Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Buttons and Bunnies

I love my bunny. He is one of the sweetest and most treasured gifts I have ever received.

I love that little bunny nose! =)

Bunnies, Easter, and Spring are all things I love so I try to get as much of them in as possible.

I have several Mr. Potato Heads. You may not realize this but there are LOTS of different ones. Here is the Easter version:

How stinkin' cute are they??!!??

We play a game called Build a Potato that my kiddos are crazy about. Since Easter is near, we are going to Build a Potato Bunny Style!

I'll give you a peek at what you do but you'll have to go here to read more about it!

This game is played kind of like hangman (but you WANT to earn parts) or Read My Mind. Each kiddo has his/her own board and a marker. We play as a team. For each letter that is guessed correctly, the team gets to add a piece of the Potato Bunny. The team continues solving the mystery word and earning parts. Once the bunny is built we take him apart and start over! =)

I really cannot begin to tell you how much my kiddos adore this game. They are going to be so happy when I bring Mr. Bunny Potato Head to school! =)

And for another fun Spring activity my kiddos love, hop on over to my TpT store and check it out! =)

I have some bunny ears they wear when working at this literacy activity and that really engages them!

Thank you for all of the sweet heart notes you leave me. I hope you were able to read A Heart of Patience and take a minute to reflect on what you can do differently in your classroom. I know I try to be very patient but there are times where I am going craaaaazzzzzyyyyyyy on the inside and wanting to do some head bopping! This reflection from Conscious Discipline always reminds me that I MUST start with ME when there is a problem:
*Whomever you have placed in charge of your feelings, you have placed in control of you! p. 28

We often start feeling upset and having trigger thoughts when we look at a child's behavior for 3 different reasons:
*We think the child is misbehaving on purpose to upset us, the classroom, or another child. assumed intent
*We think the situation is WAAAYYYY worse than it really is. magnification
*We find ourselves using negative words to describe the child or their behavior labeling

When we lose our patience, we are allowing our buttons to be pushed. A behavior we see is causing us to have trouble with the feelings that it brings up in us.

For example, we often see Carla pinching Sarah on the learning rug. This triggers our feelings of anger and fear. Our trigger thoughts then turn to Why is Carla so mean? Carla knows better because we talked about this yesterday. I am worried that Sarah is going to get hurt and go home and tell her mom that someone is being mean to her.

While we are upset, we start wanting to punish Carla, make Carla feel bad by removing her from the rug, and start blaming the parents for not teaching her to not pinch at school.

Here is where Conscious Discipline comes in:

We must now tell ourselves to let go of those trigger feelings of anger and fear. We need to take a deep breath, hold onto that moment of patience and focus on what we want to happen. We are often upset because we don't know how to handle the situation...especially if it keeps happening over and over.

When we realize that this child is calling for help and doesn't know any other way to connect and interact with others, we must connect with love to that child. In the end, we can actually thank that child for teaching us to be more patient and understanding.

*This doesn't mean that there should not be consequences. Conscious Discipline does discuss consequences but not until the last chapter of the book.

Conscious Discipline is built on making commitments. There are several exercises in the book to help you remove your buttons and help you take ownership of your feelings. My kiddos know about not letting someone be the boss of your feelings. Take time to think about the behaviors that push your buttons and how you are feeling when you see that behavior. Ask yourself what do you want to see.

Somewhere in your room write on a sentence strip a commitment you are going to make when you see a certain behavior. Talk to the children about this and let them know the commitment you are making to yourself and them.

For example, tell your kiddos that you are going to make a commitment to stay calm with you see and hear friends saying hurtful things. Tell the children you are going to help them find a better way to solve the problem and to do that you need to be calm.

It really makes a difference when you allow yourself to not get upset and irritated...and there are times I still do (even with a few adults!!!) 

There are times that the kiddo who has a radar detector to my button's location is the child I need to write on the palm of my hand for that child will also need to be on my heart.

Remember this from The Heart of Patience poem:

I know I won’t be perfect but you need my best to help you learn and grow-
So, I pray for God to help me have a heart of patience that always shows.

54 heart notes:

Tara said...

Love your "words of wisdom". They are always so powerful and everyone needs to hear them:) Thanks for sharing:) I love your bunny!!! LOVE those ears!!! I have a bunny, Buster but he just has regular sized ears...what kind of awesome bunny is yours??

4th Grade Frolics

Kristin said...

Loving your bunny rabbit - especially the one with your kitty and the bunny "kissing"!!!
Love this potato head game -- must have a potato head!!! NOW!!!
I think I know what I might read over Spring Break . . .
A Teeny Tiny Teacher

Ms. Chrissy B said...

I had to comment on your bunny - I LOVE him too. He's adorable!

