Thursday, April 11, 2013

Choose Your 'Tude: Neutral or Happy

As I've shared when I introduced my "hook" for motivating boys with "Motivation Madness," character education is on my mind as we roll into the end-of-year festivities.

I wanted to share two things I use that work pretty well for me. First, "neutral or happy." This is a fairly simple concept, but it really cuts down on something that all second graders need help overcoming: the pout. You know ... the bottom lip pokes out, the nose wrinkles, eyebrows lower ... feet stomp, shoulders slump ... etc. I help my kids understand this with a simple phrase - "neutral or happy." 

I explain at the beginning of the year that it's totally okay if we don't feel happy all the time. In fact, *I* don't feel happy all the time! {Especially when I don't get my cup of tea in the morning ... not nearly as cool as coffee, but it's my jam, man.}

Rather than pout, I keep a neutral or happy face and voice. If I am upset and need a moment, it's okay for me to close my eyes and count to three, but then ... neutral or happy. If I'm upset with a friend, first I get to a neutral or happy place and then I can use the peace window. 

Here's a little {FREEBIE!} poster I made up for the classroom - grab it from my TpT store if you like it, and leave some feedback for me! :) 

The second thing I wanted to share - morning meeting read-aloud. Every day in morning meeting we have a different topic (math, grammar, character ed., etc.). Wednesdays are the read-aloud days, and I try to make them books with a strong theme - if I'm really on top of things, a theme we're struggling with in class. Common Core Standard RL.2? BAM. {Ha. Too much?}

This week we'll be reading Maya Was Grumpy by Courtney Pippen Mathur to discuss ... grumpiness. We all get up on the wrong side of the bed sometimes. {Especially when it's light for so long and our bodies don't let us get enough sleep. ahemMs.BBZahem} This is the story of a little girl named Maya who just wants to be grumpy ... until her grandma comes up with a funny way to get her out of her funk.

The illustrations are BEAUTIFUL, and there are quite a few examples of alliteration and personification {'s.what.we'} ... #integration. 

Add in a little watercolor technique and a craftivity? #doubleintegration


Annyyyyway - the whole lesson plan set, art cards, templates and response sheets are up in my TpT store, so if you're so inclined - grab it! Either way, I highly recommend the book to chase away those grumpy days! :) 


  1. I am completely captivated by your craftivity for Maya was Grumpy!! That is beautiful! I'd love to do this with my students.

  2. Hi Tiny Toes! I love your posts in the forums - you're so helpful! I'd love to send you the packet - might be a little over the heads of your Pre-K babies but maybe it will give you or a friend some inspiration for an adaptation. Shoot me a quick ms.bbzteacher at gmail dot com -- I'll send it right over. :)

  3. You share great ideas and insights into your classroom. It is great when everything comes together!
    So glad I found you through TpT!
    Forever A Teacher, Forever A Learner

  4. I found your blog through Minds in Bloom. I'm a new follower!
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  5. I found you through Minds in Bloom as well. I love your blog! I'm a second grade teacher as well, from way up north in New Hampshire!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  6. Glad to have y'all! Can't wait to check out your blogs as well. :)


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