Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Beginning of a Blessing

I have to remember Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

I am at a loss of words for the innocence that many kiddos have been robbed of. I don't understand the suffering our kiddos go through or the home situations they go home to. I worry and cannot even begin to fathom what children will be like in 10 or even 5 years.

It seems like there are always new discipline programs schools are turning to because we are desperate to help our children. I have been trained in Capturing Kids Hearts and Time to Teach. If you journey out into cyberspace, you find tons and tons of ideas about clip charts. We often turn to threats about missing recess or bribes about things from a treasure box that may only temporarily fix the problem or the situation.

I am not here to say anything negative about what you do in your classroom or to change you. Everyone needs to do what works for them. Take the time though to read this and reflect on your heart because even if you just walk away with a few parts of CD you will be changed and so will your kiddos. =)

What is comes down to I believe is what you think the purpose of discipline is.

About 5 years I came across a website with a poem about being a School Family. It then linked to Becky Bailey's website about Conscious Discipline. I ordered the book and was excited to learn more about building a School Family. Little did I know then that I had found a blessing that would change me as a teacher forever.

When I read this, I knew Conscious Discipline understood my heart and my struggle:

"I know many teachers throughout the world live in conflict. On one hand, they know the hardships many of their children face. On the other hand, they know the hardships these children create in their classrooms. This conflict, unresolved in teachers, hardens the soul. I hear the unspoken cry of teachers-they are shouting as loud as the children. We all need help. We need new skills, not quick fixes. We need a way to resolve our internal conflicts and be the person we want children to become. We need to be compassionate without being permissive. We need to be firm without being disrespectful. We need changes that start from within us--changes that heal the our souls, strengthen our character and improve our willpower--so we are strong enough to do the same for the children who walk through our doors and in our halls" Conscious Discipline p. 8

I do understand the battles my kiddos go through and the impact their home life has on their behavior. But I also strongly believe we cannot use that as an excuse. I have always believed and told my kiddos that I care enough about them to let them know that their behavior is not okay and it is not helping them be the best they can be.

Our journey through the book will probably change because leading a book study through my blog is so new to me and I am not sure the best way to do please be patient with me and offer any suggestions you might have. I want this journey through CD to help everyone....not just those with the book.

I am not setting any date about when you need to have a chapter read by because it is summer and I don't want due dates. =)

I also want you to be able to take your time through the book because there is so much to wrap your head around and if you are like me, there will be LOTS and LOTS of reflection.

We are going to start with the introduction. As you read the introduction, here are some questions to think about:

*What are most discipline models built on?

*What is the goal of the School Family?

*What 3 premises are CD built on?

*Since change must begin with ourselves, which belief on page 3 speaks to your heart?

*Why is self control such a crucial part of CD? What does this mean to you?

*What is the purpose of the 7 Powers? The 7 skills?

I'll be back in a few days to share my thoughts on the introduction and the obstacles I have faced on my journey as well as the HUGE impact CD has had on me. I would love to hear your thoughts or questions so be sure and leave a heart note.

This is a journey that begins from the heart.

From My Heart to Yours,

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Back to the Heart- Wrapping Up the Year

As we celebrate Memorial Day, I realize how blessed we are to live in America. I am grateful to all of the men and women who fought and our fighting for our freedom and the countless ways God uses them to be heroes to so many.

I realize as the school year has come to an end that teachers are heroes too. Our battlefield is the classroom as we fight to do what is best for the little ones who are fighting their own battles. Their voices are often not heard.  The struggles of their battles are shown in their behavior....they are either extending love or crying out for love. We can teach them the tools they need to be successful in the battles and challenges faced in everyday life.

 I had to remind myself throughout the day that I may be the only person to love that child for the day and I prayed that I show that child a Heart of Patience. I know God placed each kiddo in my room and I am humbled to realize He entrusted them to me for 178 days. In those 178 days, I asked myself if I was reaching their head and touching their heart???? By loving our kiddos, we are a hero to so many of them.

As the school year has ended for me, my mind is already thinking of next year....I know I am a weirdo. =) But before I can do that, I need to be reflective of this year so I can do a better job next year. I am very critical about the things I do so I always try and make myself find positive things I have done. Here are the questions I am answering and reflecting on. I hope you can use them too!

