Monday, August 6, 2012

Let's Celebrate "Sum"body

One of the CUTEST and SWEETEST things I have ever seen is when my kiddos celebrate each other. At times, I forget how special what I see happening actually is.

Now, they can be celebrating each other all day long in the classroom but when they go to P.E., they seem to be dipping into each other's buckets WAAAAAYYYY too much. This is what I hear when I pick them up:

*I used my big voice and told him I didn't like it when he____________________.
*I told her that she wasn't keeping her commitment and she needed to be keeping me safe.
*I was trying to talk to him and he wasn't making good eye contact with me.
*I tried to help him calm down and be a STAR and he just yelled at me.

Shhhhhh, don't tell my kiddos this but most of the time I am trying not to crack up laughing when they say some of those things.

The first few weeks of school I am celebrating the kiddos ALL of the time. I wear my bubble necklace all day long. And let me just tell you, blowing bubbles on a 1st grader ROCKS their world. They giggle, squeal, and grin from ear to ear. I. LOVE. IT!!!!!

This is also the time to be celebrating by noticing instead of saying "I like the way Heather is standing quietly. "If you want to read more about noticing instead of judging hop over to this post. It will change you and your classroom in a HUGE-MONGO-COLOSSAL way.

One way we celebrate is with the job of the Cheerleader. Hop over here to read about that job.

Even when they are not the Cheerleader for the week, my kiddos LOVE to celebrate each other. Since that is something I want to encourage them to do, I made a little Way to Go jar. This is a little something extra for those kiddos who are really trying hard to be bucket fillers with their words of encouragement.

I am in love with it. =)

I filled the jar with the tiny bottles of wedding bubbles. You can order a box of 100 for about $16 on Amazon. Since I only plan on handing them out to about 2 to 3 kiddos a week, it will last me a long time. I understand if you think that is too much money but I see it as hopefully instilling in my kiddos the gift of encouraging others. Plus, I know my kiddos will be beyond thrilled to have their own celebration bubbles. I think we will talk about taking the bubbles home and celebrating others in their family with the bubbles.

Another way to celebrate kiddos is of course with their birthdays. One of my goals this year is to do a better job making that a special day. Most of my kiddos have no clue when their birthday is and I always have several, several, little ones who have ever had a birthday cake.

I love the birthday balloons that you see all over Pinterest but I wanted to do it a little bit different. My kiddos will choose 2 balloons. The sum of their balloons must equal the age they will be celebrating on their special day. For example, if they are turning 7, they can choose a balloon with a 5 and a 2 or a balloon with a 6 and a 1. The kiddos are going to decorate the balloons the 1st week of school. THEN, I will make the balloons. =)

I made a few to give them some decoration ideas.

graphics by Scrappin' Doodles
click on the picture to grab your copy of the balloons =)

I would love to know what you think of these. I am so excited about the Way to Go jar! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Right now hop over and see Claire. She is having a giveaway with some great prizes...even something from me! I have several adorable activities I will posting in my store soon. I would LOVE for you to win. =)

I am working on some Conscious Discipline posts about the first week of school and also the first 2 chapters of the book. I am sorry for not posting early this summer about the chapters but my brain has been hopping in tons of different directions.

I would love for you to take a few minutes to leave me a heart note. They always make me smile. =)

From My Heart to Yours,

46 heart notes:

Lisa R. said...

Your ideas never cease to amaze me Heather!! That is such a great idea & what I love most is that it incorporates learning right along with it. Thanks for the wonderful freebie! :)
Learning Is Something to Treasure

Johanna Tackitt said...

You are great!!!! Thanks for your hard work-and getting me motivated to get back into the swing of things!

First Grade Fanatic!

Kate said...

What a sweet bubbles idea! I am also making a resolution to be better about birthdays. I love your adaptation of the balloons - very sweet and educational!

Second Grade Sparkle

Teaching Fabulous Firsties! said...

Great idea! I'm trying to pick up some new positive reinforcement ideas since our first graders will have 30 classmates! Yikes! Thanks for sharing.
Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

Miss Trayers said...

I love the bubbles idea as well! What think it's a really fun way to incorporate that classroom community experience! Thanks for sharing it.


FirstGrade Circus said...

I use noticing the positive too and you would be surprised how quickly the negative disappears. The students WANT to please you and by showing attention to the ones who are behaving the others snap in line so that you can show them attention too!!

Great idea on encouraging with bubbles!

