Conscious Discipline Connections

Implementing Conscious Discipline at BSD

Building a School Family

You may remember hearing about a school family at many of our Professional Development events. You may have found yourself wondering what a school family looks like. There is no "magic formula" to building a school family. Every school family is different. Each school family usually includes a few common elements. Each element is based upon safety and connection. Your classroom community is your school family!

Brain Smart Start

Unite, Disengage Stress, Connect, Commit

Starting your day with a Brain Smart Start is a way to wire the brain for willingness and cooperation. There are 4 main parts to a Brain Smart Start. These 4 parts are: uniting, disengaging stress, building connections, and making a commitment. Uniting is where all people are doing the same thing at the same time. This can be singing or dancing to a song, reciting a chant or poem, or some other action at the same time. Disengaging stress can be done by utilizing a breathing technique (think: STAR, pretzel, balloon, drain), rolling the shoulders, doing an ear rub, or simply visualizing happy thoughts. Building connections is usually done by way of an appropriate person to person contact (think: high fives, handshakes, elbow-to-elbow). Another way to build connections is through what we typically think of for an ice breaker (think: a getting to know you question). Making commitments can be a very powerful idea in your classroom. When you or your students make a commitment, this is a goal of something you will do in that day. Of course if you don't keep your commitment, it is an OOPS! An OOPS is Our Opportunity to Problem Solve. If you do keep your commitment, it is definitely a cause for celebration! Noticing whether or not you keep your commitments is a great way to focus the power of attention!

Parts of a Brain Smart Start can be used throughout your day. If the transition between recess and work time is challenging, maybe consider something to disengage stress. If going to lunch seems to be a time that triggers some kids, try making a commitment to what you will do at lunch when you finish your lunch (or whenever the hardest part of lunch occurs).

CDs to use!

In Kristin Corbin's mailbox in the copy room, there are several CDs with songs that are great to use with Brain Smart Starts. Please borrow these to use! I have seen these songs used for uniting activities in classrooms. The kids (and teachers) can make up motions to go with these, just by following the words. Or, if motions are not a good option, just step side to side and clap. If you want more ideas on how to use these CD's, come ask!

January Challenge

  • Treat January like August. This is a great time to reset and be ready to power through the rest of the school year!
  • Pick one thing you want to add on to what you already do. This could be a Brain Smart Start, jobs, routines, or a class chant/song. Or, if you already do all of these, it could be something else, like a morning meeting, safe place, wish well, or working on conscious language.
  • Find a friend and let your friend know what you are committing to add on to your regular school day.
  • Have your friend check up on you on your commitment. Are you keeping it? Or, are you providing an OOPS!
  • If you are willing, send a quick email to Kristin Corbin to let me know what your commitment of something to add on is and how I can support you with your commitment!
  • Visit for many great ideas and examples of how to utilize Conscious Discipline in your classroom. See Shubert's classroom for practical ideas and more details for implementation!