I am starting to think about our CD book study. I would love for you to leave me a heart note or send me an email about ANY questions you have about CD. This will help me as I plan the book study. I really, really want to know what you are thinking and what parts of CD you think you are ready to try in your classroom.

Thank you for all of the sweet heart notes you leave. I am so blessed by each one of them and treasure each one in my heart.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pop 'Til You Drop

Are you already enjoying your summer or are you still counting down the days as your kiddos' eyes spin in different directions as they hop down the hallway or twirl in circles on the rug?????

Way to go if you made it to the end....will you pray the rest of us do too???

Will you come take us out of the straight jacket on our last day???

What's your phone number because you might be the 1 phone call we are able to make to bail us out of jail because all of our teaching buddies are in the cell with us! =)

My kiddos actually have not lost their minds yet
..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................that was me on my knees praying. =)

To survive this week, we have been having some popping fun.....I almost typed pooping and that is true too because some kiddo (not one of mine) seems to be missing the potty......or a large dog visited the bathroom. I won't share with you the conversations this brought about and of course the potty stories! =P

Okay, that was a squirrel moment!!!!!

Since my buddy Carla and I are the Queens of Brain Pops, this was very fitting!

Here is a quickie of what we have been up to:

*popsicles- you could  make your own as a science lesson but my brain didn't think of that until after I bought some

*popping bingo- the kiddos made their own compound word bingo boards that we are using popcorn for the markers.

*bubble party- different bubble wands and gadgets....each kiddo also has a thing of ice cream or soda bubbles to take home as part of their gift from me

*pop go the numbers- 100's chart clues and number hunt with bubblegum covering the numbers. When the number riddle is solved you get to chew the gum and pop some bubbles

*word pop hop- a race to pop the word wall bubbles (balloons)....kind of like musical chairs and this is a brain pop in the making....I will probably end up adding shaving cream so we can clean our tables as we practice spelling and taking the word wall words off the word wall.

Today, we did the Vowel Pop. I am sorry I have no pictures.

This was so much fun and hysterical!

We had bubbles (balloons) with the vowels written on them. Big blue bubbles (balloons) because I could not find clear balloons at 2 different party stores and the ones they did have were 4 balloons for $1....ummmm, no thank you.

The kiddos came and found a card and after sorting it they had to find the vowel bubble that popped out of the word. They then had to "pop" the bubble. Hilarious doesn't even begin to describe this. I guess since these were helium balloons they were extra thick...especially since I didn't blow them up all of the way so they would be more round like bubbles.

The kiddos were slamming their little booties onto the balloons and bouncing right off of them. Many bubbles had to be popped with scissors. =)

I couldn't even pop one! This was pretty funny too when I bounced off the bubble balloon! =)

You can grab your copy of the Vowel Pop and have tons of fun too!

If you have any questions about this post or game, please leave a comment or email me because my brain is thinking of the 1,000,000 things I need to be doing to wrap up the year and I am sure this post might make sense only to me. =)

Here is another *freebie* that I would love for you to go grab from my TpT store. If you grab it, please consider following my store.

It might be time for me to pop into a bubble bath now! =)

Blessings to you on this Hump Day!

Even though they might be acting like HUGE stinkers, remember that you might be the only one to love that kiddo for the day and many are about to be sent home to no structure and very little love.

We are making our helpful heart bracelets tomorrow and doing a bucket filler heart is already smiling about this and the sweet, sweet things we will share with each other. This is kind of my way to send off with my kiddos a reminder that they will always be part of a School Family where someone loves them...they just need to look at their bracelet to remember that. =)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cooking with Chef Ad J. Tive

Bonjour Friends! I survived our day of Fun in the Sun- water slides, wet and muddy kiddos, Firsties changing clothes....and the uncontrollable giggles when I had to say "underwear" numerous times in the past few days. =)

As we count down the final few days, we are having lots of fun reviewing all we have learned. One of the best ways to review adjectives is with food! =)

On Wednesday, we came back from lunch and we noticed we had a visitor. We found this note:

Yes, Chef Ad J. Tive looks Italian and speaks French! =)

Chef Ad J. Tive left us 4 mystery bags with some riddles. I am sorry for no picture but I left the memory card for my camera in my computer at home. These were just 4 brown lunch sacks numbered 1-4. Inside each bag was an ingredient we needed to make adjective pizza.(The ingredients are strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, and cookies)

We read the first riddle and listened for the adjectives describing the secret ingredient. We inferred what we thought was inside the bag. As we found the adjectives in the riddles, we recorded them on this Chef Ad J. Tive chart using interactive writing.....I am blessed that my district strongly believes in interactive writing so I don't have to worry about having pretty handwriting on charts! =)

The kiddos each had a recording sheet to record the adjectives for each mystery bag.

