Sunday, April 8, 2012

Look at ME! Look at ME!

After reading this post you might...

un-follow me....

Or roll your eyes....

Or think I am cray cray!

When I first heard that I shouldn't say this, I thought it was silly. I had been taught to say this in college.

When I asked several months ago, most of you said YOU say it too!

And it worked when I said said it worked too!

What is it you might be asking yourself????

I like the way......

Yeppers...according to Conscious Discipline we shouldn't be saying this.

Here is where I almost stopped listening but I didn't. When I really started to think about the reason why when they explained it to us, it made also gave me a headache.

We have all had kiddos run up to us or holler out to us "Look at me! Look at me!". Children want and need to be seen. Our attention is greatly encouraging.

The Conscious Discipline book is broken down into teaching ourselves and children different skills. What I am sharing with you comes from the chapter on Encouragement. There is so much in this chapter that I would love to share but it can be overwhelming and very thought provoking....hence my above headache.

Our praise can be very judgmental (page 81). Here's how:

*Too much, all-encompassing praise can make a child feel pressured to live up to unrealistic expectations. If we are saying something about them always doing something right or well, they might feel pressured to live up to that expectation or they might rebel.

*Judgement praise can teach a child to think that "good" equals pleasing others and "bad" equals displeasing others. This can cause anxiety in the child and leave them asking you "Is this good?" "Did I do this right?". This trains children to focus on what others think instead of listening to their own inner speech.

*If you use praise that focuses on how you feel about a child's behavior, you are teaching them to seek your approval. If you are using praise to influence the behavior of another child by saying "I like the way _________ is ____________" than you are manipulating a child and sending the message that you are worthy when you are pleasing to others.

*If you praise children for only successful, completed tasks, you teach them effort does not matter-only accomplishments matter. "If you praise only finished jobs that are done well, you teach a child to devalue effort." page 82

Conscious Discipline breaks what we say into 2 actions:
*Praise (judging)
*Noticing (describing)

"When you judge children, you tell them who you think they should be. Judgment shows conditional love- love that makes demands. Encouragement is about accepting children for who they are. Acceptance notices and describes behavior or actions that exist. Acceptance underlies unconditional love- love which makes no demands." We want to move away from judging to noticing. page 82

Yes, I accept my kiddos for who they are and because I love them I am going to help them be the best they can be.

What we focus on we get more of. What you focus on will also strengthen that quality in yourself and others. If you notice a child's strength, you teach them about their abilities. If you encourage their contributions, you teach them about sharing their gift with others. "All you really need to do is describe the efforts or accomplishments you see from the child. In effect, you become the child's mirror." page 79

Here are some ways to change some judging praises into noticing and describing encouragement:

I like the way I see Carla cleaning up her center. judging
I noticed Carla cleaning up her center and being helpful by putting everything away so nothing would get lost. noticing

Sarah is doing a nice job in line. judging
I notice Sarah is standing still in line. That is being helpful by keeping her friends safe. noticing

Good job doing your math paper Jennifer. judging
You did it! You went over and focused and you got your work completed. noticing

Ways to help build noticing into your vocabulary:

1. Start with the child's name or the pronoun "you".
Stacy, you picked up Suzanne's pencil.
You did it, you tied your shoes!

2. Next describe exactly what you see.
Pretend that you have a camera. Before you speak ask yourself if a camera can record what you are about to say? If you are about to tell Ann thank you for being helpful remember that a camera cannot record that. Instead tell Ann you noticed her give Kellye back her pencil and that was helpful.

3. End your description with a tag. There are 3 types of tags:

*Tags that judge, use sparingly:
~Good job!
~That looks great!
~You always do such a great job!

*Tags that describe attributes-use regularly:
~That took determination.
~You sure are organized!
~That was brave!

*Tags that describe values, use lavishly:
~That was helpful.
~That was thoughtful.
~That was kind, caring, loving.

Are you still here??????????? Did I lose you??????? Are you rolling your eyes at me?????????????

I hope you are sticking with me because you need to hear this part! =)

I had a hard time changing my language. I had been saying I like the way.... for at least 6 years.

When I started my noticing, the difference it made in my classroom was HUGE!!! My kiddos became so much more aware what contributions and efforts others were making. The values and language they use with each other is amazing. There are times I want to invite a couple of adults to come get some lessons from my kiddos.

