Our routine in our classroom has always been to eat lunch, read a book, and do an I Love You Ritual (click here to learn more about these!). We feel this routine is important for so many different reasons. We can build relationships with the children at this time, we begin to calm our bodies for nap, and bond with the children.
At this point of the year, the children are becoming more competent and capable with everyday as we prepare for kindergarten or just getting a year older. After lunch on Thursday, the children gathered their items for their cots and brought books to the area we always read at. The children asked if I would read a book and I shared I’d be right over. When I came over, a few minutes later, the children were split up in to three groups. Each child leading the group was reading a book from memory or word for word to their peers! I asked if I could read to them and the children dismissed me. They finished reading and followed this same process the next day!
As I read the first chapter, entitled Composure, I thought it was most beneficial in my note taking and in my head to organize the principles and the skills together in order to better understand the overview of the chapter and the expectations I needed for myself and for the children.
- Principle One: Composure is self-control in action it is a prerequisite skill adults need before disciplining children
- Principle Two: Healthy Secure relationships require that we control our own upset. No one can make us angry without our permission.
- Principle Three: Start the day with the brain smart way and implement stress reduction.
- Principle Four: Your job is to keep the classroom safe so can children learn. The child’s job is to help keep it safe.
- Skill One: Changing trigger thoughts to calming thoughts.
- Skill Two: Reduce Stress
I felt it was important for me to reflect on what each of these looked like when I was teaching in the classroom on a daily basis. I felt like if I could see what I was modeling for the children and what I needed to work on then I could help focus my attention on my staff and my students. I began by looking at each child and finding strength and a weakness in the child. It is important to know and support the child’s success which can then help support the weakness. For example, if a child loves to write and needs extra guidance when it comes to their feelings. The child could sketch and write words based on the feelings they are having.
As part of this chapter, Dr. Bailey shares it is important to have an activity in the routine that unites the children, disengages the children from the last activity or stress level from a previous problem, connect the children to the new scenario, and prepare to learn! We spent time disengaging from our play time and preparing for group by streching and taking deep breaths. The children have not let me forget this routine at every group since we have started in September!