I had a bunny when I was younger - loved it. It used to hop around the backyard - it was a free bunny :) He grew to be enormous. We called him Commander Bun-Bun. (My brother named him lol) Oh, bunnies.

And I love your poem - I have a little bag of prayer stones and I keep it on my desk - nobody else knows what they are, but I do! They came from my A.C.T.S. retreat and they help me remember who I am and why I'm there! Thanks for sharing this post.

<a href='http://buzzingwithmsb.blogspot.com">Buzzing with Ms. B</a>

Erica said...

Your bunny is so cute! I have always wanted a bunny. I also love the potato head activity.


Sprinkles to Kindergarten

Ashley said...

I love the Build a Potato game! I wasn't a follower when you first posted, but now I am! What an awesome idea!


Busy Bees said...

My daughter raised a Dutch Bunny for several years. So, I know how adorable bunnies are for pets! Going to have to get me one of those Easter potato head games!!

Allyson McGuire said...

This is such a sweet post. I am so excited to have my own classroom, and I am really wanting to read Conscious Discipline. Thanks for sharing with us!


Unknown said...

Thank you for posting that Heather, Today about 2 minutes before we were to go to recess, one of my "repeat offenders" Karate chopped someone several times on back. Although I didn't lose me calm, he did not like his consequence of sitting out.
Needless to say, I like the reminder that he is calling out for help.
By the way your blog is beautiful.
Thanks so much for joining mine.
Jessica from

Kelly said...

You are really getting me to consider learning more about Conscious Discipline. I wish I would have known more about it when I taught at an inner city school with some very high behavior needs. It sounds like it's a great resource for any teacher though.

Kindergarten Kel

Miss Angel said...

Your bunny is so cute! I want one! I have a cat who looks just like that. But I doubt he would be so nice with a bunny... although he might just be scared of it!
I am still planning on learning more about Conscious Discipline. I think I could really use this in some situations when I start feeling nervous and frustrated about a kid who continues to misbehave no matter what I do!

Chrissy said...

LOVE your thoughts on discipline....what a great reminder!

I just pinned the pic of your kitten and bunny; so sweet!

Jill said...

I feel like you wrote this post for me today!!! I need Conscious Discipline in my life really badly I think!

Marvelous Multiagers!

Tammy said...

I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a “One Lovely Blog Award”. You’re blog is wonderful and I’m excited to see what comes next! I am a loyal follower! Hop on over to my blog and get your award! Congratulations!

Confessions of a Fourth Grade Teacher

The Hands-On Teacher said...

I love that you let your little ones wear the bunny ears at the literacy center! Great prop and I'm sure it makes them super excited for the task!
The Hands-On Teacher

Kimberly Santana said...

Great post! Thank you! :) Don't forget to enter my giveaway, today's the last day! Come visit :)

p.s. our cats look identical!! Russian Blue?


Trisha said...

Seeing pictures of your bunny makes me miss my bunny, Roger. Easter will be tough this year.

First Grade Frosting

Cupcake said...

Gosh your bunny is just TOO cute!! Love the pic of the bunny and the kitty :)
A Cupcake for the Teacher

Beg, Borrow, and Teach! said...

Your blog has won the “Lovely Blog” award. Stop by my blog to pick up your prize!

Unknown said...

Wow! I love the advice you've given. I have a few kiddos who push my buttons repeatedly and I have to PRAY HARD to be calm and carry on. I will be using these ideas starting tomorrow. :)

Holly said...

I must do that potato head activity - I have it in my files...and never seem to get around to it. I'm bummed that I gave away my boys' potato heads...oh well, time to go shopping!

Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

P.S. You make me smile! :)

Tanya Solano said...

Your bunny is so cute! Is he box trained? Was it hard? I don't think my cat would be as nice to such a sweet fluffy critter...she's for sure the ruler of our roost.
Anyway, I wanted to say thank you for sharing such great posts! And also, you are such a wonderful blog buddy to everyone out there! Every time I see your comments on other blogs, they are always so positive and motivational. So I just wanted to say thank you for spreading your positivity around {I don't think that's a word, but it sounds good}
; )
Ms. Solano's Kindergarten

Lita Lita said...

Your blog is great. I just became a follower. And your bunny is so cute! :)

Casey Shreve said...

So I can't get over the bunny and cat picture! How precious! I also LOVE the patience prayer! Such a great prayer to remember for anyone working with children! :) Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

I LOVE your blog. I just awarded you the "One Beautiful Blog" award. Stop by my blog to grab your award.
-Lovely Nina
Lovely Little Learners

Owl Things First said...

I love your bunny, he's so cute! I love your heart, it's so full of love! You are a blessing to you children, the blogging community and to me personally!

Liz said...

Love your blog! We all have our moments when it comes to holding onto our patience.

