24 October 2014

knocking out bullying in october!

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. My very first ever See Bean Teach post was about that very topic, so I thought it would be a nice throw-back to look at some more anti-bullying ideas! Here, I've listed three lessons I've taught so far this month and two more I plan to teach. I like to be able to to link our content with talking about social skills type topics (just so we can make connections between what we learn and the real world)...  I also feel like lessons that help build our classroom community are a tool to help prevent bullying because I've notice that it is much easier for students to pick on those they know very little about... but when they know another's story and where they come from and who they really are, they find it easier to choose to say and do uplifting things. Pacer.org is a great online resource for some facts, along with Stomp Out Bullying.

As mentioned, my very first post, many moons ago was about a lesson I did with a kindergarten class during my senior year of college. It all focused around The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin and how to avoid bullying. It went over really well, so this year I decided to whip that baby back out! My class had a bunch of fun listening to the story on YouTube and then making their own unique pumpkins a couple weeks ago. Of course, I added in an attempt at some academic content and had them make a verbal text-self connection before they could craft their own Spookly, but it was a much needed afternoon of creative thinking and fun after a week of 6 weeks tests (BOO ON THAT.)
We learned about adjectives in language arts this week, so we combined that with a lesson I saw on good ol' Farley's blog a while back. We described my "friend" that I'd drawn on chart paper using adjectives. When the children slung out unkind words, I crumpled it up. When they said kind things, I uncrumpled the paper. We noticed that the wrinkles were still there, and even after we tried to smooth the paper out by saying nice things, the wrinkles didn't totally go away. I think it made a bit of an impact, because after the lesson we did a full on "share you feelings circle" for about 10 minutes. I made sure to end it by asking all of the students to share something that has been a positive interaction with another person in their life so that we could have some emotional closure and a way to bring our thoughts back to a happy place if they'd traveled a little away from there.
We also drew portraits of a classmate (they had to draw out of a jar so it was random!) and described them using 10 adjectives. I was so pleasantly surprised that no one had unkind things to say on their drawings AND they were all excited about who they got (even when it wasn't there bestfriendevereverever). I am proud of how close-knit and sweet my students are. We even had a "special visitor" from another class in another grade our room that day (yep, I get to be that teacher) so I threw his name in the bucket too and my sweet little nuggets just acted like that was totally normal and drew him a beautiful portrait as well!
We watched the BrainPop Jr. video on bullying and then did a class sort to clarified the difference between true bullying and teasing someone of having a "mean moment" using the phrases I cut from a chart that I found on Ms. Sepp's Counselor Corner. It sparked a lot of great discussion about what kinds of things we could problem solve on our own or by talking with the person who offended us, versus what kinds of things we couldn't solve unless we got help from an adult.
We read The Recess Queen, Chrysanthemum, Giraffes Can't Dance. Then we practiced making Text-Self connections. We talked about how we felt and how the characters felt, and experiences that we had that we similar to experiences the characters. We used Venn diagrams to compare both our life experiences and that of the characters AND the characters in the books. There's a freebie in my TPT store- it's not fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but it works! (:

I linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share these five ideas! You should participate, too!

P.S. Real talk- this post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Check out my About Mrs. B page for more info on that!

17 October 2014


Kaitlyn at Third Time's A Charm nominated me for a Liebster Award!

This award is for bloggers who are new to the game and trying to grow their readership!  I have to answer the 11 questions from Kaitlyn, and then nominate 11 blogs of my choice that have less than 200 followers!

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging? I started this blog twice, actually. Once in 2012 as a project for one of my classes in college, and then I picked it back up again in June of 2013 right before I began my first year of teaching! I started blogging because I'd always gotten such fantastic ideas from the real teachers and wanted to be a part of this beautiful, giant professional learning community!

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why? Honest. I am secretly terrified that someone I know in real life reads this baby because it is really more like a journal for me.

3. Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before? Hmm... I feel like I am still pretty early in my blog journey... but I wish I'd known that I could pay someone a fairly nominal fee to make it look nice! (: I am also about to start focusing in on learning how to take decent pictures, so that will probably be something I look back and wish I'd known earlier! 

4. What is your favorite past time other than blogging? Ugh, I'm not so awesome at "favorite" questions. My answer is always different... So here are a few of my faves: I coach swimming a couple days a week, which is fun! I like to binge-watch series on Netflix with my main squeeze. I really like to read, but I am one of those obsessive readers (think like the way you watch a stereotypical 13 year old boy with an xbox... that is me with a good book) so I have to save reading for pleasure for Thanksgiving, Christmas, summer... I want to make exercise a favorite pastime, but I am still working on finding enough time to fit more than walking the dog in!

5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog? Yikes. Maybe like 2? More in the summer, but I haven't reached that point in my career where I have a ton of down time!