After solving all of the riddles we checked our inferences. =)

Now, it was time to make our own chefs. Cara's chef was my inspiration....please remember I am not crafty like Cara, Abby, Hadar, or Teri!

After each kiddo made his or her chef, it was time to make adjective pizza! =)

We had a cream cheese pizza "sauce".

Several kiddos kept calling the kiwi seaweed!

After the pizza, we wrote adjectives describing the pizza on the paper plate each chef holds. They loved writing with markers and in a circle. I love how a Firstie is so easy to please. =)

Finally, they made a paper version of the pizza. I think they ALL turned out adorable!!!

I love this one. =)

You can hop over to my TpT store to grab this *freebie* here. While you are there, I would love for you to follow my store. I am going to start sharing my *freebies* there so I can see how many people download the activity....I am just curious and worry at times if anyone does download the *freebies* I share.

My kiddos loved this and I would love to hear from you about what you think...especially if you use it with your kiddos. =)

Here is my Blog Helper watching me as I work.

I hope you have a weekend that is relaxing and full of blessings.

From My Heart to Your's,

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Laugh Therapy and In Your Hand and On Your Heart

Several years ago I heard the song "Cletus Take the Reel" and about hurt myself from laughing so hard.

Since then, I have become a HUGE fan of Tim Hawkins....He is a hilarious Christian comedian. He even came to my little ol' town of Nacogdoches and my whole family went to see to see him. My nieces watch his dvd's ALL of the time. He has become my LAUGH THERAPY!!!!!!

Here are some of my favorites! Take a break and have a dose of laughter! =)

To end this post, I want to share again something I did that makes a huge impact with helping me remember to have a Heart of Patience. Tonight before I go to sleep I am going to write the initials of one of my toughies on the palm of my hand. In the morning and throughout the day tomorrow, I am going to stop and say a prayer for that kiddo every time I see his initials. If he is near me, I am going to hug him or rub his back or make some positive connection. I might glance at his initials and need to celebrate him at that moment. Since I will be constantly having a glimpse at those initials, I will be consciously making an effort to show him love and patience. I have done this throughout the year with different kiddos and even some grown-ups at makes a huge impact on not only the kiddo but on me.

Hold them in your hand so they will always be on your heart. =)

I'll be back later this week to share what I hope will be a fun "brain pop". =)

From My Heart to Your's,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

You Said What??!!???

Do you ever wish you could suck back in the words you just spit out of your mouth? Has someone ever said something to you that from the moment your ears heard them you heard nothing else they had to say?

As the end of the year gets closer and closer, I think it is harder at times to remember to be patient and understanding. I often forget the power my words can carry to either make a situation better or sometimes be fuel on the fire. I have had questions and comments about whether the brain of a little one understands the difference when I say things like When you are quiet, I will begin to I will begin when you are quiet. There are times I too doubt the language Conscious Discipline says to use.

Here is one of the things I love about CD. Becky Bailey explains how our brains process information and how that information can cause us to shift to the 3 main areas of the brain: the brain stem that asks Am I safe?, to the limbic system that asks Am I loved?, to the frontal lobe that asks What can I learn from this? There is even a song on one of her cd's that teaches the kiddos about the different parts. It is adorable and called "On Top of My Brain Stem". I have taught my kiddos this song before to help them understand that when they get upset and shift down to the brain stem how important it is for them to breathe and calm down.

I have attended several CD workshops led by people who have been trained by Becky Bailey. At one of the workshops, we learned about shifting from the language of FEAR to the language of LOVE. I wanted to share some of the ways you can do that with the words you say. The words in red are the language of fear and the words in blue are the language of love.

*Look how you made her feel.
See her face. Her face is saying I feel sad. I don't like it when you push me.