My kiddos are constantly starting their sentences with "I noticed that___________was_______________. That was helpful, kind, caring of him.

I remember at times starting to feel flustered when my kiddos were not doing something I thought they should be. That was usually when I threw out one of the I like the way.....sentences. I realize now that I needed to focus on what I wanted by being a mirror to that action so the children could make the connection. At the beginning of the year, we sang a song like this modified to whatever I needed to mirror back to the kiddos:

I see Heather, I see Heather,
Her hands are like this. (modeling the action)
Her feet are like this. (modeling the action)
She's being very helpful She's being very helpful.
Way to go! Way to go!

All of this noticing then ties in so well with the School Family Jobs of  The Kindness Recorder, The Cheerleader, and The Encourager. Plus, all of the noticing that my kiddos do of the contributions of others ties in with our bucket filling because they must tell the friend "I am going to add you a helpful heart for____________." The friend who is having the heart added for them has to answer them "Thank you for noticing that."

Here is what you can try this week (or next if you are lucky to be on Spring Break!)":

Instead of saying I like the way.... say

*I notice that _____________ is ________________. Way to go for being helpful.


*Way to go ________________! You _____________________! That was being so kind.

If you need to write one of the sentence stems on a sentence strip to post in your room go for it! That is what I did in the beginning. =)

Think it over. I had a hard time wrapping my brain around this at first....especially since what I had been doing was working!

I see now though that all of the qualities, efforts and values I notice are the ones the kiddos now are mirroring.

I would love for you to share your thoughts with me on this....and please be honest! =)

Now, on to other news!

If you haven't heard the Craftivity Queen my sweet friend Mrs. Cupcake (Teri) is having an AMAZING giveaway! She asked little ol' me to be part of it! WOW! I am humbled!

Hop on over to her blog to check it out! She is going to have 10 WINNERS!!!!!!!!

Here is a *freebie* I shared before but that was back in November when I only had about 100 followers!

Click on the picture to go grab it!

I have been tagged already! I promise to answer those questions soon! I can totally relate to my sweet and funny friend Holly about the amount of time it takes for me to squeeze out a post. OMGosh! I am a slowpoke!

I hope you had a blessed Easter. I worship a risen Savior and am blessed indeed. =)

77 heart notes:

Barbara said...

YAY - this is SO helpful! We've only had a three-hour taste of Conscious Discipline and I'm pulling for the rest of the modules (fingers crossed that we can afford it!). Simply powerful to think that they crave connection as much as attention and that simply changing our words can change everything for them . . . and for us!!

Thanks, Heather.


smorss99 said...

This was one great post Heather! Everything you said about judging and notice was spot on. We use PBIS...but a lot of what we do is judge and not notice. I am going to share your post! Thanks so much :0)

Thanks for the freebie too. I hope your Easter was wonderful, enjoy your week!!!

Kindergarten Hoppenings

Heather said...

What a wonderful post. You are truly inspiring and my summer reading will, mostly, consist of Conscious Discipline. I am writing down your sentences to implement into my classroom starting this week. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the cute freebie!

Katie Smith said...

Great post! Definitely plan on changing my way of praising!

Ms. Smith

Jenny Tippett said...

What a great post. I am so guilty of saying "I like the way...". I am going to put Conscious Disciplinr on my reading list. I'll use your sample sentences in my classroom when we get back from spring break. Thanks for sharing!

Allyson Butler said...

This is such a great post! We talk about this in class a lot, and it makes so much sense. Thanks for sharing!


Krogers Kindergarten said...

Wow you kind of just blew my mind a little bit...I have been wanting to look into conscious discipline! I am DEFINITELY going to have to make myself a reminder sign!!

Mrs. Cupcake said...

Great post! I like the different ways of praising! And thanks for sharing the giveaway!!! :)
A Cupcake for the Teacher

Ms. Lindsey said...

Thank you for all of your posts on conscious disipline. It's amazing the difference we can make just by the words we choose to use.

Lovin’ First Grade

Emily said...

Love it. This goes so well with bucket filling. I've read a book called "Positive Teacher Talk" and it made my brain start thinking of how my words can set the tone of the class. Thanks!

Emily @ Second Grade Silliness 

Mrs. Cupcake said...

PS: To answer your question... I request 4-6 glue sticks per student at the beginning of the year, and we have barely anything left!!! :) :)
A Cupcake for the Teacher

Camille said...