Thanks for coming to visit me too!
My button should be up and working now.

Tonii said...

Heather! Thank you SO much for your sweet comment on my blog...I am so glad you left it, because it led me to your treasure of a blog! My oldest daughter is in 1st grade so right there I admire you tremendously :) I adore your potato head game...what a fantastic idea! I am so excited to follow you and see more of your amazing ideas and be inspired by your passion for teaching!

Unknown said...

Oh your bunny pics made me miss my bunny that I used to have in my classroom! He looked just like your bunny (sniff, sniff.) Very cute!! Love the potato heads too!

Unknown said...

Bunny and buttons! What a clever title! Perfect timing on this topic too! I have two little darling girls that have become bullies. I have talked about it with them and their parents, had consequences and class meeting about being kind. We have role played being kind and they have still continued to bully. I read your post awhile ago about the heart beads and celebrate behavior. I think I am going to start using that and see if we can focus more on positive behavior. My fingers are crossed!

Miss Katie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I thought I'd take a look at yours and you have some GREAT stuff going on here! LOVE the materials and concepts you are sharing! This is worth a follow for sure! :)

~ LJ said...

Heather, Thanks for finding me and following me! What an exciting surprise. I appreciate your sweet comment. I LOVE your blog and am now a follower. We are also a CD school. We started PBIS over and year ago and it has made such a huge difference! I'll be posting more about it in future posts. I look forward to reading more about how you use CD with your firsties!

Courtney said...

Heather. I'm a new follower of you and a big fan!! Thank you so much for posting your Heart of Patience Poem. I need to frame this and put it on my desk :)

I've also stopped by to let you know that I awarded you with The Lovely Blog Award!! Please stop by my blog to check it out!!

Teaching in Paradise

Julia said...

Hey Heather! Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog. I don't have all of the Conscious Discipline books, but I want to get them!!! I love it. My kids adore Shubert. I actually just got a Shubert doll and we are in love! :) Thanks for sharing this post, I needed it after this week!

Loving and Learning in Pre-K

Jacqueline Richardson said...

Love your blog. Wanted to award you the Top 10 Blog Award. Please hop on over to secondissosweet.blogspot.com to grab your award. You so deserve it.

teaching fashionista said...

adorable! I'm your newest follower!
come visit teaching fashionista.blogspot.com

Angela said...

What a powerful post. Thank you for sharing! I have had two students in my career who, when I think of, make tears in my eyes well up. They were both very disturbed children with a lot of anger and scary violence in their lives. Both of them moved to emotional behavior disorder programs in our district for first grade because their level of violence was not manageable for one teacher with a typical classroom size. I often went home feeling guilty that I had not protected my students from them, but also that I was failing them by not being able to heal their anger. I don't know that CD would have made those feelings subside when I had them, but I do know that I would have loved to have had a resource for how to handle my own emotions internally during that time. I will be looking into learning more about this and sharing what I learn with my colleagues. Thank you, again, for sharing these important messages.

Miss Kristan King said...

I went to a classroom management and she said,
"Don't be a vending machine!" This comment sticks with me, kids have the control when we let them push our buttons. It's a choice!

Thanks for the reminders.

Splish Splash Mrs. Davis' Class said...

Loving the bunny photos! We had the sweetest little guy, Wilson for years. He was potty trained and everything. I can't wait to try the potato head game.

paula said...

Thank you for talking about your discovery and work on the CD book. I have 2 darlings that I thought " pushed" my buttons just because. Apparently, I needed to read this book for me and them and my other 26 babies! I teach 4th so alot of the behavior is more cemented than the lower grades. I will definitely be buying this book and becoming a better me for the rest of this year and many more to come! Thanks again.

Rhonda said...

Hi Heather,
I just love your blog and your words of wisdom so I nominated you for a Top Ten Award. Go over to Classroom Fun to check it out.

Unknown said...

Your bunny is cute cute cute!! My daughter has one too, a rescue bunny, but he is a bit feisty so we can't let him out. We had a bunny for years from a family that moved. She was like having a cat. At school she hopped around the classroom, and at home, miss having her!

Joy of Life 2011

Anonymous said...


I love your spring ideas! Thanks for sharing!



Rebby said...

I love your bunny too! I used to have one when I was in high school, but couldn't bring him in the house because our cats weren't as accepting as yours clearly is, lol. I really enjoyed reading about Conscious Discipline. It's clearly a very difficult thing to master, but every day's a work in progress and hopefully I can keep this in mind the next time I deal with a misbehaving kiddo.

shan9899 said...

I am a new follower! I love Conscious DIsciplin! I think it should be given to every first year teacher!!

Cindy said...

OK..Just popped over from my blog and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the picture of your bunny nuzzling noses with the cat! OH MY! How cute!!! I am your newest follower! ;-)