First Grade Circus

primary practice said...

Heather, I love everything about your Way to Go Jar! It's adorable and a fun way to recognize kids who are cheerleaders for their classmates. Thanks for sharing :)

primary practice

A Tale of 2 First Grades said...

I love the idea of the jar! My kiddos would love bubbles. Thanks for the tip on where to find them. I love Amazon! Your balloons are adorable.

A Tale of 2 First Grades

Mrs. Corbitt said...

I loved this post! I wish I had been in your 1st grade class. I love the Way to Go Jar, and you're right you can't really put a price on a positive encouraging classroom. Your birthday balloon are awesome, way to incorporate math into the celebration!!! Keep up the fantastic work.

:) Nicole
Tadpole Tidbits

Mrs. Kerola @ Happy Literacy said...

Hi Heather,
I love your Way to Go Jar. My kids also have a very hard time in gym compared to the other environments. I think it's the lack of structure like in the classroom that gets 'em. I think I might borrow your idea but give them out randomly so they don't know when it's coming...? I'll have to think on it.
I also love your Cheerleader job and might incorporate that too!

Happy Literacy!

Bright Concepts 4 Teachers said...

I love your birthday balloon idea. Celebrating their birthday and adding a bit of learning at the same time is brilliant!
Bright Concepts 4 Teachers

Inspired Writing Teacher said...

I absolutely LOVE your bubble idea!!!
I think I just might have to order some bubbles!!! Thanks for the creative idea.


Erica said...

Awe, I love the Way to Go jar and birthdays ideas! You are always so inspirational and helpful. Thank you, Heather.

Sprinkles to Kindergarten

Holly said...

I am loving that SWEETNESS...LOL...

I love the idea of celebration bubbles. I wish I was more creative....will you send some creativity juices my way. I'm running short...

Come on over to my blog again - I added something inspired by you, darlin'! Thanks so much for always leaving such sweet words. You make me smile THIS big!!!

Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

Tracy St. John said...

The bubble necklace idea is just too cute! I may be "stealing" that from you! :) Thanks for the awesome ideas!


KinderKapers said...

I am now following you too! I love the way to go jar! Along with a Kiss Your Brain jar I saw O have some crafting to do!

Terri Izatt

Lauren said...

I have to agree with Lisa... LOVE your ideas!! Tell me more about the bubble necklace. Did I miss your explanation of it to the kids? What do you tell them it's for?

Amy said...

I love this idea! I have a ton of bubbles left from a birthday party and since we can't do any kind of food, treats are hard to come by. ha. Thanks for the reminder that I need to make a bigger deal out of birthdays... Making a conscious effort this year. :)

Mrs. Reed said...

Thanks for being my newest follower! I love your blog and ideas! You are my blogger hero!
Flying Into First Grade

Crayons and Curls said...

Thank you Holly for this tip! I love your jar! Super cute! And the bubbles - adorable! Thanks for always sharing your creativity! :)
Crayons and Curls

Elizabeth Harness said...

Thank You so much for your Ideas. I just finished a CD workshop that is being put on by our states Early Education Dept. I loved it and I am looking forward to your post about it. Right now I am on Chapter 2 and I am working on the process with my children at home, before we go back.

Erin Berry said...

Hi! I'm a new reader of your blog, having found it searching for the "how to" of applying CD in the classroom. I've been reading Becky Bailey's books (starting with her parenting one for my own kids) and am in love with them. I am determined to start up this school year (I teach Pre-K) with CD. However, all of the info is so overwhelming. Do you have any tips for teachers on where to start- what are the "must-have" structures or a general plan to introduce? I really want to get this right- I do believe it will make a huge difference in my students and am excited to start the CD journey! Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I love the birthday balloons idea! I also want to do a better job of celebrating student birthdays. I did much better last year but still felt like it was lacking. Going to fix that! As soon as I finish my book G/T students, I'm going to hit that Conscious Discipline book hard. I've been talking about it to colleagues and they all want me to read it and see what it is about. I just might be able to convert some of them! Thanks for the great ideas!

Chrissy said...

Your post about noticing instead of judging changed my life last semester!

Of course, I'm pinning these photos...GREAT thoughts, AWESOME ideas.
hugs, Chrissy ReadWriteSing

sspeller said...

