Friday, February 17, 2012

Bells, Bonkers, and Bovine

Bonkers, batty, bouncy, and B-A-N-A-N-A-S....that about sums up some of my kiddos this week. It has been raining off and on since last week so the playground is muddy beyond words....and they are not getting to play outside when they go home. While they have been trapped inside at home, they have been hooked up to iv's of sugar and video games.

As some of the kiddos have been bouncing down the hallway, I notice their eyes spinning in different directions. I have lost count of how many times I have heard "May you please be still because you are not keeping me safe with all of the bouncing/spinning/wiggling/hopping/dancing you are doing." We have sang our hearts and wiggles to songs from Brain Boogie Boosters ALL WEEK LONG (this is a great Conscious Discipline cd by the way)!!!! You would think all of their bouncing would make them tired but they are fueled by Valentine's candy! Can I hear a HELP ME JESUS??!!??

Today we ventured into not only the mud but livestock poop. We went to the Expo center to see a show by 4-H. This is always interesting...I learned years ago that some kiddos do not know all of the farm animals...or animals in general. I have had kids call a cow a pig or one year a horse was a puppy...the WORST/BEST was the year a goat was mistaken for a turtle. All I can say about that is BLESS HER LITTLE HEART.

Due to the rain, it was VERY MUDDY. When you are outside with animals, it is difficult for a 1st grader to tell the difference between mud and poop. One child was warning another that he was about to step in cow poop and he said it was no big deal if he did. One of my little girls told him he was crazy if he thought Ms. Price would let him come in the room with poopy shoes because we all know she doesn't want to be the Potty Police!!!! Hahaha! Too funny and so true!

I was also very proud because they actually asked good questions! Usually when asked if they have any questions, they tell a story about a cow, pig, horse, goat, etc. This time they asked questions about hibernating, decomposing bodies, camofaulage , and the BEST was how do cows reproduce? Ha! I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing at the guides face! =)

Onto the bells....

Here are some things we have worked on when we talked about American Symbols:

Sorry for no picture of our bells but they were all so cute!
Click here to see how to make them!

You can use this to write facts about the Liberty Bell.

Here is a poem about the flag. There is also a sequencing sheet for the poem. Click on the picture to grab the activity.

And for a little fun...a Dr. Seuss *freebie*!

graphics by Scrappin' Doodles

Question of the Day:
Do you ever start sentences with "I like the way ________     _________" when talking to your kiddos?

For example "I like the way Carla is standing in line."

My questions have a purpose...I promise! =)

I am humbled each day by the sweet and encouraging words you leave me. You truly bless me with the heart notes you write. I would love for you to leave me a heart note today! =)

61 heart notes:

Kim said...

Cute bells! I say I like the way....ALL the time and it is usually followed by 19 other kinders going what about you like the way I am ...

Growing Up Teaching

Journey of a Substitute Teacher (Ms. T) said...

I ask questions like that if I want the kiddos to all be doing something, like being quiet or paying attention.

As soon as the other kids hear me praising the handful of kids, they are at attention because they want praise too :)

Journey of a Substitute Teacher

Ms.Trinh said...

Thanks for the Dr. Seuss Freebie. I have the same clipart and love it.

Unknown said...

I use "I like the way..." all the time as a way to encourage positive behavior. It is amazing how fast other students see this praise and will quickly follow along.

I also have to laugh at your 4-H experience. I grew up on a ranch, so seeing the kiddos call a goat a turtle would have been priceless.

Thanks for the good laugh.

The Crazy Adventures of a University Graduate

Unknown said...

Love the bell...and yes, I say. "I like the way_____ is _______" all the time!
First Grade Blue Skies

Jen R said...

thanks for the freebie :)
and I will sometimes say "I like the way..." but I have come across a few kids that don't like having the limelight on them, so I ahve to be careful not to do that to them...

♥ Jen
The Teachers' Cauldron

Busy Bees said...

Love the Liberty Bell. Thanks so much for the freebie...and yes I say I like the way...

Primary Paradise said...

Cute Liberty Bell and I love, love the freebie. I use the I like the way ____ is being a good listener and not a shouter outer!!

Kim said...

Hi Heather:
Speaking of livestock--goats in particular...
Come over for a chuckle...

I think those who teach "the littles" have some kids of special gift from God.
Give me some snarling tweenagers any old day!

Happy Weekend!


Natalie said...

Haha too funny about the poop! That would have been hard to keep a straight face.

I say "I like the way..." all. the. time. Its just second nature, I guess, and usually ends up with me handing out tokens (our positive reinforcement system).

Thanks for the freebie! I especially love the little heart font...where did you get that?

Teachery Tidbits

Holly said...

I seem to remember one of our kindergarten teachers who uses CD in her classroom correcting me when I said "I like how so and so..." so I'm thinking there's a reason behind your question ;)

I could be wrong though...I've also been scolded for my treasure chest. :)

Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

Erica said...

