Thursday, November 28, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Grrr and Brrrr

Well today we got a few unexpected flurries.....brrr. It also means it's 6pm and I am already in bed.
I really dislike being cold, which brings me to today's post.

Two weeks ago during my anger group we started with a classic: draw how you feel when you are angry. While it started it ok, it morphed into so much more and I ended up making up a new lesson and adding on to the lesson on the spot (some of the best lessons are done that way I think.) Anyway here's what we ended up doing:
The blank is where they drew themselves getting angry. 

After we drew how we felt when we were getting mad, we added what words we say and/or thoughts we have. Then I asked them to do a "Mad Libs" type fill in the blank at the bottom, stating in one adjective how the different parts of their body felt.

Then last week we started talking about cool down strategies (taken from Julia Cook's "Soda Pop Head"- although I always leave out parts about hitting the pillow) so we went back and added in our favorite strategies for calming down.

It was simple, yet fun and effective. You could easily make your own or if you want to save some time I added very simple and free version to my TPT store.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I am not angry at West Virginia...

in fact I am more than glad for their Department of Education.

Our social worker shared this amazing resource with me yesterday from the West Virginia Department of Education.

It has small group lesson plans for anger (which is what we are using it for), career, divorce, self control and study skills for K-12th grade.

The lesson plans are very easy to understand and follow:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Best Behavior

Behavior seems to be taking over my life. Literally.

At home we are working on Brooklyn's constant anxiety and I am even more focused on learning more after reading this incredibly insightful article:

At school, well it feels like that's all I do. Almost all of my consultations with teachers are behavior based, I am on the behavior support team, and I feel like most of my lunch time conversations are now about so and so's behavior. So, it's no surprise that I am always looking for more behavior resources. Here are two new websites I can't live without.

First is Intervention Central, a wonderful RTI resource.

This year we have been talking about behavior tier, 3 tiers in fact.
Here's an example:

One thing I love about this site is that it allows you to create you own intervention checklists. I think it's perfect for helping teachers incorporate Tier 1 strategies into their classroom. It also helps me know if the teachers have tried things such as daily schedules, changing seating arrangements, etc. before I go in. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

I think you might like....


What on earth made you think that? Haha.

Well it's true I love having a dog themed program. So I thought I would share some of my other favorite dog themed rooms, ideas, resources, etc. I'll try to update this often so keep checking back.

First, my newest crazy dog idea.

I asked each teacher at my school who is a dog owner to help me choose a character education trait and somehow capture their dog(s) showing off that trait. One of our teachers is an amazing photographer, as you will see below, so I am batting my eyes at her to help us capture each scene. I will then use the images we capture on bulletin boards, in my new classroom, and if we are successful create a calendar for the teachers for each trait of the month.

Here's what Mrs. Jackson came up with for "wisdom" featuring her dog Taylor. The competition for most creative is on don't you think.

Taylor. Image by Kristen Jackson
I know what your thinking, I want to hire her! I did and you won't regret it. If you are in middle TN just ask and I'll send her your contact info.

What do you think of these for endurance?

Gracie girl

Our character education traits from:

More websites, inspiration, and dog themed stuff I love:

For the classroom:
Teaching Pawsitively- this teacher just has adorable written all over her. I am definitely adding her to my Feedly so I can follow her.

A pug themed classroom!- I adore the "attitudes."

School Girl Style- single handily my favorite classroom for dogs ever. Literally ever. I wish I could hire her to recreate this in my room.

Doggie Decor- Schoolgirl Style also has some adorable products on her TPT Store. It makes me want to redo my entire classroom and buy, buy, buy.

DOG- as in the Daily Organization Guide- My friend Mrs. Richardson simply has the best organization guide for her 1st graders. Her classroom is pretty cool too.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Getting Crafty

A sweet, dear friend of mine recently started her own business, Lei Harbor. She is a crafting genius and I love to see what pin-worthy ideas she'll come up with next.

The other day I saw these adorable thank you cards. Wouldn't they be so cute to give to our firefighters and local police after they visit for fire safety day or career day. I love them!

What I really did to prevent invisibility......

So I finally got to do my lesson on "The Invisible Boy!" Like all good lessons I started out with one plan, changed it, changed it the morning of, and then during my observation changed it again. Ha!

Well here's a rough draft of how I used this incredible book. Also, here's how it connect to Common Core Standards.


I started having the kids gather around for a "science experiment."
Here's how it works:

        1. In a plate/flat container that's full of water I pour in pepper. I ask the students to think of the pepper as people. We call them our "pepper people." I ask them to notice that the pepper is floating together, almost like a family or a community This is a good place to discuss people coming together in the community, at school, etc. You can ask them to think of all the different ways people work together.

Just pour pepper into a plate filled with water.

        2. Then I introduce the "soap." Put the soap in the middle of the pepper. In previous lessons I have introduced the soap as a "bully," however this time I asked them to just think of the soap as a person.

Next take a bar of soap and place it in the middle of the pepper.
        3. As you will notice when you put the soap in the water the pepper immediately darts away from the soap. I asked the kids to tell me why the pepper would be running away from the soap. Some said that the soap was a bully, others said it might be someone who is scared, etc. This time I asked them to imagine the soap was not a bully, perhaps a new student or even a student they have known a long time. I then asked them again, why would the pepper run away?

    4. This was a good place to introduce our vocab. words of the day: exclusion and inclusion. I explained that the pepper were all off by themselves and the soap was left alone. We discussed the word exclusion here, when one student noticed that some of the pepper had stuck to the soap. She commented that if the soap were a bully perhaps they were joining the bully or maybe trying to stop him. I asked them to discuss why else the pepper might stick to the soap.

   5. Next we talk about inclusion and that it's important to include everyone and it just takes one "sugary sweet" random act of kindness to make a big change. As I talk about this I pour the sugar where the soap was and slowly you will see the pepper coming back together.
Lastly, pour sugar into the middle of the plate.

Lesson: Next I read the story, stoping frequently to ask the students to make connections between our experiment and the book; looking for pepper people, the soap, and the sugar. I also asked them to make text-to-life connections. Many of my students really opened up!

Game: Next we played Quiz Quiz Trade using the discussion questions in the back of the book. I had a student demonstrate with me how to play and model how to restate an answer. I asked everyone to show their listening skills by restating what they heard and repeating it each partner. They did a great job, I loved the "I heard you say that you think..." or "So you are saying that...." It was amazing.  I also added a few like: "What do you think exclusion is?" "Do you think exclusion is bullying?" and "What food have you tried from other countries?"

I don't have a Smart Board yet so I wrote the directions of how to play on the board. I had the students turn and talk with a neighbor to practice our level 1 whisper voices. They had to share one text-to-life connection using their level 1 voices. 
We discussed answering the same question again. I asked them to use high order thinking for repeat questions.

What if I don't have a partner? I asked a student to model with me how to ask for a partner before we began.
Get your game cards here:
Get the lesson plan with CCSS and ASCA standards here:

Exit ticket: To leave the room I gave each student a post it note and asked them tell me what stuck with them.