suggestion to try something new with joy, or it might mean to get together with others to make something positive happen.ROCK is a tool to support educators and staff in the development of a positive, caring learning culture. At IM4U, “Let’s ROCK” means let’s create a fun and caring community.


Research shows that when a learning community is safe, positive, caring, and fun, students’ ability to focus on learning, both academically and socially, increases. The Responsibility, Observation, Choice, and Knowledge acronym provides a simple way to empower students to problem solve and become contributing members of the learning community. The use of ROCK helps students learn to navigate effectively in a variety of situations, equipping them to meet life challenges. It literally lays the foundation for empowerment and social interaction in the learning community.

Studies of the developing brain show that young students often use patterns and structures to understand a concept. Their brains use this information to make sense of information and apply it to experiences in their world. ROCK provides a structural pattern to assist their minds in discussing the big concepts that each letter represents.


ROCK is a tool used to help establish a healthy learning culture and community. Interactions with others make up most of a child’s day. These interactions range from fun, positive, healthy interactions to those that involve conflict, angst, anger, or hurt. How these interactions are processed and handled determine the culture of your learning community.

ROCK is a tool to help you support students in managing daily social interactions. With continued integration and practice, ROCK becomes the foundation for how your students become a friend to themselves and others!


  • SO… LET’S ROCK together with these songs and activities!

Use the following ideas to help you implement ROCK in order to cultivate a healthy learning community!

Use the ROCK resources flexibly to best meet the diverse needs of your students. Your students and your classroom are unique. Make a plan for introducing and learning ROCK using the IM4U ROCK Discussions and Ideas. We also suggest mapping out your ideas for implementing ROCK before you get started. Think about:

  • How do I envision using ROCK on a day-to-day basis?
  • What resources do I want to use and when?
  • How will I make ROCK visible in my classroom? (Note: “See ROCK” section for ideas)
  • How is my school or learning organization using ROCK and how might I collaborate with others?
  • How will ROCK work with already existing tools and resources I use to cultivate a healthy learning community?
Hang the ROCposter throughout the district, school and classrooms.  We strongly encourage the use of ROCK at district, school and classroom levels. Consistent use of ROCK throughout all levels of a learning community creates consistency and empowers all those who belong.
Model the use of ROCduring school or class meetings by sharing how YOU use it.  For example, “When I was at a meeting this morning, someone…”, or “On my way into work….”, or “At my daughter’s ballgame last night…”

When I was at a meeting this morning, a friend and I needed to organize our school picnic and had different ideas. I used ROCK to help us. We figured out that our Responsibility was to work together in a kind way to make sure we make the best choices so the picnic will be great for everyone. I Observed that my friend really wanted to organize the picnic differently than I did, and that there were many options so we listed all of the ways we could organize. This gave us a list of many different options to make Choices. We used our Knowledge from previous picnics, and asked others to share theirKnowledge from previous picnics, to help us make a good Choice on how to organize.

  • Use the Sammy and Martin finger puppets found in IM4U resources to model the use of ROCK in a variety of situations. Create scenarios that are relevant to your students.
– Use ROCK proactively, not just reactively! For example, encourage students to use it to think through an upcoming activity they will work on together.

– Use ROCK to guide students through day-to-day interactions and problem solving with others. To do this:

  • Get down on a child’s level: squat or sit near the students and provide a calm presence. You may say: I see that you are upset (or whatever emotion). Let’s ROCK this situation!
  • Encourage each child to take a minute to take a deep breath or shake off a strong emotion so they will be able to ROCK.
  • Adapt the following types of questions to help students work through a situation:

R: Think about what was happening, what is your responsibility in the situation? You may need to help them name their responsibility at first.

O: What did you notice about yourself? What about the other person? Have the students listen to each other’s answers and acknowledge if this was correct or if there was a misunderstanding.

C: What choices did you make in the situation? How do you think those choices affected the other person? Were there other choices you could have made? What do you think might have happened if you had made a different choice? Is there a choice you could make together that might help solve this problem/issues? Note: You may need to help students with words to use during this discussion.

K: What did you learn about yourself in this situation? If this happens again, what do you think you might do?

Young students need to have concrete examples of RESPONSIBILITY, OBSERVATIONS, CHOICES, and KNOWLEDGE within the context of their day. At the end of each day, discuss and then celebrate examples of ROCK in action!

Give each child a ROCK sticker in celebration of their approach to problems solving. As you see students in the classroom take the initiative to use ROCK, be sure to provide them with a ROCK sticker. Print your ROCK stickers using printable sticker paper from a local office supply store and the template provided here.

Make a ROCK Wall in your school or classroom. Every time a teacher sees someone using ROCK they will stick a ROCK sticker on the wall. When the wall is full have a celebration!


  • What does it mean to ROCK?

    • Have you ever heard someone say, “Let’s rock!”? What does that mean? Sometimes people say this to get a group together to make something happen.
    • Ask students to suggest different ways the class gets together to get things done in the classroom. If you have been using IM4U unit activities already, use one of these experiences as a discussion focal point.
    • Suggest: How do we get together to “rock” the activity? What did we have to do to make it work?
    • Introduce the letters in ROCK by showing the ROCK poster.
    • Start with the letter R and explain that this represents “Responsibility.” Focus on one of the students’ examples above to talk about the responsibilities everyone shares. Ask: When we work together to make something ROCK, what do we have to be responsible for?
    • Focus on the letter O and explain that this represents “Observation.” Use the same example to continue getting student input. Ask: What do we observe when we are playing a game together? What do you need to notice? How does this help us enjoy the game?
    • Move to the letter “C” and explain that this represents “Choice.” Ask: What choices do we make when we work together in our example? We could choose not to help others or we can choose to help! How does making the choice to help feel? How can our choices change the way we work together?
    • Point out the letter “K” and explain that this represents “Knowledge.” Use the same student’s suggested example and ask: What did you learn about teamwork or working together during that experience?
    • Choose an upcoming event or activity the group can ROCK together. Make a list of ways they can be Responsible, be Observant, make Choices and build Knowledge together! Use the ROCposter as your guide.
    • Wrap up by having students summarize their thoughts about ROCK. Share that the class will be learning more about each letter so that they might begin to use ROCK in different ways in the classroom.


As members of a caring and fun community, WE ALL ARE RESPONSIBLE and have the power of Observation, Choice, and Knowledge, so let’s enjoy these songs and activities and ROCK—
Responsibility, Observation, Choice, and Knowledge!

NOTE: Be sure to review Use ROCK and Introduce ROCK before using the following discussions and ideas.


Responsibility Discussions and Ideas



Observation Discussions and Ideas



Choice Discussions and Ideas



Knowledge Discussions and Ideas