I always say that phrase to get my other cuties to follow after the example child. By the way, "I like the way Heather provides such awesome freebies and ideas." He he he! You are awesome!

Kelly said...

I do find myself saying "I like the way..." sometimes but learned Responsive Classroom training that it's actually kind of manipulative and makes kids seek teacher attention even more than they already do, which I thought was interesting. I try to say "I notice(d) you..." when pointing out good behavior, but I'm not sure if there is really a big difference or not!

Kindergarten Kel

Cupcake said...

I like the way __ is sitting/working/coloring/being quiet/listening/reading/writiing... shall I go on??

A Cupcake for the Teacher

vicky1970 said...

Heather - I am all over that liberty cute!! Thanks for sharing. I'm going to get that going next week. Have a great weekend! :o)
~ Vicky
Traditions Laughter and Happily Ever After

Unknown said...

Oh sweet Heather! Love this post! Love the Bells! Love the freebies! We see the farm animals in May! Can't wait! What a hot, long day that will be! But gotta love it! :) And, oh yes, I say "I like the way...." all the time and I have been told not to, but I always forget! I think I need to tatoo something else to say on my hand so I will change!!! (I need to attend some PD on C.D.!) Have a super great weekend! :)
Crayons and Curls

Emily said...

I usually say, "I appreciate how..." or "It is making me happy that..." but "I like the way _____" is used often, too.

Emily @ Second Grade Silliness 

Miss King said...

Thanks for following my blog! I am glad you sent a message..I look forward to now following your blog. It is adorable! Your liberty bells are super cute too! :)

Traci Clausen said...

I love that bell! Gonna have to pin that.
Yes, I use "I like the way..." and "Wow... what a wonderful job ___ is doing ____ing" and "Oh, cool so in so is showing me he is ready to go." I also usually get so many others chiming in... "like I am, or me too, or I was doing it first". :D
Dragonflies in First

Kristin said...

I seem to say, "I'm looking for friends like so-and-so". I also try to keep it super simple and use the Rick Morris method of "Great Choice, So and So." Done. Says it all. Sometimes, I have to stop being a cheerleader because I get too tired. So I just say that. And other times, I do not use any words at all. I ring my wind chime and then shower a kid with gold tags (my behavior management system) and that does the trick. But I always have to change it up or I get bored. Or they do. :)
A Teeny Tiny Teacher

Jill said...

Sometimes I feel like all I say is "I like the way"! Haha!! Our pledge leader says it now when he or she is waiting for people to stand correctly - "I like the way that Susie has her hand on her heart." :)

Marvelous Multiagers!

Lisa said...

Here's hoping today is bright and sunny. May the mud dry!
I use I teh phrase, "I like" all the time and am in a new school district. My principal was super sweet and knows it's a habit but one that must be abandoned. She gave me a book to read...maybe Power of Our Words? It's a responsive classroom book and I've heard wonderful things about it. So, yes, I use it but will be reading about it this weekend.

Jan said...

Love the great ideas and freebies- thanks so much for sharing! I say things like "I like the way..." some, but not consistently. I'm open to better suggestions:-)

Jenn Long said...

Oh my gosh! I LOVE your Liberty Bell project! I'm emailing my families right now to start saving their toilet paper tubes! :)
A Pirates Life for Us

Constance said...

Thanks for sharing! I use these types of statements in my class all the time.

Tricia said...

I use positive recognition all the time. It seems to work since it is human nature to desire praise. Can't wait to read the results of your survey.

Queen with Class

Mary said...

I always use positive as well... always! I found a new book for the statue of liberty too! I have it scheduled to post on Sunday! Can I get added to your sidebar? Please? hehe


Unknown said...

I always say "Compliments to _____" when I want to encourage the other little babes to model after someone's good behavior! They all immediately follow suit...who doesn't love receiving compliments!

Emily Brown said...

Hi Heather! Thanks for checking me out and leaving some love on my blog. I'm now following you, too!

Mrs. Halbert said...

Those Liberty Bells are too cute!

I usually say, "I appreciate how ______ is _________." Then in the afternoon during community circle I ask my students to give appreciations to their friends. They're pretty good at it because, I model it all day long. :)

Learning with a Happy Heart

Michelle Griffo said...

I LOVE the liberty bells! Thank you for leaving me love notes!!! i am your newest follower! :)

Apples and ABC's

Katie said...

Thank you so much for entering our March center pack giveaway - you have great odds right now!!! And thank you so much for following our blog. We are excited to read all about your experience teaching first grade!

~ Katie and Rebecca
First Grade ABCs

Unknown said...

We always take a trip to our local fair with our summer program, it's definitely interesting! LOL

Your bells are super cute.

