Sunday, September 13, 2015

Still hanging on...Conscious Discipline and Other Tools!

So we just finished week 3!!!  I don’t know about everyone else but 4 day weeks are soooo hard for me.  They seemed so rushed and stressful…but I really enjoyed having Labor Day off.  Now back to it!  Sandra shared her back to school display so this is mine.  I reused my boy and girl superheroes and changed the paper to blue with stars and a super cute border! 
This year I have 20 students consisting of 9 girls and 11 rambunctious boys!  They are challenging me like I’ve never been challenged before; but then again, I think I say that every year at the beginning of the year!  Gone are the days of the color chart at our school and on to the Conscious Discipline, “Commitment Chart.”  These commitments are our classroom expectations.  Each day my kids choose one they feel they need to work on.  Our commitments are: 1. I will have listening ears, 2. I will use helping hands, 3. I will use my big voice, 4. I will use kind words.  At the end of the day they have to go back to board and move their clip to either “I did the right thing!” or “Time to practice." based on how they feel they did.
One of my favorite components of Conscious Discipline is the “Safe Place.”  This is place in the classroom where my little ones go to calm down when they are sad, angry, upset about something.  I have books, various stuffed animals and items that our principal got for us (yes we’re blessed)!  This has been especially good for when someone starts to miss their mommy.  They go sit in the safe place to hug a our Batman teddy bear or squeeze a stress ball, calm down and come back to the group.  I'm amazed at how they self soothe and get right back to work.  I feel so proud of them.  This year we also added a "Kindness Wall" to go with our other Conscious Discipline components, but I must have deleted the picture on accident so I'll be sure I show it to you in the next post. J
I want to give you a peek into a couple of new classroom management tools I have started using.  Both of these I got from the I Teach K Conference.  We saw so many wonderful presenters!  My favorite session was Kim Adsit’s (click to see explanation) “Back to School Bootcamp.”  First she showed us a round, Dollar Tree pizza pan, I found superhero puppet from Mgulin Design and Illustration.  For now I am using it to focus on sitting correctly on the carpet.  Instead of having to stop and correct the behavior I reach up and take a part off our superhero.  The next tool is the marble jar this is whole class reward system.  Anytime they all sit quietly, line up nicely, or work quietly I reward them with a small bunch of marbles.  If they fill up their jar by the end of the week we get to do an extra “fun” activity like chalk day, take your shoes off in class, or a popcorn party like Sandra did.  We have not earned all of our marbles since the first week…it’s been a little rough!  I just got the ribbon that I needed to make them cute!  So I’ll reshoot the pictures once I fix them up.  
On to random things that I’m excited about! Hahaha!  Last year we received an iPad document camera late in the year, I had no idea what it was and never set it up.  This year I have, and of course and it’s super cool!  I've heard there are many neat things you can do with it but, in all the back to school craziness, I have not had a chance to research it.  Also, Sandra and me got our Erin Condren lesson plan books.  I absolutely love mine!  Seriously it was like opening a Christmas present.  Last but not least, I decided to get a bike!  I haven’t owned a bike since I was about 12 and I’m really excited about riding the new trail by my apartment.

I look forward to a great week with my kids and I wish you the same!

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