|Principal & Clinic|
Brain Smart Start
Seven Skills Poster Set
Welcome New Families
Wishing well offers a way for children to support each other and calm themselves.
Wishing well is a way to instantly calm ourselves, and offer love and caring to others. It is a way for children to help others when there is no physically tangible way to offer their help. To wish well 1) put your hands over your heart 2) take a deep breath in 3) pause and picture something precious in your mind 4) breathe out while opening your arms and sending those precious, loving thoughts out to the person you are wishing well.
The Wish Well Circle provides a visual way to aid children in wishing each other well. When a child is absent, moving to another school, has arrived late or is in need of support for other reasons, place the child's picture or name in the heart inside your Wish Well Circle. Invite the class to wish the child well with the process described above, and/or by singing a song like "We Wish You Well" on I Love You Rituals Volume 2 or "I Wish You Well" on It Starts in the Heart (in English and Spanish).
The Seven Skills of Conscious Discipline are the only skills needed to transform everyday discipline issues into teaching moments. These skills provide adults with the knowledge base to teach children the skills necessary for self-regulation, conflict resolution and pro-social behaviors.
Post the Seven Skills Poster Set in the reception area as a helpful reminder of the language and concepts of Conscious Discipline for everyone entering the school. You may hang all the posters all at once, or swap the posters monthly to match the skills you are studying in your school-wide staff development and book study groups. The Seven Skills of Conscious Discipline are Composure, Encouragement, Assertiveness, Choices, Empathy, Positive Intent and Consequences. The front of each Seven Skills Poster provides a bright visual reminder for each of these skills and the specific language that supports them. The back of each poster provides helpful information for creating the Conscious Discipline classroom structure that corresponds to each skill.
For example, the Power of Perception says, "No one can make you angry without your permission," the corresponding skill is Composure, and the corresponding language is "Be a S.T.A.R.: Smile, Take a deep breath, And Relax." The Composure poster states this information on the front, while providing real-life examples for your Safe Place setup, introduction and activities on the back. Additional information about the powers, the skills and the language that supports them can be found in the Conscious Discipline book and Conscious Discipline Live DVD Set.
The Community News Board is a way to share important events in your school and community.
Post a bulletin board for Community News in a central location. Include information about community events (festivals, garage sales, gatherings) and school events (bake sales, book studies, staff news/celebrations). The Community News Person or Committee is the School Family job that is responsible for maintaining the Community News Board, but all members of the school are welcome to contribute.
Families come and go throughout the year. Changing schools mid-year is disruptive, difficult and downright frightening for many students. Help ease this transition by welcoming students and their families into your School Family on a school-wide “Welcome” board.
Set up a bulletin board in the entryway or other central location. As new families enter the school, invite them to provide photographs and basic information (family members’ names, where they’re moving from, and fun tidbits like favorite activities and what they’re looking forward to about their new community). Some schools accomplish this by sending home a form asking specific questions and requesting two or three family photos. Others take new photos and answer the questions on home visits. Gather their responses and showcase them on the bulletin board for at least a month after the new child’s arrival. Use the information the families provide to welcome the new students at the next school assembly.
The Conscious Discipline Brain Smart Start of the day consists of four activities: An activity to unite, an activity to connect, an activity to disengage stress and an activity to commit. Dr. Bailey designed this combination of activities using current brain research in order to promote an optimal learning state. Each classroom will conduct its own Brain Smart Start daily. Additionally, schools utilizing school-wide announcements will incorporate a Brain Smart Start into their regular announcement routine.
Theses activities can be combined, for example, a School Family chant involving music and movement with a partner would both unite and connect.
Dr. Bailey discusses "Becoming Brain Smart" in Workshop 1 of the Conscious Discipline Live DVD Set, Chapter 8 of the Creating the School Family book contains specific activities to facilitate the Brain Smart Start, and the "Brain Smart Start Chart" on the Make-N-Take CD-Rom helps you to organize this structure. Several songs support the Brain Smart Start, including "Get Ready" and "Welcome" on It Starts in the Heart, "It's Brain Smart Time" on Kindness Counts, and "Greetings" on Brain Boogie Boosters.