I appreciate the way you always make me think about my teaching practices. Thank you! I am a better teacher because of you. REALLY!!
An Open Door

Pamela Fulk said...

This was a wonderful post. I can't wait to put it into action this week and see the results. With only 7 weeks left of school, it will be great to NOTICE all the independence my little guys have acquired this year.

First Class Teacher

Kathy said... me tomorrow! I didn't want you to miss out because of a computer problem.

First Grade a la Carte

Think, Wonder, & Teach said...

Thank you for sharing Heather. I was wondering how this actually looked in a classroom and students responded to it. It is such a shift in thinking for me as I have been liking things for 12 years with my son. Noticing seems so much less encouraging but all my grad classes have a ban on praise and we focus on behavior narration or noticing.

Think, Wonder, & Teach

Chrissy said...

Thank you for taking the time to share these points.
I will be increasing the word "notice" in my vocabulary this week!

Happy Easter! ReadWriteSing

S. Parker said...

Heather this is great. I need to do better with this. I hope you'll make a cheat sheet for this. I know I would remember to do more of this if I had it handy.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter.

Becky said...

I love the concept of noticing! I plan on starting this tomorrow. Great post!
Teaching, Learning, & Loving

Sarah Paul said...

Thank you Heather, for taking the time to post this! I will definitely try this. I love it! I needed this too. :)
Sarah's First Grade Snippets

Kelly said...

I'm going to copy this down and take to school with me tomorrow. Thank you for sharing! Also....Tag! I just tagged you in a little bloggy get to know you game. Visit my blog to check out the details!

Miss Taylor said...

I had a college professor who just loved CD and preached about what a difference it made in her classroom so I ordered the book. I am in the process of reading it. I really agree with all of Dr. Bailey's ideas and principles! It's really overwhelming to me though! How long did it take you to get through the book? Also, Have you heard of Love and Logic? It has some really great things to think about when communicating with students!

Reagan Tunstall said...

Heather I really like the way you want to share all new information with us to make us all help children grow and become amazing human beings. You are such an inspiration. Thank you for taking the time to explain your new thinking!

I would love to have a Summer meet up and when it gets planned I will let you know!

Gracie said...

Thanks for sharing this Heather! I am going to practice at home with my thee littles before I take it into the classroom next week! Really appreciate it!


Jill said...

This was a great post! I recently read somewhere about behavior narration and I've been trying to use that more in my class. It does seem to work!! Thanks for sharing this with us!

Marvelous Multiagers!

Holly said...

I would NEVER unfollow you OR roll my eyes at you...never, ever, never!

I love reading your posts about conscious discipline. I love how you state the facts but don't at all throw any judgment in there. I can't remember if I told you that one of our kindergarten teachers at my school made me feel really horrible about having a treasure box. Like, made me feel like the world's worst teacher I thank you for enlightening but holding back what you might think about people like me! ;)

AND thanks for the mention...LOL...I'm right there with ya, and you got me about 7 more followers!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!

Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing the freebie again, but also a big thank you for sharing the Conscious Discipline ideas. I think you did a really nice job of sharing your thoughts and the philosophy behind part of Conscious Discipline without stepping on people's toes. (At least my little piggies are not squashed!)

I've been trying to do this in my classroom. I usually point out that they are making a choice, for example "Wow, look at the way Charlie is choosing to sit like a scholar. His body is still and he has the silent signal up." Does that go along with the 'noticing?' I try to emphasize that all of their actions are a result of their own choices. I'm just wondering that although I'm using different language, is the same concept coming across? Or should I completely jump over to only using the 'notice' stems? Thanks for your thoughts!

~Heidi V.

PS As with many others who commented, CD is definitely on my list of books to read this summer. :)

Kimberly Santana said...

This is great info!! You've been TAGGED... come to my blog to play along :)

The Learning Tree

Mrs. Sheehan said...

I have never heard of this type of discipline plan. It makes so much sense! I try to mix it up with "noticing" comments but never realized that they were an actual thing:) This is awesome!
I am your newest follower:)

Fran Kramer said...

That was exhausting for my brain. I need to take a nap and read it again or maybe you can provide me with the Dummies version. I will check this out in the morning when I have the strength to grasp the implications!
Just messing around! Thanks for the post!

Barb said...

Hi Heather!
I'm your newest follower. Thanks for finding me so I could find you. Your blog is spectacular!

