Monday, November 14, 2016

My newest invitation to play using numbers and nature. I can't wait for school tomorrow.
Wishing you well,
Caroline

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Greetings


Every morning I like to greet my students  to make a connection as part of our Brain Smart Start.  Greetings offer a great opportunity for students to connect with one another and for teachers to connect with students in a fun and playful situation.  One of my students is the greeter each week and giving greetings is a part of our circle time routine in preschool.  Fall is in full swing so  I recently added a few new greetings and these have been a BIG hit. .  

The Bushy Tail:  Two children simply turn around back to back and "shake their bushy tails" like a squirrel.  This is definitely a class favorite and is sure to produce lots of fun and giggles.





Image result for pumpkin clip art

The Pumpkin Bump:   The two children stand side by side and gently bump hips with one another.  As an extension they could put their arms around one another for an added bit of connection.

Wishing you well,
Caroline 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

     I am excited to announce that Conscious in Kentucky will be a presenter at the Fall Early Childhood Collaborative Institute in Paintsville, Kentucky on November 4, 2016. This event is hosted by the Ashland Regional Training Center. 
http://www.ashland.kyschools.us/olc/page.aspx?id=51643&s=489



  Wishing you well,
         Caroline





Thursday, September 29, 2016

CHOICES can be used as a discipline technique and as a means to help children focus. The clean up announcer, made the announcement. "it's time to clean up" " Ms. Delinda personally got Gabe's attention and told him face-to-face.  The class began singing the cleanup song and putting toys away. Gabe had trouble redirecting his focus from playing to cleaning up. Ms. Delinda said, “Gabe, you have a choice. You may pick up the big blocks first or the little blocks first. Which do you choose?” Gabe said, “The big blocks because I am strong.”
Most children can benefit from using choices as a guidance tool, especially children who need additional structure to be successful. Gabe is a good example. He needs more direction than some of the other children. Since he needs more guidance, the teacher is prone to giving him a lot of commands. “Gabe, get your lunch. Gabe, get in line. Gabe wait until the door is opened.” In his need for external structure from adults, Gabe misses out on some of the choice-making decisions other children acquire on a regular basis.
Instead of constantly directing children like Gabe with commands, we must offer choices. Choices:
👍 Give needed structure
👍 Practice in making decisions
👍 Exercise free will
👍 Build self-esteem
Choices are also helpful with compliance. A teacher is less likely to get resistance with “Katie, you have a choice to sit on the red tape or the blue tape,” than if the teacher simply says, “Katie, it is circle time. Sit down.” Since preschool children are developing autonomy and initiative skills, they sometimes like to assert themselves in response to adult commands. Choices provide the option of complying with adult wishes while still maintaining the “last word,” so to speak.
In order for the adult to deliver choices to children on a regular basis, two things are required.
1. The adult must think in terms of what he or she wants the children TO DO. We have been conditioned to think negativity—what we don't want them to do. “Don't run. Don't talk when I am talking.” "Don’t” thinking is detrimental to giving choices.
2. The adult must give the children two positive choices. Typically, adults have been trained to give the child one “good” choice and one “bad” choice to coerce the child into picking the one the adult wants. For example, children have been given the choice to pick up their toys or lose recess time. This is not a choice; it is a manipulation. A true choice is given when we, as adults, do not care which option the child selects.
This week's Conscious Commitment will help you, the adult, offer two, true, positive choices!
Conscious Commitment:
I willingly create choices for children. I first think, “What do I want them TO DO?” Then, I create two positive options to accomplish that goal.

Examples of Choices that may you keep your Conscious Commitment:
If you want a child to wipe off the table, you could create the options of “with a sponge” or “with a paper towel.”
If you want the child to hold your hand, you could create the options of "with this hand" (show your left hand) or "with this hand" (show your right hand).


If you want the child to go into his bedroom, you could create the options of "fly like an eagle' or "hop like a bunny."
Wishing you well,
Caroline 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

