If you’re bothered by a friend

In kindergarten, we learn to navigate friendships and our community of learners with independence, kindness, and empathy.

Tattling is a common dilemma in kindergarten as students are developing their sense of what is fair and just and looking for adult assistance to navigate and understand their world.

It is important to differentiate a tattle from a report with your little ones.  Tattling is often about an inflexible sense of rules, attention, and power, whereas reporting is about safety and concern for others.

This little student reader is about handling difficult, bothersome behavior with strategies that promote independence, a healthy sense of self, and personal power.

The pages contain images of situations where tattles often arise, like turn taking and hurtful words, and then gives a concrete strategy of how to handle these situations: walk away, say please stop, just ignore, and finally ask for help.

It is to be used in conjunction with other discussions about the difference between a tattle and a report, when it is important to seek out help from an adult and how to do so.

 if you are bothered

Click on the image to view the book on TpT.

PBIS Topics: Dealing with Disappointment

disappointed

When we are little it is hard to understand and process disappointment.  As adults, who love and care for our students, we want to protect our children from this experience as much as we can.  However, learning how to cope with disappointment and regulate our emotions is important to our children’s growth and development.
Helping children identify and normalize feelings of disappointment is good practice as a teacher.  Identifying the emotion of disappointment and events that trigger these feelings  helps children to understand and regulate their emotions.
Children in kindergarten often feel disappointed when they don’t get to be first, when they have to take turns with a prized toy, when they do not win a game, or have to wait.  “I wanted the pink cupcake!!”
disappointed wanted to win
Having clear procedures in place that you have practiced and made routine is the first defender against disappointment.   However, it is also important to identify and acknowledge events that trigger disappointment in our young children.  Let your students know that it is normal to feel disappointed.
It is also important for students to learn that they have a choice to make when they feel disappointed.  Teach your children that they can choose to be calm.
disappointed choice
Regular practice with self regulation strategies gives our children the power to use these tools and strategies when they need them most!
disappointed calm
Teach healthy strategies for dealing with disappointment:
  • Deep breathing:  Teach students to “Smell the cookies through their nose and blow out the candles through their mouth.”  Practice this breathing technique regularly, so that when disappointment strikes, your students know what to do!
  • Take a break:  Teach students to take a short break when they feel disappointment.
    Students can take a walk, get a drink, or squeeze a stress ball.
  • Have a quiet area in the room where students can sit with a pillow or read a book for a few minutes.  I have a box in the room filled with social stories about behavior that we have already read as a class.  These are great reading choices for the students when they need a break because they are filled with reminders on how to make the right choice.
  • Make sure to choose strategies that you can manage as a teacher and set limits on what is an acceptable choice during a break.  For instance, my students suggested playing with toys as a way to calm themselves, so we talked that through.  “Why do you think playing with toys might not be a good way to calm yourself when you are disappointed?”  The students were spot on with their answer, “Because you might break them when you are really upset.”
  • Have a safe seat:  When a student is not able to regulate their emotions and has erupted in a fit of disappointment, it is important to have a safe seat in the room where their behavior can be contained and ignored while you continue on with instruction in the classroom.  Depending on the level of escalation, you may need a plan to remove the student from the room.  Especially if they are in danger of damaging property, hurting themselves or others.  It is important to work closely with your intervention team, the school psychologist, and your administration when a child escalates to such a high degree.

disappointment red

Sometimes a student looks like they have calmed down, only to reengage with requests for you, the teacher, to sooth or “fix it” by giving the child what they wanted.  “Can I have it now!?”  Often a child will escalate again when the request is denied, because they have not truly worked through their feelings of disappointment and arrived at a place of calm.  Trying to fix things when a child is upset takes away their opportunity to learn to deal with disappointment in healthy ways.

Once some time has passed, your student is calm and has moved on, it is important to let them know how proud you are of them for making good choices.  “I like the way you took deep breaths and chose to be calm. Thank you.”

disappointment choose to be calm

Load up on social stories and children’s books that deal with topics of disappointment.  Here are some good titles to get you started:

I also made a simple social story to read to my class about disappointment.  Reading this book has helped all my students identify their feelings, behaviors, and regulate their emotions of disappointment.  They know now that they have a choice and they have tools to help them make that choice.
disappointed
Click on the image to see the story on TpT.

 

All About Me in Kindergarten: Memory Book for August

Capture the first weeks of kindergarten with this memory book. You’ll find over 25 prompts to get your students drawing and writing! Each child will create a personal memory book that captures memories of themselves and the important skills they … Continue reading

Whole Body Listening

I was first introduced to the concept of Whole Body Listening many years ago when I became the full inclusion teacher for our students with autism.  However it has proved to be a method that is helpful to all my kinders, … Continue reading

Chicka, Chicka

chickaOur Chicka trees are made and hung!

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We also made our first class book.IMG_1825We’ve been working on writing our names with a capital at the beginning and lowercase letters.

IMG_1826 We are still learning, but getting better already!IMG_1829These pages can be found in the Chicka, Chicka Mini Unit below:

Click on the image to see more!

Chicka chicka mini unit title

Happy Learning!

We’re #1!

cherokee

My school has been identified as one of the top 5 schools for the valley of the sun!  We are the #1 elementary!

We just found out the great news!  Go Cherokee!

Click on this link from our local paper:

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2014/08/06/top-performing-valley-district-schools/13678475/

First Graph!

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The first 2 days of school have been a whirlwind of activity!

The kids have been so great!  I love the beginning of school.  I’m exhausted, but so happy.

Making sure we get our kids home safely each day is always such a worry at first.

Things  that had to be prepared to make sure this happened:

1. edit welcome letters and personal information forms

2. mail forms to parents before the first day

3. collect information, create name tags for each class with dismissal information, and pin tags to students on the first day

Wow, I am surprised actually that it only came to 3 things on the list… it was a good week of preparation!

transportation graph

We also have a crazy half day schedule these first 3 days of school, with 1/3 of our class staying for diagnostic testing and the rest going home at 1:00.

Organizing that schedule, notifying parents, labeling kids with proper dismissal information, preparing testing materials… Wasn’t sure it was humanly possible to get it all done.  Fortunately,  I work with a wonderful team of teachers.  We all took a deep breath, rolled up our sleeves, and made it happen!

Now we have Back-2-School night on Monday!  Yikes!

Getting Ready

IMG_1746 Finished the first bulletin board in the room!  The colorful cubby  bins came from the dollar section at Target.  They fit just right.  I am always on the lookout for more, but they come and go and I haven’t seen them for awhile. Still have a ton of stuff all over the tables.  I really know how to make a mess.

IMG_1748Our clip up chart for when students show B.E.S.T. behavior:

Be Safe, Exhibit Excellence, Show Respect, and Take Responsibility

IMG_1750Making progress, but it is still a really big mess.

IMG_1751I love these magnetic white boards!  At first, I didn’t know how best to utilize them (I have 3 and they take up a lot of wall space).  But I’ve since learned all about magnetic tape.  A few of the items on this board are from large posters that I cut up.  The students use these words as a reference during math, writing, and reading.

IMG_1752This white board is for our word wall.  I also use the magnetic number line during estimation (more on that in another post).  The shelf was on sell at Target for $28.00.  I bought 2!  I was fortunate to win an award at school that came with some money for the classroom.  I still have more to spend, but am nervous.  I want to make sure I spend wisely.

School starts in 4 days!