March 25, 2010
Ripley Conference Room 1

Jeanine Fitzgerald worked with the K teachers on understanding behavior in children and what to do about it. The morning session focused on social/ emotional development and how to deal with student behaviors. In the afternoon we focused on the parent piece and a program for our incoming K parents in the spring. The presenter is supported by the Center for Parents and Children and CPS.

Suggested Books:

Brain Gym for Teachers Dennison
Take Five Williams and Shellenberger
Educating the Heart Jeanine Fitzgerald
From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development Jack Shonkoff and Deborah Phillips
The Plug in Drug Marie Winn
Educating With Style Jeanine Fitzgerald
Parenting With Style Jeanine Fitzgerald
Teaching With the Brain and Mind Eric Jensen
Enriching the Brain: How to Maximize Every Learner's Potential Eric Jensen

"Children haven't changed, childhood has"

BIG 6 (sensitive times)

Forming Relationships (0-2) create a back and f orth relationship, problem if no secure relationship/ trust
Play and Imagination (0-2)
Language and Communication (2-3) problem if social language missing
Self Regulation (birth-6) An infant needs to regulate crying, sleeping, eating. By the toddler age should be able to regulate. May need to teach alternate ways of staying awake. Eating junk (additives and preservatives) makes it worse. A toddler is working on toileting and emotions. A preschooler is working on emotions.
  1. Name it - move from acting to talking
  2. Claim it - resolve conflict, expressing an I feel....., parents model blame it!
  3. Tame it - impulse control, journal outlet (scribble), draw pictures, movement/ music, sensory activities
  4. Activity Level
  5. Attention
  6. Thought
  7. Regulation of Mood
Executive Function (4-6)
Social Competence (4-6)

In a district like Concord 51% of our children do not have all there social emotional needs met and are in survival mode. It takes lots of attention and energy to meet needs. Acute stress is 12 weeks or less, Chronic stress is 12 weeks or more, Acute stress is the birth of a sibling, death of a pet. They develop coping strategies:
  • Super Kid/Hero/Martyr - They are perfectionists, create a perfect work. Can be at risk for uppers, suicide, eating disorders
  • Invisible Style - loners, withdrawn, isolated by choice, fall through the cracks, Can be dangers if here more than 12 weeks. Dangers can be the school shooters, violent 10-15 year old
  • Trouble Maker - defiant, angry, aggressive, effects if in chronic stress are dropout, addiction, early criminal behavior, early sex experimentation
  • Mascot - class clown, impulsive, attention seeking, Risks: lose friends, highest percentage in Sped

"Cognitive wellness is 1/6 of life"

The Plug in Drug
Before sleep disrupted by video games
Chemical changes in 25 minutes of computer, tv, or other passive media. It produces irritability, frustration and if continual the brain goes to sleep and over time could lead to depression.

Dysregulation 25% Hostile 17% Anxieties 11% Withdrawn

Impulse Control

Emotion bursts in action (think after).
Thought mediates emotion.
The power of the pause (open ended) which society doesn't support
"We are going outside - What do we need to do?" - not lecture mode -
Children need higher level play with adults playing (Simon Says, Freeze Tag)

Positive Behavior Supports

1-3 Prevention (all children)
4 Teach (all children)
5-6 Responding (7%)
  1. Read Styles, ID strengths and needs
  2. cultivate secure relationship "love & hope"
  3. transform environment
  4. increase competence
  5. Functional behavioral assessment (7%) SpEd
  • self regulation (involuntary response to discomfort)
  • escape/avoidance (transitions & clean up)
  • attention
  • tangibles (to get things)
6. Positive behavior support plans (1%) based on purpose


Parent Piece
We have a window of opportunity to maximize potential and I want to work as a partner with you

Need a balance between the natural environments of home and school

Need balance between PERSONHOOD (Emotional Intelligence) and COMPETENCE (Political Pull)

Competence - to learn to do - mastery, flow, learning

Personhood - to be, self awareness, self disapline, social awareness, social skills - integrity, rapport, community

Self Regulation Needs
  1. Oscillation (up and down) teeter totter, trampoline, hippy hop, jump rope
  2. Linear swings
  3. Rotary/ spin merry go round, tire swing, rolling down a hill, somersault, sit and spin (without batteries) hokey pokey, ring around the rosie
  4. Inverted (upside down)
  5. Heavy Work push/pull, pick up people, chair push ups,
  6. Crashing run into walls, pattern clapping, slamming on bed, trucks

Ideas for Classrooms
Relaxation - Music (Top Tunes for Teaching) calm the brain, stay away from movie themes, children's songs, do not use as background but at relaxation times
Natural Surroundings - soft lighting, plants (4-6 plants, spider plants good), fish tanks, colors (pastel hints, blue, gree)

Figure out what sounds and sights, textures, tastes, smells, and touches help this child to calm down (start with water)

We all have needs we want to meet in the first hour

  • physical activity (run around)
  • nutrition
  • communication (dumping box, write or draw what they want to talk to you about)
  • socialization
  • touch
  • acknowledgment
  • structure
  • relaxation
  • humor
  • encouragement

Self monitoring system (about awareness) or response cost, can be difficult to phase out
Task Cards - deck of cards that sequence day and mix in bathroom cards

The Golden Maximizers (Lense of enrichment, emotionally safe, remove threats and enrich)

  • PHYSCIAL ACTIVITY Can change the alertness of the brain, increase gross motor indoors, 5 mins. of gross movement for every 30 mins. of low mobility, helps working memory, recess should be 20-30 minutes, Brain Gym (26 movements that organize the brain)
  • NOVEL, MEANINGFUL LEARNING mix it up, humor
  • COHERENT COMPLEXITY balance, Gardner's intelligences, challenge to the point of success, not bored, not push into stress, 85% in strengths, 10% new learning, 5% remediation
  • MANAGE STRESS LEVELS remove all threats, create safe environment (trust, nonjudgmental, empathy, respect of emotions, respect individuality)
  • SOCIAL SUPPORT need a partner in development process, recognize story, validate story, know needs and legitimize, and create environment to meet needs)
  • PROPER NUTRITION use/access to water (need 8oz per 25 lbs. of weight per day) should be sipping, throughout the day have water breaks, water on playground, lack of iron (looks like hyperactivity) calcium (also looks like ADHD) potassium, salt (2X more than adults) Healthy tray (food, veggies, pretzels)
SUFFICIENT TIME time to reflect, ADHD web site, connect to prior knowledge, no quick fixes

Importance of Play