4 steps for a calmer Preschool drop-off








Are you having a difficult time when dropping your child off at Preschool or a difficult time getting your child ready for bus pick up?
Your preschooler’s body is telling you important information about his feelings. Here's how to help:
1. Provide empathy for his upset
2. Focus on safety
3. Do an active calming technique
4. Do a connection ritual before you leave
EMPATHY Dos & Don'ts
👍 Do say, “Your body tells me you might be feeling scared about staying at school while I go to work."
👎 Don't say, "You're okay."
SAFETY Dos & Don'ts
👍 Do say, "You are safe at school. Ms. Delinda will keep you safe.”
👎 Don't say, "You love Ms. Delinda. You make her feel sad when you cry."
ACTIVE CALMING 👍 Dos - There are no Don'ts! Breathe together using an active calming technique like the 🌟 S.T.A.R.
Stop & smile 😊
Take a deep breath 💨
And 💙
Relax 😎
Practice S.T.A.R. Breathing, frequently, so this active calming technique becomes second nature.
CONNECTION RITUAL
👍 Do establish a connection ritual that you do together every morning at bus time. Or if your child is a drop off, do a connection ritual at school.  Involve the teacher in the ritual if possible.
👎 Don't change it up. Keep it all as consistent as possible.
After the ritual, it is time for you to leave. Breathe deeply and assertively state, “I’ll be back after your snack time. ( Use a specific event , ask your teacher for help) Ms. Delinda will keep you safe. You can handle it,” and pass your child into Ms. Delinda waiting arms.
Instead of feeling bad about leaving or feeling upset about the disruption, envision your child as capable and strong. Walk away, breathing and wishing well knowing you can both handle this.
As always, we wish you well!

Caroline 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

   This weeks post was inspired when I  noticed a sweet family at the local grocery store. To me, it  looked like a Mama Duck with three little ducklings.. Every now and then she would have to give one of her precocious ducklings a nudge to follow along.This family had a preschooler in our program last school year.  I greeted this family and was so excited to hear about the new school year adventures. I got the low down on behavior color cards and how cards get flipped for talking and breakfast pizza.
    This sweet , amazing Mama wanted to talk about the overwhelmingness of piles of homework, behavior color cards and how difficult back to school can be.
When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stressed, try Being A S.T.A.R.
Smile, Take a deep breath And Relax.  Encourage belly breathing where the tummy goes out when the air goes in, and in when the air goes out. Also help children learn to exhale slower than they inhale.  The air we breath in brings oxygen to every cell in the body. The brain requires 25 - 40 percent of our total oxygen to function properly. An oxygen starved brain can be a disaster.  
BE A S.T.A.R.. 
wishing you well, 
Caroline 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Beginning your SHIFT with Conscious DIscipline

 Are you thinking of learning a bit more about Conscious Discipline? Here are a few things that may be helpful.  
Conscious Discipline requires a SHIFT!  
Traditional discipline says:
·      - It is possible to control others through environmental manipulation.
·      - Rules govern behavior.
·      - Conflict is a disruption.
Conscious Discipline says:
·      - Controlling and changing ourselves is possible and has a profound impact on the children in our care.
·      - Connectedness governs behavior.
·      - Conflict is an opportunity to teach.
As you move forward think about connecting with the children in your care. Cooperation follows connection. Disconnected students are disruptive because they lack impulse control and have decreased self-regulation skills. A connection activity as soon as your children arrive in your classroom stimulates the impulse control system in the brain. It generates a neurochemical bath that says “pay attention”.  Simply take a moment to greet each student as they come into your classroom. Remember, to give eye contact, touch, playfulness and be present.
Making this small change will give you immediate positive results for you and the children in your classroom.
Wishing you well,
Caroline 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

What is Conscious Discipline?
Conscious Discipline is a comprehensive classroom management program and a social-emotional curriculum. It is based on current brain research, child development information, and developmentally appropriate practices.
Conscious Discipline has been specifically designed to make changes in the lives of adults first. The adults, in turn, change the lives of children.
Conscious Discipline is a way or organizing schools and classrooms around the concept of a School Family. Each member of the family—both adult and child—learns the skills needed to successfully manage life tasks such as learning, forming relationships, communicating effectively, being sensitive to others’ needs and getting along with others.
Conscious Discipline empowers teachers and other adults with the Seven Powers for Self Control.

The Seven Powers of Self Control
  • Perception – No one can make you mad without your permission
  • Unity – We are all in this together
  • Love – See the best in others
  • Attention – What you focus on, you get more of
  • Acceptance – The moment is as it is
  • Free will – The only person you can make change is yourself
  • Intention – Conflict is an opportunity to teach

These powers allow teachers to draw from within themselves to become proactive instead of reactive during moments of conflict. Teachers stay in control of themselves and positively influence children.

Self-control is not pretending to be calm in difficult moments. Self-control is the ability to reach out and empathize with others; to accept and celebrate differences; to communicate feelings directly; resolve conflicts in constructive ways; and to enjoy becoming a contributing member of a community.

From the beliefs instilled with the Seven Powers for Self Control emerge the Seven Basic Skills of Discipline.