Love the Way To Go jar. Here is how we use our version of that in our classroom... we add a cube any time ANY person in our class uses kind words, etc. When the jar is full, we take all the cubes out, have a class celebration, and start over. It always AMAZES me how conscious it makes them of doing the right thing and showing kindness just to get a cube in the jar. I love it when a child does something and ANOTHER child comments about how kind it was and how we should put a cube in the jar. It rocks! I also use a clear jar container so that the class can always see their progress. If it seems like we haven't been earning many cubes, then I give them a gentle reminder about it and then off we go again. It doesn't take much... for our class celebration we do things like Read in Our Pajamas Day, Sidewalk Chalk Day, etc. So basically it costs nothing but is SOOOOOOO effective!

Dana said...

Fabulous ideas! I love them all! Thanks for being an inspiration!

Sarah said...

I just love everything you do. Did you do a post on your heart promises and how you start out your year? I felt like you posted something about it, but I could be dreaming haha. I can't wait for your CD posts about the first weeks of school. I need some ideas as I start planning : )

Yeehaw! Teaching in Texas

dbednars said...

I love your blog! You have amazing ideas! I noticed that your Pete the Cat products are no longer available at TPT. Is there any way to buy these from you personally? My students last yr (2nd grade sp. ed) loved Pete. I a moving down to 1st so I know they will love him too. Thank you!

Heather Arbuckle said...

I can tell you deeply care for your sweet babies in your class. I am loving these activities..especially the Way to Go jar! We did Bucket Fillers last year as I'm sure many did, and I love instilling that love and joy of helping others.

Sensational Seconds

Tamara @ Life's A Beach in 1st Grade said...

Hi Heather,

Thanks for becoming my 7th follower. I love blogging!! I adore your blog. I have a whole lesson on my first week back dedicated to your "heart" words. Can't wait! I will do a post about it to let you know how it goes and to show the pictures.


Life's A Beach in First Grade

Antoinette said...

Hi Heather! I love your Way to Go jar idea. The kids will love it! I can't wait to read through the rest of your posts. I know I will learn a lot from you! Have a great day!!

Shoelaces and Sugar Cookies

AlyseC said...

I have been trying to use the "I notice..." phrases with my class this past week. I have seen a change for sure! Thanks for the advice and cute balloons!

Keep Calm and Apple On

Tiny Treasures by Tava said...

Hello Heather! I am so glad that I stopped by your blog, as I just had to join it! You are such an inspiration! I especially love the "Kiss your Brain" jar! We sing a lot of Dr. Jean's songs, and she says that phrase a lot! Thank you for checking out my blog as well. I am going to add your button to my blog so that others may find you,too! Thanks and have a great school year! Tava

Mrs. Ziegler said...

Wow Heather! I LOVE this, I will be on a search for a bubble necklace tomorrow and I just can't WAIT to wear it and blow some bubbles on my cute kinders and give them a special treat on their B-day:)When do you plan on giving the balloons to your summer birthday kids? At the beginning of the year or the end?

Teaching with Z

Natalia said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog and mentioned CD in one of my school posts (I'm a student at University of Phoenix) and one of my classmates is very interested in more information. I referred her to the CD website and of course to your blog. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

Sarah said...

I am so glad I read this post! I have been planning to do the birthday balloons (I have seen many cute examples on pinterest as you noted) but I LOVE your idea of having the students decorate the balloons! So much more personal, cute and fun! PLUS a great first few days of school activity, too!!

Thanks for the great idea!

Wishful Teaching

Mrs. Garcia said...

I am new to your site and love the wonderful ideas you have to share. If you don't mind I would really love to post some of your ideas on my blog.
I also make it a point to make their day very special. I have everyone write the birthday boy/girl a postcard message. I then staple them all together into a book form with stickers and messages on the cover. They love this book. They can't wait to read what everyone wrote to them. Even now as 5th graders, they have already asked me if they will be receiving their birthday book...of course!

itsy said...

Love your blog. So many great ideas. I was wondering if you could make a 7th birthday balloon. I am teaching grade 1 and have a frog them. Thank you so much

Karen Howerton said...

I absolutely LOVE your birthday balloons and bubbles ideas!! (It's also great to see another CD teacher on-line!) I look forward to coming back again soon!

Magic Mistakes and Mayhem said...

Oh my goodness the bubble idea is adorable! I don't know if my 10-11 year olds would go for it but you know what I bet they would secretly love it! (They're still kids at that age of course)

I am definitely going to be adding the job of cheerleader to our job board for next term- what a great idea!

x Serena x
Magic Mistakes & Mayhem