Molly said...

Hi Heather!

I really enjoyed your post. I never thought of that before, and I use "I like the way..." a lot in my classroom too. We are on spring break this week (woo too!) but I am definitely going to start trying to use "I notice..." when we get back! I also like the tags that are specifically focused on values... what a fabulous idea! Thanks so much for this enlightening post!! :)

Lessons with Laughter

Lou said...

Awesome post! Thanks for those sentence starters. Just like our students, we sometimes need a prompt:)


Pencils with Pizzazz

Erin said...

I'm your newest follower. I found your blog through Teri! I love it! :)

Elementary Adventure

Colleen said...

I will have to check this out! I was taught the same thing and I have some kids that are constantly seeking my approval (and it drives me nuts!). Thanks for sharing and no I wasn't rolling my eyes. I will share this post with others! P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I will follow you, too!

Jen said...

This is a great post! I am definitely going to be "noticing" with my class. I love the song, too. I am totally going to be using that!


Maureen said...

I'm going to write out the sample sentences and put them around the classroom for the other adults in the room to practice too.
Loved this post - very thought provoking.

Mrs. Hodson said...

Thanks for the post! GIving me something to think about!! So now I have a quick question... is thanking a kid for a specific task (i.e. Thank you Melissa for standing in line quietly.) judging or noticing?


Natasha said...

Hello, thanks for your nice comment on my blog! It is neat to see that you are a teacher, I am working on my Masters in Elem. Ed. to be a teacher :). As for your note about following, I don't think it is something I can add? Maybe it is something at the top of the screen? not sure. Anyway; hope you have a blessed week

Cecelia said...

Wonderful post! I tagged you. Check it out at


Ms. King said...

I am totally intrigued by Consious Discipline. I definitely plan to begin implementing it next year. Thanks for the tips! Oh and I'm also your newest follower :-)

Mrs. Nunley said...

I love this! I feel like I say "I like the way..." a lot. This makes SO much sense!

Thank you so much for sharing...I can't wait to notice behavior tomorrow!

First Grade Magic

Gesin's Gallery said...

I love this! I always prefer a positive approach to behavior and this makes SO much sense! Thanks for sharing! This is why I love the blog world!

Shelley said...

This is amazing!! I didn't roll my eyes or stop reading for a second. Thank you for sharing your insights with us. :)

Crayons and Curls said...

Wow Heather! Amazing as always! I am going to have to print this out and carry it around with me for a while until I get used to not saying "I like the way" anymore. :) It really does make sense.
And I think I am the slowest blogger these days! My kids have me running so much! But I love Spring!!! :)
Happy Week!!!
Crayons and Curls

Owl Things First said...

And I am blessed to STILL be following you! Great post...I can't wait to read the book this summer.
He has risen indeed!
Owl Things First

SweetP said...

Tag! You're it! Join us in a game of tag.

Angie said...

Awesome! I love it! Way to go - and I didn't roll my eyes once!

Tamera said...

Your posts always make me laugh (cray, cray - hadn't heard that in awhile) and think. Wow! I feel I was brainwashed to say, "I like the way...."
Thanks for the headache - it is a good one.

:) Tamera

Diane said...

Hi, Heather! I found you on Pinterest, and you have changed my life (and hopefully,my students')! After reading one of your blogs that talked about Conscience Discipline, I checked out their web page and bought it! It was my spring break reading. I have been trying hard to implement it and just so happened to really be focusing on the noticing aspect of it the last few days. Your most recent blog was perfectly timed. Thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us.

Jill Edwards said...

I think this is exactly what my principal wants me to do "notice" all the good and positive ways that my kiddos do their jobs. I too am so tired of the words "I like...". I now want to do two things...1. get that book and 2. Practice saying I notice when break is over and see if the overall feeling in the classroom changes. Thanks for helping.

Miss DeCarbo said...

I really need to read this book, too. Your posts are filled with such great advice on this topic. I can't wait to read it this summer. :) Thank you for another piece of inspiration. :)

Second Grade Sugar and Spice

Nina said...

Our kindergarten teachers teach with conscious discipline. I thought it sounded great! Wish that we had the training in first! Such a great post! :)


sarahsmithstorm said...

This is a great post! I work with EI kids and I need to get better at "Noticing" than judging.. Just a great post! Thanks for the follow! Appreciate it... Thank you for the freebie too! It is so cute!

