|Principal & Clinic|
Friends and Family Board
I Love You Rituals
The brain is a pattern-seeking device. The more consistent and clearly represented the daily routines are, the more safely, smoothly and cooperatively your Media Center will run.
Routines are the skeleton that supports a Conscious Discipline classroom. Think about the many routines you conduct in the Media Center, and then simply state them using pictures and words. Post them throughout the Media Center where those routines occur. Every routine from lining up, to "what to do when you're finished with your book," to the bathroom procedure can be displayed as a visual routine.
The School Family book devotes an entire chapter to creating routines, posting them visually and supporting them with related activities. Music that supports daily routines includes "Skip Count" and "I Gotta Go" on Brain Boogie Boosters.
The Safe Place is a center where children can go to change their inner state from upset to composed in order to optimize learning. It is the centerpiece of your self-regulation program. You will want to include a Safe Place in your Media Center, just as you would in any other common space at school.
A chair, beanbag, throw rug or pillow serves as a base for your Safe Place. Fill the Safe Place with tools and activities that lead children through the five steps of self-regulation: I Am, I Calm, I Feel, I Choose, I Solve. Conscious Discipline offers several children’s books that support this process, including I Can Calm, Shubert is a S.T.A.R., Sophie is a S.T.A.R., Shubert Rants and Raves, and Sophie Rants and Raves. Even if you have the full Shubert and Sophie collection on your shelves, you will want to keep duplicates of these books in your Media Center Safe Place.
Adults can learn about the Safe Place in detail, including activities and images, in Chapter 9 of Creating the School Family. All children can learn the four main breathing exercises of Conscious Discipline (S.T.A.R., Drain, Pretzel and Balloon) in Shubert is a S.T.A.R.. Younger children will benefit from “reading” the Sophie is a S.T.A.R. board book that demonstrates belly breathing as a form of active calming. Adults must teach and model these relaxation techniques so children can learn how to calm themselves.
Helpful music for the Safe Place includes "Bye Bye Crankies" on Songs for I Love You Rituals Volume 2, "Snuggle Up" on Songs for I Love You Rituals Volume 1, "S.T.A.R. Song" on It Starts in the Heart, "You Can Relax Now" on Kindness Counts, and "Calm Your Brain" and "Safe and Calm" on Brain Boogie Boosters.
There are many products that support the active calming process, such as the Safe Place Mat, Safe Place Posters, I Can Calm book and Calming Pillows. The Feeling Buddies Self-Regulation Toolkit offers a comprehensive, advanced approach that teaches not only active calming strategies, but also the essential messages our emotions carry and the constructive inner speech that is crucial to the self-regulation of difficult emotions.
The Kindness Recorder is a job in the Conscious Discipline classroom that includes age-appropriate props like a flowerpot, kindness tree and/or kindness notebook. Including a way to record Kindnesses in the Media Center helps the class focus on kind and helpful acts, operating on the Conscious Discipline powers of Attention (what you focus on, you get more of), Unity (we are all in this together), and Love (seeing the best in others).
Since children of all ages utilize the Media Center, it is important to include even the youngest children by devising symbolic ways for them to record each other's kindnesses (versus recording hem in a notebook as older classrooms might). A Kindness Tree like the one on the School Family Make-N-Take CD-Rom is ideally suited for this purpose. Children then put a heart on the tree to record each kind act they do or witness.
Additional ideas for your Kindness Recorder can be found in the "Classroom Jobs" chapter of the School Family book, on the Make-N-Take CD-Rom and in the instruction booklet included with the School Family Job Set. "Looking for Kindness" on Kindness Counts supports the Kindness Recorder.
Greetings provide a way to connect with every student who enters the Media Center. As you greet students, noticing their body language provides you with the opportunity to assess who is primed for a day of optimal learning and who might benefit from some additional connection or Safe Place time.
Select a location where you will stand to greet the children as each class arrives in the Media Center. Send the verbal and nonverbal message, “Hello, I’m glad you’re here today!” Props like the greeting apron give children a choice about how they would like to be greeted. For example, you might put images of a butterfly, a hand, a bear and fireworks on an apron. Ask each child how he would like to be greeted and then share a playful greeting together. (Make up greetings to go with the images.) The Make-n-Take CD-Rom contains a helpful template for a greeting apron.
The Shubert series is a unique set of books designed to build character through conflict for children (ages 2-9) and adults. Shubert demonstrates helpful ways for children to solve problems, while Mrs. Bookbinder models Conscious Discipline strategies for adults.
Shubert is a win-win for transforming conflict into cooperation for all parties involved. The Shubert books combine quality children's literature with parent education and educational staff development. The Shubert stories follow the seven powers and seven skills of Conscious Discipline, with one book written to support each power/skill. “Shubert Shuffle” on It Starts in the Heart complements the Shubert book series.
Dr. Bailey designed I Love You Rituals as a playful means to promote optimal brain development, increase attention span, reduce hyperactivity, build self-esteem, amplify cooperation and facilitate language development. An I Love You Rituals Poster Set posted on the Media Center wall provides adults and children with a playful reminder to connect.
Essentially, I Love You Rituals are structured connecting activities that include eye contact, touch, presence and playfulness. Your Media Center will benefit from using I Love You Rituals during transitions and with children who call for help through difficult behaviors like aggression, tantrums or withdrawal. The I Love You Rituals Poster Set and I Love You Rituals on a String help in implementing a regular I Love You Rituals program. The I Love You Rituals book provides 75+ rituals for you to choose from. Music that supports these rituals includes Songs for I Love You Rituals Volume 1 and Volume 2, and "Rhyme the Rhyme" on Kindness Counts.
The Friends and Family Board builds community and connection, and links the home family with the School Family.
The Friends and Family Board in the Media Center will include pictures of Media Center staff and others whom the children will come in contact with while in the Media Center. For example, if Speech Therapists and English Language Learners meet in the Media Center, those professionals’ photos would be included on the board. Update the images as needed.
Creating the School Family provides extensive background information and activities for your Friends and Family Board. In Shubert's New Friend, Shubert takes a photo of his new classmate to include on the Friends and Family Board.
Many songs support the Friends and Family Board, including "I Like to Be with You" on I Love You Rituals Volume 2, "All Together," "Friendship Chant," People to People" and "My School Family" on It Starts in the Heart, "In Every One of Us," "Love is a Circle" and "We All Count" on Kindness Counts; and "You are Heart," "Friends Connect" and "Team of Two" on Brain Boogie Boosters.