When Im trying to show positive praise I will point it out to one of my staff members, "look at Stevie, he is doing a great job sitting in his chair".. the other kiddos catch on quick!

Ms. Rachel’s Room

Teaching with Grace said...

I love your great ideas and your amazing blog. Thank you so much for becoming a follower and leaving a comment! I looooove getting comments :) I am also your newest follwer!

Teaching with Grace

Tammy said...

With a farm unit we used to do, I would bring in some different vegetables, not french fries and ketchup. Very interesting responses. Hope your playground dries up soon.

Unknown said...

I start my sentences with "I like the way" ALL THE TIME! For the most part, it works because it gets their attention (especially if I'm handing out caught being good tickets) and the other kids around tend to straighten up.


Tanya Solano said...

First of all, the Liberty Bell is THE cutest thing I've seen in a while!!! So pinning that for next year FOR SURE!!!
I do say "I like the way" and sometimes will put it to a little tune that I make up {kids love when I do that}. I also say "Thank you __________ for". Then I add what ever it is I am wanting them to do.
Thanks for the freebie! LOVE, love, love your blog!
Ms. Solano's Kindergarten

Hollie Fumero said...

I always begin with a positive ( I like the way that you ... however I noticed can we make it better etc...) I find that starting with the positive sets the students up for being an active listener and they are more receptive to what you have to say.

Deb Thomas said...

Your blog is fabulous and beyond! How long have you been blogging? I just started in January with blogging and TpT and I love it. I have your blog marked as a "favorite" and will visit often. Visit mine is you want to at "fabulously first" but I am a newbie so it doesn't look anything like yours.

Dawn De Lorenzo said...

Thank you so much for stopping at my blog today! I saw your bells on Pinterest this morning and they are adorable! So glad to know you and your blog is awesome! I love your header and design :)

Erin Eberhart said...

Your bells are awesome and I just snagged the Dr. Seuss freebie. Thank you so much! This will be a great math workstation activity!! :) You are soo sweet.
Eberhart’s Explorers

Elizabeth said...

Hi Heather,

I just emailed you about being unable to print your great center activities. My email is It's time for me to spruce up my centers and I thought some of your activities would be great additions.


Sharon Dudley said...

Heather: Just found your blog, and I loved the story about the farm! Now imagine a blind pre-k teacher taking her kids to the farm. It's hysterical! The kids want me to touch EVERYTHING.

Some great books to go along with U.S. symbols are:

"L Is For Liberty" by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
"F Is For Flag" by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
"America Is..." by Louise Borden

I used them in kindergarten. They were a little high. I think they'd be perfect for 1st grade.

If you have time, stop by my blog.

Sharon Dudley, NBCT

Deedee Wills said...

I LOVE your liberty bells! So cute! And yes, I must say, "I like the way..." 100 times a day!

Kristen said...

Thanks for the cute Dr. Seuss math page! I am hoping my kids will like this while I am busy assessing them for report cards this week!

I do use the "I like the way..." all the time. I like how all the kids shape up. Ok, how most of the kids shape up!

Anonymous said...

I think you blog is the cutest. I love all of the free stuff you offer. My little firsties are very lucky because I have used many of your freebies in my classroom this year. I try not to single out one student for great behavior, but sometimes I just can't help it.

Miss M said...

I use the "I like the way _____ is ______" ALL the time. My kiddos are super competitive so this works wonders for them!

Thanks for the Dr. Seuss freebie! We're working on double digit addition and subtraction, so any practice we can get with our addition facts is wonderful!


Marissa Tompkins said...

I use the statement often in my classroom. I also use it when I see other kids around the school doing the right thing too. It catches them by surprise and recognizes that others are watching them as well, not just their own teacher.

I'm your newest follower. :)

WILD About First Grade!

Jessica said...

I love your blog and I am so excited we are now following each other! I will start student teaching very soon, so I may have to borrow a few of your ideas :)

kinderpond said...

Can you guess who is going to print off that Seuss creation tomorrow????????


Unknown said...

Love the ideas! Later this year we are doing American Symbols and I will most certainly be trying some of this stuff out!

Brittany Kielar
Sweet Seconds

Anonymous said...

I probably use that " I like the way" 100 times a day! LOL. I love the Liberty Bell! We are getting ready to do a US symbols unit and I am going to have them do it!

Heather--- I love LOVE that you follow my blog! I just love yours and your ideas and I am super honored that you check mine out!


Kathy said...

Heather... I like the way you created your math sort!

I do say it, although a couple of years ago we were told that was not the right thing to say. Someone read a book and counselors decided to do a staff development on it. I don't exactly remember the book or the author. I think maybe it said that we are suppose to value the child not the behavior or something like that.

I just know that it has always worked for me.

I even say... I LOVE those First Graders who know what to do!

First Grade a la Carte