Ally said...

You have inspired me! Now that you have explained the reasoning, I can definitely see how this is a better way. Thanks for this! :)

Lizzie said...

I. Love your blog. I'm learning so much. I have never liked saying "I like the way Joe is sitting" and so I don't say it but I never knew what to say instead of that. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge of CD.

LYNDSEY said...

Thanks for sharing this! Awesome!!!

I like the way you are sharing so many great resources with us. Sorry, I had to! :)


mwillhite said...

I do not think you're crazy, and I'm very intrigued to read more about Conscious Discipline! I've been doing the same discipline things for 6 years, and I think it's time to switch things up a bit!

Love your blog! So glad you found me, and that I found you! :)


Sophia said...

Hello Heather! I just became a follower of your blog. I'm so glad you stopped by mine to let me know about it!!

I LOOOOVE how you broke down "positive narrating"!! Great explanation!! When I changed districts last year, we were told that the teacher sentence stem (wink wink) "I like the way..." was a BIIIIIG no no. :{ I struggled tremendously with that. We call it the Lemov Method after Doug Lemov our district's go to "guru" on classroom management. After 2 years of positive narration, I STILL have to catch myself. ^-^

Also, THANKs for your "Dive into Endings" freebie!! So helpful. :)

Fanciful First Grade

Sara said...

I had vaguely heard about being careful with how you praise a child, but you made it so much more clear! Thanks Heather!

Kindergarten Is A Hoot

Abby Bozman said...

I am so glad I found you too! I really enjoyed reading this post and can't wait to share it with my team. I also want to check this book out. Thanks for sharing!

The Teacher's Work Room said...

Wow! That is great post. Thanks for sharing...ummm I mean I notice that this post is going to be useful in my classroom management :) It really is food for thought!
I am following your blog!

Deedee Wills said...

Hi Heather... I am sitting here in Chrissy's kitchen (Read, Write, Sing), Meredith (Keen on Kindergarten), and Katie (Little Warriors) and we are pouring over this awesome post! Love it!!!!

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Heather said...

I am your newest follower! Thanks for sending me the link to this post. It is so interesting to think about and it makes a lot of sense. I will add this book to my growing list of professional books I want to read this summer. I love the idea of posting the stems around the room. I would definitely need to do that since I have been saying, "I like the way______" for so long.

Michelle Woods said...

Thank you for sending me over to this post! I learned the "I like the way..." phrase so it stuck, but I would like to read this book because I realy would like to make it about their choice instead of them all becoming little robots doing what I want. If they can learn to make good choices because it's the right thing then hopefully they will carry that on outside our classrooms.

Carla said...

Hi Heather,
I am going to add a link to this in a post I have from the book The Power of Our Word By Paula Denton. I decided to reread it this summer and post about it. I need to get this Conscious Discipline book!! Conscious Discipline seems to go into a lot more detail. The suggestions to help build noticing vocabulary are invaluable - especially the camera!
Thank you!

Playful Learning Brooklyn

Tamara said...

Heather...this was great! Definitely something that I will be reflecting on this year! :) I'll try to pick up the book would be a great read for the beginning of the year! :) Thanks for following my blog! I'm glad that I can follow YOU too! :) Tamara

Mrs. Russell's Room

Ms. Bowes said...

I have been neglecting my blog lately but I am glad I signed back on and found this post! I plan to use the noticing action much more this year and I am picking up a copy of Conscious Discipline right away! Thank you for following me and I plan to keep up with my blogging this school year :)
Have a great year!

Mrs. Jordan said...

I am a new follower and am just reading this post because it was linked from your latest post. I have been saying "I like the way..." for 25+years and I must say that I LOVE the "I noticed" version so much. I am printing this post to read over again...and making the sentence strip as a reminder. Thanks so much for inspiring a change!

Jean Robinson said...

Thanks for sending me to this post. I will definitely be writing those sentences down. Thanks for the great advice as usual. :)
Diving Into 2nd Grade

CWILSON77 said...

Wow, I never thought about it like that. This is my first year teaching and I was actually guided by other teachers to say "I like the . . .". Will be changing this Monday.

Christina Mendoza said...

Heather, you sound like an absolutely incredible teacher! Thank you so much for caring about the children, and seeking out the knowledge to guide them in such healthy ways. And thank you for sharing it - I learned a lot, and I'm pinning this to share and refer back to!