For Earth Day we made seed hearts. The ingredients were: 1 part soil 1 part clay 1 part water and A sprinkle of seeds We used Hollyhock seeds. It was me and a classroom of 20 children – muddy, messy children – … Continue reading
- Deep breathing: Teach students to “Smell the cookies through their nose and blow out the candles through their mouth.” Practice this breathing technique regularly, so that when disappointment strikes, your students know what to do!
- Take a break: Teach students to take a short break when they feel disappointment.
Students can take a walk, get a drink, or squeeze a stress ball.
- Have a quiet area in the room where students can sit with a pillow or read a book for a few minutes. I have a box in the room filled with social stories about behavior that we have already read as a class. These are great reading choices for the students when they need a break because they are filled with reminders on how to make the right choice.
- Make sure to choose strategies that you can manage as a teacher and set limits on what is an acceptable choice during a break. For instance, my students suggested playing with toys as a way to calm themselves, so we talked that through. “Why do you think playing with toys might not be a good way to calm yourself when you are disappointed?” The students were spot on with their answer, “Because you might break them when you are really upset.”
- Have a safe seat: When a student is not able to regulate their emotions and has erupted in a fit of disappointment, it is important to have a safe seat in the room where their behavior can be contained and ignored while you continue on with instruction in the classroom. Depending on the level of escalation, you may need a plan to remove the student from the room. Especially if they are in danger of damaging property, hurting themselves or others. It is important to work closely with your intervention team, the school psychologist, and your administration when a child escalates to such a high degree.
Sometimes a student looks like they have calmed down, only to reengage with requests for you, the teacher, to sooth or “fix it” by giving the child what they wanted. “Can I have it now!?” Often a child will escalate again when the request is denied, because they have not truly worked through their feelings of disappointment and arrived at a place of calm. Trying to fix things when a child is upset takes away their opportunity to learn to deal with disappointment in healthy ways.
Once some time has passed, your student is calm and has moved on, it is important to let them know how proud you are of them for making good choices. “I like the way you took deep breaths and chose to be calm. Thank you.”
Load up on social stories and children’s books that deal with topics of disappointment. Here are some good titles to get you started:
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports
We are working towards fun Friday by earning letters for our rules! Every time I see a student being safe this week, i.e. walking in line, keeping there hands to themselves, sitting on their bottom, we earn a letter on our pizza pie pan!
The letters move up as we work our way to Friday and I get to emphasize and review and thank my students for best behaviors along the way!
Next week we’ll focus on exhibiting excellence in our work!🙂
I lowered my reading table this year and I love it! I’ve been checking out all kinds of different ways to provide for different sensory needs in different areas of the room on Pinterest and decided to be brave and give this a try. It’s a nice cozy area for reading and learning! The fidgets no longer take away from our learning when we come to the reading table, the kids get plenty of sensory input, and we all have a good time working and learning together.
We used butcher paper for the capes (instead of the plastic table clothes), cut construction paper for the zeros, used bingo markers to make the dots, and a co-teacher had the glasses template. We are going to be Super Heros in honor of Zero the Hero! I’m going to try pinning the capes on instead of using string to tie them on.
The kids are so excited! After working on these today, they can’t wait for the 100th day!
Finally figured out an efficient way to organize our binders! It only took me 94 days of school and mess to figure it out, lol. Not only do they all fit on one shelf, but they are easily accessible for the children. Their names are written on the spine. It just took a little training to show the children how to put them away.
It’s December, and we are working on our Children around the World unit in kindergarten. The children just finished painting their life sized portraits. They turned out so cute.
Next up, we’ll be making our passports and luggage for our trip around the world! For our celebration, each kindergarten classroom is transformed into a different country. We travel from country to country, learning about an important tradition and making a special craft, as we move from room to room.
The children are also working on their reports and will be presenting them next week. Here is a free copy of the report:
I’ll take more pictures next week as we prepare to travel. We still have so much to do!
Without having the experience of actually raising chickens, we found other ways to explore with eggs. We put this egg in vinegar. The kids loved watching it change over time. From the moment we put it into the liquid, the size appeared to change, then bubbles were everywhere, and depending on the stage things, it would either float or sink. Eventually, we could see through the shell to the yolk, which was cool.. at that point, I was supposed to take it out and bounce it around, but forgot… so it kept on getting bigger and bigger, fuzzier and fuzzier, until it was a big white explosion. Not for the faint hearted, but great for the scientist in you and your students. I loved their excitement each time they walked into the room, exclaiming with excited chatter about the observable changes.
These are some of the paintings and drawings that we made of oviparous animals this year.
We made a graph of animals that were oviparous and viviparous. This was a good resource for information on the difference.
I made cards to go with the presentation that the kids could sort and use to make the graph. I cut a piece of construction paper in half and had the kids write either… A _____ is oviparous or A _____ is viviparous, depending on the animal they chose, and draw a picture for our graph. I didn’t take a picture of it at the time, which I regret, because it was a great learning experience and made a nice visual of our learning.
The concepts of oviparous animals wove through many of our discussions about animals and the cycle of life. The kids even began to discuss the parallels the noticed between the life cycle of a plant and that of an animal. We were able to draw analogies between seeds and eggs and life cycles in that way.
Books I recommend for this unit: