Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Where is my time going???

So, I had BIG plans to submit a blog post on Monday!  It didn't quite work out as planned though!  The giveaway ended last Saturday night, and the winner is...

Allison!  Yay!  I'm going to try to have some sort of giveaway each month, so please keep stopping by!

I included in my last blog post that we were having our 1st 9 weeks team planning day on Monday.  I was up at 5:00 am (yes, that is correct) to bake a Peaches and Cream French Toast casserole for our team breakfast.  Then, I headed to school around 6:45 am so that I could make copies of the calendars and teacher interactive notebook entries.  By 8:30 am, everyone had arrived and we began our day!

I must say that I'm on an outstanding team this year!  Everyone is ready to contribute, learn, and get the work done!  We actually finished our team planning by 2:00 pm!!!  We spent the rest of the time day talking about our classroom environments and where to put everything.

My problem with everyone returning to work in their classrooms is that all I do is "chit-chat"!!!  I went to say hello to a friend in kinder, and spent an hour there!  This is something I really need to work on this year.  Yes, it is good to build relationships with colleagues, but I had so much other stuff to do in my room.  Perhaps it was a subliminal message telling me that I really didn't want to work in my room that day!  LOL!

But, I did get back and for 20 or so minutes, I put together most of my "Safe Place."  Have you heard of Conscious Discipline?  Our campus is a conscious discipline school, as well as, our district is now moving towards conscious discipline.  I have been blessed with being to attend the 7-day training with Dr. Becky Bailey, and really got a great understanding of what it is all about.  Visit the Conscious Discipline website at https://consciousdiscipline.com/ for much more information.

A little bit about it - it is not a discipline system.  It is a way to teach children (and adults, too) how to self-regulate their feelings and move from a survival/emotional state to a state to think clearly and problem solve.  I'm excited to really get to the knitty-gritty with it in a classroom this year!  With this framework, teachers implement several structures and routines in the classroom to help build a safe place for students to better learn to regulate themselves.  One of those structures is the safe place.

Below are some pictures of my safe place.  It is almost finished, but needs a few more things!

Okay, it's a little blurry...  But I think you get the idea!

Step 1: Acknowledge your feelings.  Students will have a variety of feelings sticks to choose from to name their feelings.  They will all be located in this pocket on the wall.

Step 2:  Take some calming breaths.  Did you know that breathing helps get oxygen to the brain?  When we move from our prefrontal lobe (where we can think clearly and problem solve) towards our brain stem, we will either shut down or become emotional.  Breathing helps to calm us and take us out of the moment (sometimes it takes many, many deep breaths).  There are four breathing techniques that we teach: STAR, Drain, Pretzel, and Balloon.

Step 3:  Choose an activity to destress.  This can be squeezing a squishy ball or writing in a journal.  I have provided students with a variety of simple activities that they can choose from.  They are located next to the chair on the floor.  That's my Shubert puppet on top!  Dr. Bailey has written some great trade books that tell about many of the structures, routines, and rituals through Shubert stories.

Finally, these are all of the icons waiting to be placed on a popsicle stick!  The feelings are on the right, middle are the breathing techniques, and left are the choice activities.

Once school starts and I teach about the safe place, I will do a blog post about more of the structures in my classroom that I use with students.  Thanks for stopping by!!!  Have a great week!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks!!! I think I bought it at World Market a few years ago...

  2. Are these icons on TpT? I would love to use them this year. I'm breaking up with my behavior chart this year. I am going to use a "take a break" area as part of my new classroom management.

  3. They are not... yet! LOL! I will try to get them up by the weekend, and post an update on here. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hello! We will be using concious discipline in my classroom this school year and I was wondering if you have these icons posted somewhere. I'd love to use these! Please respond to jacquevelasquez@yahoo.com. Thanks!