Monday, August 27, 2012

More Than a Teacher and a PACKAGE from Squawkers

Hi sweet friends. I have missed checking in and sharing with you all that has been happening...let's just say CRAY CRAY.

*MRI and EEG for my mom...and we are still praying for answers
*a sister who broke her ankle in 3 places and had surgery PLUS  heading back to school with 3 girls and she is unable to drive
*a classroom makeover
*Back to School for me
*Stress because of the family health issues which then causes me not to sleep and triggers my Chrons and migraines

BUT God is great and has blessed my family in so many ways this past month. =)

Today we had our 1st day of school. I already love our sweet School Family. =)

I loved seeing all of my little ones come with ready confetti and jitter glitter in their hair. This is an activity I will do every stinkin' cute!!!

We drank Jitter Juice and the BIG NEWS was the mystery package. I am sorry for no pictures but it was from Squawkers the Parrot (We are Price's Parrots). Squawkers is a parrot who visits our room. He watches for friends being helpful and kind. He moves and hides all over the room and even in different places in the school. He tries to trick us by pretending to look non-living. He helps us start our year long investigation of the different animal families.

In the package, he shared with us several parrot books for us to read. We will make a venn diagram comparing parrots(birds) to us (mammals). He also left us our names on sentence strips and a HUGE box of goldfish to play name bingo and other cover up games. He left us a color word poem puzzle, individual little jars of play-doh to practice making letters, numbers, words, and our lunch/id numbers.

He left parrot straws and magic balls.

The magic ball changes color if you are going to have a good school year. =)

I have made the magic balls for at least the past 9 years. The kiddos LOVE it and you don't even have to do it the first day. One year it was the second or third week. I still get a little paranoid that there will be one magic ball that I forgot to add the food coloring to...but my OCD has me checking and checking! Click here to go to the original link.

grab your magic ball poem by clicking on the picture above

As I started this year, I remembered that God put each one of my kiddos in my room for a reason. It is easy to forget with more rigorous standards and the pressure to dive into your curriculum as soon as possible every single day that we are met each day with little hearts that are fragile. We are MORE than a teacher...we are the Safe Keepers of the BEST each parent sends us...remember- They are not keeping the "good ones" at home on the shelf. =)

So, take a few minutes to read this poem and remember you might be a child's biggest are leaving heartprints that will last a lifetime. =)

From My Heart to Yours,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ready Confetti and Birthday Bubbles

Next Thursday I get to meet some of my kiddos at Meet the Teacher. Before they leave, each kiddo gets to take home a special card that says:

When they open the card, they see this. =)

In the little baggie is ready confetti mixed with jitter glitter.

There is an adorable poem about sprinkling the ready confetti and jitter glitter under your pillow on the night before the first day of school. This will help our little ones not be nervous before the BIG day. The poem also says that I will sprinkle it under my pillow too. On Monday morning, we will all have ready confetti and jitter glitter in our hair. =)

I used the tiny jewelry bags that I found at Hobby Lobby. I bought a couple of different kinds of confetti and put in a few spoonfuls of silver glitter. I mixed it all up and put a spoonful in each baggie. =)

Thank you Pinterest for helping me find out about jitter glitter from Mrs. Miner and ready confetti from Sunny Days in Second Grade.

grab your copy here

For some reason, the second page is not folding in half evenly. Part of the rainbow frame gets folded. =( I tried fixing it but decided to not waste time. I printed the page and trimmed it. I'll glue it in the middle of the first page. There are different pages depending on what day you start back.

100 kinds of adorable right??!!?? =)

During one of my frequent visits to Target, I saw these adorable microphones that are also bubbles. HOLY CUTENESS! I had an instant brain pop and thought we can use them to sing Happy Birthday to my kiddos and then they have a fun birthday present to take home. I found a cute container and made these little tags to go with the bubbles.

I did not get the chance to finish tying the tags on the bubbles but I can do that in all of my free time. Teachers have TONS of free time right??!!?? We get the summers off and only work until 3:30! =)
I am at the hospital with my mom right now. =(

I might have to go buy some bubbles for next year! =)

We "officially" start back tomorrow. I think I develop ADD when I enter my classroom. I seem to hop all over the place and work on about 20 different things at once. Please let me know if you have any questions. My mind is thinking of so many things right now...I am afraid I did not explain things very well.

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

From My Heart to Yours,

Monday, August 13, 2012

Can I Drive You Crazy? Conscious Discipline: Composure

You are driving me CRAZY!

Don't make me have to call your momma!

GO TO THE OFFICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think we have all had days and moments when we need a break from a kiddo. There might be times when you want to tell that student if they were your child what exactly would be happening. And we have all had a kiddo who is gifted in pushing our buttons.

Chapter 1 in Conscious Discipline is all about composure and remembering that "no one can make you angry without your permission". p. 25

I will admit that I have had moments when "Becky Bailey has left the building" and taken ALL of my composure with her. Even this past year, I dragged sweetly escorted one of my toots sweeties and plopped gently sat him down in my neighbor's room.

I then remembered that I "need to be the person that I want others to become". p. 25

But I also know that is not easy to do when you have a kiddo who is:

*walking around the room kicking chairs while everyone else is on the group rug
*running and shoving to get in line even when the child knows she is not the line leader
*yelling at the top of their lungs "YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!!!"
*cutting his glue stick into teeny, tiny pieces
*calling other students names and then laughing at them

Here is a biggie to think about:
"Whomever you have placed in charge of your feelings, you have placed in control of you."  p. 28

This is when I try and remind myself over and over to have a Heart of Patience. God has placed each one of these babies in my room for a reason.

We all have an image in our mind about how we think a "good student" should behave and our expectations for them. But many of our kiddos come to school operating with a whole different set of rules. We become upset when they don't meet those expectations, especially after we have gone over them and over them again and again. We need to remember that the only person you can change is yourself.

Often when we start feeling stressed we start having trigger thoughts that make the situation seem 1,000 times worse. These thoughts often lead to blame but more importantly they keep us from really seeing the problem others are having. There are actually 3 different kinds of trigger thoughts: pp. 30-31

*assumed intent: The child is doing this to deliberately upset you.

*magnification: We are making and seeing the situation waayy worse than it really is

*labeling: We start using negative words to describe the child and/or his behavior




When you start having these trigger thoughts tell your brain to STOP and look beyond the child's behavior. Before you is a child who is crying out for help and love.

There are some activities in the book that are wonderful for helping you change these thoughts. The book also has another activity to help remove your "buttons" that the children push. If you have the book, be sure and do these before school starts.

Since keeping our composure helps create a safe classroom, Chapter 1 begins teaching the different breathing techniques. These are great for you and the kiddos to practice. You can grab the different icons here:

My favorites are the balloon and S.T.A.R.

Take a deep breath

As you STAR, tell yourself that you are safe. You are calm. And you can handle this. The only way you will help a child learn new tools to handle a situation is if you stay calm and patient. "Self control is an act of love and a moment-by-moment choice." p. 34

Here is a little poster to help remind you about staying calm and maintaining your composure.

I hope this helps get your mind ready for laying the foundation for Conscious Discipline in your classroom. The change starts with YOU. =)

I will try my best to blog very soon about how I start the year off with CD in my classroom. For those of you who have emailed me, I will get back to you this week. If you have any questions, please ask. I want my next few CD posts to be as helpful to you as I can make them. =)

Before I go, here is a little *freebie*. =)

I have been busy giving my classroom an Extreme Makeover! I am so excited to share pictures with you soon. =)

From My Heart to Yours,

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,