There are 2 things that have impacted my teaching and shaped my beliefs about building a School Family. One was meeting and listening to Ruby Payne talk about teaching children of poverty. The second was learning about Conscious Discipline. If you want to learn more about Becky Bailey and Conscious Discipline click on the link. I could write page long blogs about Conscious Discipline and the way it has transformed my classroom and the way we ALL interact. I know many teachers use a moving/changing your color type of system and if you are interested in moving away from that just email me and I will be soooo happy to talk to you about it! (This is my 12th year of teaching extremely at-risk students and I have never used that system but have amazing results in my classroom. And I am not putting down that type of classroom management but I have completely changed what I do and say....and it was VERY HARD to re-learn what you say to kiddos...especially the "I like the way I see __________ _________!)
Okay, back to the point of this post. One of Our School Family Jobs is the "absent student helper". This child gets to substitute for the child that is absent and also gets to help with the Wish Well Circle. The Wish Well Circle is a pizza pan with all of our names and a big heart in the middle. When that child is absent, we move his/her picture to the middle and sing a song to let that child know that even though they are not here we are thinking about them and wishing them well (They love to come back and ask if we sang a song about them!). When they return to school, the absent student helper gets to welcome them back with a butterfly puppet and a welcome back kiss (and we talk about all of the silly places we get the kiss such as our elbow, ankle, shoulder, wrist but never our mouth because of germs...and this is great for building vocabulary for your ELL kiddos). They love all of this. Just imagine that child knowing that even though they are not at school we are thinking about them and wishing them well! Too cute and sweet!
Here is a picture of the wish well pizza pan (I put the songs on the back so the absent student helper and I can remember them!)
Here are the songs and a picture of the butterfly puppet.
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