Saturday, September 28, 2013

Getting A New Year Started:
     My group of sweeties this year is a younger bunch, and it has taken a little more time to begin seeing appropriate behavior in the classroom, the story carpet, Centers, hallway, bus, etc.  And if you think about it there is just a lot of routine to learn for a little person.   I am seeing lots of improvement though, because we may be small but we are mighty.  We are getting the hang of it, and every day we just get better than the day before.  Having said that, it reminds me of a quote that says, "fear mediocrity." Sorry I don't know the author or I would give credit.   I think that is so true, not that we will always excel in everything that we do, but we will never get there if we just decide to settle."  Our students need us to set high expectations, because without them, they will never achieve all that they can.  So having said that, I've met with several parents already and talked about expectations and appropriate behavior and together we've been brainstorming ideas to help their child improve.  Everyone needs to be on the same page, and using the same language is very helpful as well.  Next, pray, seriously, its the most important thing to do for  school, parents, myself, and students, community in which we serve, etc.  God gets the glory for the awesome things that will happen in the classroom with my students.  :)  Next, some students may need individual behavior plans to help give them find the right focus and motivation.  Getting to know students has helped a lot.  Each child is different and has different things that motivate them to do their best, find out what that is for every child in the classroom.  Next, I've been using tiger tickets and having a Friday afternoon auction, where my kiddos can spend the tickets.  They love this!!!  It also has helped with the concept of more and less, and counting.  I have a special group of students who continually earn 5 yellows in a row and they are what I call, "my yellow paws!"  These are the students who help me with special tasks, like set a good example in the hallway and are my hallway monitors, Door monitor, Bathroom leader, etc.  This helps students see others being recognized for making the right choices and having the right behaviors.  (The goal is everyone being recognized and encouraged so they too, can be a yellow paw). I hadn't done this before, but it has worked with this group. These students wear a special little name tag that identifies them as a helper for a special job.  Lots of encouragement and praise for everyone (5 positive comments to every 1 is the rule).   I like mailing out brag letters to my parents, and putting student pictures in Newsletters bragging on them, etc.  Positive phone calls are good.  My class made a special book about hallway behavior, and it has pictures of students using the correct behaviors and they like for me to read it. I use a parent communication folder with a daily behavior sheet and notes that go home everyday as well.  I hope you got some ideas that you too, can use to help your students be successful!  We have the best job there is.  One that allows us to serve by allowing us to do small things with GREAT LOVE! God Bless!

Happy Teaching!

Friday, September 27, 2013

So... What's your Goliath?

I think for me just getting a new class settled in and getting procedures and routines taught has been a challenge this year.  That has really been my own personal Goliath. I have a class full of sweeties but the routines and procedures have not come easily to them.  I know I haven't been able to get on and blog like I have wanted.  I've just had to focus and keep pressing forward.  I hope your school year is settling down and going your way.  

We've all heard the story of David and Goliath and the stone.  Well, I want to tell a story about an awesome kiddo who just happens to fear loud noises.  We go into the gym every Friday for a You Matter assembly, and he just didn't want to go because of the loud noises and all of the people.  I let him sit out one week, but his parents felt like he needed to go.  They told him the story of David, Goliath and the stone.  They used the story to talk about courage and told him he could do it.  They even went on a walk and helped him find a worry stone, in which he kept in his pocket all day and when he would start to worry, he could rub it and say a little prayer for courage.  His mom said, "Mrs. Brown the assembly will be his Goliath."  He did very well, I am happy to say.  He did ask me if he could sit by me, and reminded me many times during the day that I had told him he could.  He was worried I would forget. :)  His mom was happy to hear that he had done it.  

So my question for you is.... What is your Goliath?  I hope this little boy's story might be an inspiration to you..... I know it was for me.  

Here's also some ideas that I used to help me get my Kindergartners started on the right path.  1.)  Social stories:  These were new to me.  But great to use with a whole class or a little person who struggles with behavior in a particular area.  You tell them a story about another student (someone made up, or a classroom character like a puppet or stuffed animal friend they are familiar with) Then you use it to tell how that person got ready for the hall, how he used his happy feet and his happy arms and how he walked quietly and then you say... "now are you ready to show me your happy feet, and happy arms and walk quietly?"  They really do work!  I 've also been using my digital camera to take pictures and made a class book about our hallway behavior and we made posters about bus safety, from the advice of Kindergartners.  "Ask the Kindergartners about bus safety... they will tell you.... and then they would recite the bus rules. "  We've practiced and practiced, and they get better and better.  I promise to blog more later.  Good night and may God bless your classroom abundantly!!