*Is that any of your business?
Are you telling me to be helpful or hurtful?

This is one that needs to be taught in great detail about when to come and get your help. The book Tattle Tongue is great about teaching when to come and get the teacher's help.

*Are you bleeding or hurt or dying?
Did you like it?

This is where you remind the kiddos to use their BIG VOICE. This is really incredible. My kiddos really don't tattle and haven't for quite awhile. I have been going a little nuts lately because the phrase I don't like it when you__________. Please stop. has been repeated many, many, many times throughout the day but they are solving the problems by themselves and most are not big issues where I need to get involved.

*Do you want to go to the office (move your clip, get your name on the board, sit in time-out on the playground, etc)
Are you willing to do that again in a helpful way or would you be willing to calm down and start over? What do you choose?

*You are driving me crazy, I am tired of you ___________, etc.
I am going to calm down. When I feel calm enough to solve the problem, I will let you know. For now, go back to your seat.

I had to remind myself of this with one of my kiddos who gets upset and angry very easily. I knew I could not help him through this problem because I was feeling irritated and frustrated. I had to remember that the only person you can change is yourself. I needed to pivot. This is an amazing activity in CD that I will share more about soon. Here is a little bit of the message I needed to communicate to the child:

I don't like it when you crawl off and start kicking chairs. I feel scared when you start kicking the chairs because you are going to hurt the person sitting next to you and you might hurt yourself. You face is telling me you are frustrated and upset. Something must have happened. I understand that you might be feeling frustrated because _______________ but you can handle it. You may calm down at your table or go find a friend to help you come down. When you are calm I will come help you with the problem.

Since this is a child who gets upset very easily when things are not going his way, we have been working on learning to work through his upset and helping him to understand that he can handle it and it is not the end of the world.

As I type this, I am thinking of all of the situations we help our kiddos through...both the good and the bad. I see the difference when I notice and celebrate more the helpful and kind things I see. I know each one of you is touching more hearts than you may ever realize. I wanted to share again this poem in case some of you are new and haven't read it yet because not only are you a teacher but you are also an Everyday Hero.

Moving on..........

Congratulations to Chrissy for winning my little giveaway! I will be emailing you soon! =)

I hope this summer to go chapter by chapter through the CD book and talk about ways to use CD in your classroom from day 1. I would love to know if you would like to be part of that and what would you like me to share.

From My Heart to Yours,

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bonkers for Butterflies and a Giveaway

****The giveaway is now closed and a winner will be announced soon! =) ****


Are you there yet??!!???!!!

There are a few moments I have felt that way lately. My kiddos really have been wonkers  cray cray  squirrely  pretty good....I have been the one feeling a little bonkers. I have reached the point where I might scream if I hear I don't like it when you___________. Please stop.

Yes, we have worked all year on using our big voice and handling problems but like any family, Our School Family is full of a few siblings that are starting to get a wee bit fussy. My kiddos really have been doing a great job....there are just a few who want to check to see if Ms. Price has her Heart of Patience.

Moving on......

Several weeks ago I found the cutest butterfly bowls. I grabbed some and then started creating Bonkers for Butterflies. This turned into a packet that kept growing and growing and growing. I finally gave birth to it at 101 pages.

This packet includes:

* 3 rhyming activities- a rhyming match, an inferring riddle rhymes cover-up and a read the room
*a compound word sort
*nouns, verbs, and adjectives sort
*sorting the 3 sounds of -ed
*short vowel and magic e sort
*real and non-sense word sort

And my kiddos favorite-
a butterfly letter hunt for initial, medial and final phoneme isolation

Click on the picture for a preview! =)

Check it out at my TpT store here

Since I appreciate all you do, it is on sale!!!! Wahoo!

Here are some pictures of the game and the butterfly bowls

I am giving away 3 butterfly bowls and 3 items from my TpT store to one lucky winner. These bowls can be used with the games to sort cards in, to hold letters, or any wonderful idea that many of you will have.

Here is how you can enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me that you follow me.
2. Leave a comment telling me you shared about the giveaway.
3. Leave a comment telling me what your favorite summer dish is....whether you cook it or just enjoy eating it =)

I will choose 1 winner this weekend.

I think I have reached my word limit for the day. =)

I pray for patience for us all as we count down the days.

Blessings to you!