February 2021 - Miss Clark's Spoonful

"I Notice That You..." The Easy Trick to Positive Reinforcement!

Happy Fri-YAY.

I'm not going to lie, using "correct" teacher language all the time isn't easy.

The thing is, there is no such thing as ONE perfect way to communicate with all of our students (wouldn't it be amazing if there was???).

I've had the classic chatty, wiggly, impulsive classes. Whole group lesson times were especially hard parts of the day.

If you've ever experienced lessons with:

- lots of calling out

- students not staying in one spot

- side conversations happening between friends


In these scenarios, it's easy to feel like a broken record discussing behavior expectations over and over again.

It is frustrating and defeating to feel "tuned out," and to see your students making little progress.

I have one simple shift you can make IMMEDIATELY that will help your students tune back in.

Responsive Classroom Language "I Notice..."

There is nothing wrong with telling a student you love something they're doing. It's always meant with the best intentions! The thing is, it can easily lose steam when it comes to positively reinforcing behavior.

By changing "I love..." to "I notice..." you're explicitly recognizing and naming positive actions children are doing.

Students go from doing "the right thing" in order to please, to taking control of their actions & developing an awareness of how to do their personal best.

Responsive Classroom Language "I Notice"

The subtleness of you simply acknowledging that you SEE the great choices your students are making can be a total game changer.

Whether you have that wiggly, chatty class you're trying to get through to, or you're looking to empower your students to build more independence, give it a try!

Happy weekend!


Easy Homemade Valentines from the Teacher

Happy, happy February!

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite days to celebrate in school. The colors, the fun themed activities, and focus on being a good friend makes this holiday close to my teacher heart.

What kind of cards without candy will you give to your students that they'll actually acknowledge? I've got your answer!

I'm all about cutesy and fun, and I also believe in constantly taking opportunities to build authentic connections with my students.

This is an idea I saw many moons ago from Cara over at The First Grade Parade.

Using American Sign Language to communicate "I love you" is a way incorporate teachable moments, and a way to build positive student relationships.

With that in mind, here are the valentines I make for my students year after year! They're meaningful, personal, and because you can make them using supplies in your classroom, they won't cost you a dime!

ASL I love you hand valentine

They're super easy to make, and your students will cherish them.

Here's what you do!

Create a tracer for yourself by tracing your handprint. I like to use cardstock paper because it's a bit heavier, and will be more sturdy as a tracer!

homemade teacher valentines

Use your tracer to create however many valentines you'll need. Cut them out.

homemade teacher valentines

Curl the two middle fingers down (I like to use a pencil to do this!)

homemade teacher valentines

Glue a heart with a "Happy Valentine's Day!" message in the center of your handprint, and add a little love note with your name.

That's it!

ASL I love you hand valentine


If these valentines are something you'd like to use too, save yourself an extra step!

Download the heart to add in the center of your handprint HERE for FREE!

I hope you have an absolutely lovely Valentine's Day celebration in your classroom.

I'd love to hear about some of your favorite ways to celebrate this fun day with your students!