The Seven Basic Skills of Discipline
  • Composure - Becoming the person you want your children to be
  • Encouragement - Building a school family
  • Assertiveness - Respectfully setting limits
  • Choices – Building self-esteem and will power
  • Positive Intent - Creating teachable moments, turning conflict into cooperation
  • Empathy - Handling the fussing and the fits
  • Consequences - Helping children learn from their mistakes
These skills change how adults respond to conflict in such a way as to facilitate the development of the frontal lobes in children. Through the Powers and Skills, adults stay in control of themselves and in charge of children.
As adults begin to change their attitudes and behaviors, so will the children in their care. We cannot teach behaviors and skills that we do not possess ourselves.
Are you willing to see conflict as a call for help instead of disrespect?
Are you willing to see all children are capable of self-regulation instead of needing to be controlled by some threat of fear?
Are you willing to see all CONNECTION as the most powerful motivating force for achievement?
Are you willing to see discipline as a teaching opportunity rather than a disruption to learning?
Are you willing to change how you respond to life events by becoming more responsive and less reactive?
Are you willing to have fun in the process?
Next week, Delinda and I will begin posting and sharing how you can be the change you want to see in your classroom, your school and in your community. 
 Wishing you well,
Caroline 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

          The Ready Kids Conference 2016 is over, but it was an amazing three days






The Superintendent from Carey County Ky. schools. Mr. Marion Sowders was very inspiring when he said "Poverty isn't destiny."

 "Because every word you say builds your child's brain,” are the words that Dr. Dana Suskind, Director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative wanted us to remember.

          We heard from Dr. Walter Gilliam "Promise to bath our children in language."

All of these wonderful inspiring professionals agreed that connection is important but no one  spoke about how you get that connection. Connections are built from:
eye contact
touch
playfulness
presence

  One way to build a connection is with an I Love You Rituals. Human connection creates neural connections in the brain. Our brains are shaped by our loving relationships. The health of a child’s relationships with others is the vital link to academic success. I Love You Rituals are activities that provide unconditional acceptance, sensory integration, caring touch and messages of hope for children. In just minutes a day, these powerful rituals:
• Promote learning and literacy
• Increase attention span
• Decrease power struggles
• Increase cooperation
• Enhance self-esteem through
• permanent brain chemistry changes
• Integrate the brain
Everything you need to know about I Love You Rituals you can find in Becky Bailey’s Book  http://shop.consciousdiscipline.com/collections/i-love-you-rituals
Connection is the key
Cooperation follows connection

As always, wishing you well,
Caroline

Monday, July 11, 2016

We are attending the Ready Kids Conference in Louisville Kentucky over the next several today's We had the privilege of hearing a keynote address from Pikeville native, Walter S. Gilliam, PhD,  He is an Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale University Child Study Center, and Director of the The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. Dr. Gilliam is a Board Member of ZERO TO THREE. He had some inspiring words that I would like to share " Preschool, where teachers haven't given up on kids and their parents still believe their child can be President".  Thank you for reminding us the connections are a vital part of our daily lives.
Wishing you well,
Caroline


video
The Promise to Georgia’s Children

Thursday, June 16, 2016

DJ Batiste - Former Gang Leader Teaches "Words Have Power"



It is day four here in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In case you are reading this for the first time, Delinda and I are at The Conscious Discipline Summer Institute. And today is HUGE!!
We will be hearing DJ Batiste speak. His story is so very powerful. 
Conscious Discipline and Mrs. Porter saved his life. Our jobs with preschoolers is so very important. How could have DJ's life have been changed if a preschool or kindergarten teacher knew Conscious Discipline? Please watch this short clip about DJ. You can view the full version at 
As always, we wish you well,
Caroline 
#CD1A2016
#ConsciousDiscipline


Monday, June 13, 2016

Greenup County Preschool at Conscious Discipline Summer Institute 2016

I am so blessed to be at The Conscious Discipline Summer Institute Simulcast Location at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  Yesterday I met other educators from all over the United States and beyond. My favorite moment was meeting Jenny Spencer from Ignite Learning with Conscious Discipline. Today, was the day!!!!  I saw Dr. Becky Bailey ( Creator and Genius behind Conscious Discipline)  speak live and it was amazing.
There are 100 educators in attendance and I am so blessed to be here and represent Kentucky.
                                  I'm willing R U
                      





                        Wishing you well, Caroline and Delinda


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Greenup County, Kentucky is located nestled between the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the Ohio River Valley in Northeastern Kentucky. Education is a strong part of our communities with four elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. Our preschool programs are located in each of the elementary schools. Greenup County Preschool believes that all children can learn with the support of family and peers. Through quality engagement, active participation, and unique creations children explore and learn from their environment. Through our programming, young children and their families receive a quality comprehensive learning experience focused on the individual needs of the child and family. This comprehensive programming builds self-esteem, independence, and promotes successful transitions to kindergarten and beyond. We hope you will follow along as we share Early Childhood Ideas and Conscious Discipline Strategies with a bit of Kentucky flare.
Greenup County Preschool Home of the Mini Musketeers


wishing you well,
Caroline and Delinda