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most? I totally have to agree with Kaitlyn on this one- I like real-life, nitty-gritty, nobody's-perfect blog posts that share highs and lows so I can feel like it is ok not to be a Pinterest-perfect teacher. However, for quick reads, I also like EASY, healthy recipes and wish list-y kind of posts!

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from? Initially, it came from all of the big names Abby Mullins, Farley, Cara Caroll, etc. While I still L.O.V.E to read the hilarious and inspiring things those chickadees write, I am trying to find my own voice and be more inspired by my life and my students!

8. Which post that you've written are you most proud of? Oh man. My most popular posts come from my how to interview series...  But I think I'm most proud of this post because I pretty much just let it all hang out and it showed the side of teaching that isn't always so fun.
9. Is there any post you have been planning to do, but have postponing it for a while now? I have been planning to do more writing about the focus I've put on a healthy lifestyle this year and how I make it work with teaching... but often lesson plans and life are calling Five for Friday is a much easier way to brain-dump! #oops

10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging? Um, I swear Kaitlyn literally took the words out of my mouth. I am literally going to quote her, because there is no way to even paraphrase my thoughts better "I find it very cathartic, even writing posts that I might never publish. I feel that I express myself much better in writing than I do verbally, so sometimes typing something out helps me talk about it better with others in person." I am the kind of person that will type out notes on my iPhone before a conversation about a sticky-issue before opening my mouth... I would ALWAYS rather send an e-mail or text than call... Not because I am rude, but because I am much more eloquent when writing! Side note- Kaitlyn, I feel like we may be having one of those blogger Step-Brothers moments...

11. Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you be most likely to try yourself?  I really want to try to make the White Chicken Chili recipe... Sounds like a great fall Saturday "cheat meal" (: I am also really excited to get my TPT store up and moving (one day!) with all of your awesome detailed tutorials! I started some this summer, but I am going to do a better job narrowing in next summer!

My Liebster Nominees:
Mrs. R @ Fourth Grade Fizz
Krissy @ Krissy's Kindergarten
Kristin @ My Carolina Classroom
Jennifer @ Stories and Songs in Second
Jennifer @ Teaching With Grace
Sheri @ The Early Years With Sheri
Northern Mama from the South
Paige @ Paiges of Learning
Sarah @ Run Teach Save

Some of y'all are blogs I follow... Some are great Currently finds... and some follow me! Can't wait to learn more about you! (:

Now that you've been nominated, here are the "official" rules for accepting:
1. In your post, link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out."
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you (the ones I answered above).
3. Nominate 11 blogs of your choice that each have less than 200 followers. Provide them with 11 questions to answer or have them answer the questions above.
4. Let your nominees know that they've been nominated and provide them with a link to your post so that they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so that s/he can learn more about you as well! (You can just put your post link in the comments below!)

Y'all have fun! (:

03 October 2014

Five for Friday: October?!


Are you in an end-of-first-six weeks slump? Or maybe almost-end-of-nine-weeks funk? I read this last week when I was feeling a little tired and a lot little just... well... OVER IT and it totally turned my mood around. The post has great tips for teachers specifically, but you could apply it to your life in another profession or your life as a college student. It will also probably make you breathe a sigh of relief to know that you are not the only one feeling like you are under pressure all the time! A few of The Second Grade Nest's suggestions were promises I made to myself this summer so that I could feel more like myself this school year. I planned to leave school at a decent hour, do things other than teaching or crafting for teaching or planning for teaching and pay attention to maintaining a decently healthy lifestyle. It has made SUCH a difference for me this school year. Scoot over and absorb this post. Maybe read it two or three times if you need!

Speaking of healthy lifestyle... have I mentioned that I am really working hard in that department? I am about to do another 10 day Herbal Cleanse and I am super excited! A couple of friends and I are starting on October 13th and you can join us- shoot me an email at losdosfrijoles@gmail.com or click on the link above to order. I mean, for $31.50, you could buy a meal at the Cheesecake Factory... or you could put some focus on your health. Check back in a couple of days for a post with some tips for how to manage the cleanse during school!

My vice-principal sent out this video this afternoon. Add that to the fact that totally unprompted a student put on her Open House sheet that her favorite part about school is that "our class feels like a family" and I was a puddle this afternoon. Get some tissues and watch. You make a difference. You matter. Don't forget that.

I need a pencil solution. I hear a lot of good things about a pencil challenge- can someone explain that idea to a sister before I go crazy?! (:

We skipped pumpkin decorating last year, so now I am totally planning to make up for it... Pinterest seriously has the cutest ideas. I was originally thinking something like this:

But then I saw this post that has some fantastic no-carve ideas compiled! Can't wait to convince B that this adventure is happening tomorrow!