Friday, January 27, 2012

Starting Your Day the Brain Smart Way!

Hey Y'all!  I hope you are enjoying your week.  
Today is Friday!! Can I get a Yee-haw!!!
This is Deanna Jump speaking to ya from Georgia!
What is it about some weeks that make them seem sooo long?  Sometimes it feels like Friday will never get here!  I have to honestly say that's how I've been feeling a lot lately.  Our class sizes this year are a little larger than usual and when you add a lot of extra little bodies into one tiny little classroom that can equal: exhaustion, behavior problems, chaos, and did I mention exhaustion?  

But luckily, I found the book above.  My teammates and I recently started a book study on 
Creating the School Family by Dr. Becky Bailey.  We have just started this journey but we are seeing some positive changes already.  One of the things we've started implementing is Starting the Day the Brain Smart Way!  

There are four types of activities that are necessary to start your day this way:

1.  Activity to unite the group- this pulls the scattered energy of the group together.  
2.  Activity to disengage stress-turns the stress response off which increases higher-order learning.
3.  Activity to connect-stimulates impulse control centers and activates attention centers in the brain.
4.  Activity to commit-activates planning circuits in the brain and builds self esteem which helps focus attention and achieve goals.  

Dr. Bailey goes into the process in great detail and lists lots of ideas for each of these four activities. 

We've implemented this by starting our day with a Morning Meeting.  We come together to the carpet and sing our special Good Morning Song.  Then, we do some partner exercises.  Next, we recite our class pledge and make our daily learning goals.  

This is a picture of the class pledge:
I'm totally not brilliant....  I took the idea for this cute chart straight from the book.  
The picture clues are made with Mr. Potato Head pieces.   

I would love to hear from you!  What types of activities do you do to create a classroom family?

Deanna Jump


  1. That looks like a great book, Deanna! I always loved starting the day as a preschool teacher with "circle time" activities that brought the children together and created a calm atmosphere. I pinned your post to my Discipline Pinterest board at

  2. Deanna, this post was fabulous and so well timed! I am a new teacher starting our Australian school year this week with a grade 1 / 2 class. We established our class rules together and I am off to find a copy of this book! We start our morning on the floor as a group and go through our rules and what we want to achieve for the day, but I am very interested in learning more about 'starting the day the smart way!' Thank you for the post!
    Good Morning Mrs Rubie

  3. Deanna, this is great news! Celebrating you and your team as you begin your Conscious Discipline journey. Good for you for trying to learn a better way. :) I am a Certified Conscious Disicpline Instructor in Indiana! I have a blog you might like. It is called I share ideas from my classroom and home where we are implementing Conscious Discipline. I have some ideas for greetings and a Kindness Tree. I'm getting ready to add new greetings for winter this weekend! Come on over and check it out! I'm new to the "blogging world", but hopefully you'll find something that "lights a spark"!You can find a link to my blog from my website at

  4. I LOVE THIS!!! Deanna- this is a great idea and I love the idea of having the kids recite it each day! Thank you so much for sharing! (I found this through pinterest!)

  5. Our school is implementing conscious discipline next year - LOVE this idea Miss Deanna :)

  6. I want to make this!! How did you attach the Mr Potato head pieces?

  7. Oh my this is just what I've needed! Thank you! I will be checking out the book!

  8. We've implemented this by starting our day with a Morning Meeting. We come together to the carpet and sing our special Good Morning Song. Then, we do some partner exercises. Next, we recite our class pledge and make our daily learning goals. Life Experience Degrees


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