Learning that seeds can move, without having legs to get around, is fascinating for young children. I like to open with questions, “Can seeds move? But why do you think that? But how can they move if they don’t have legs? … Continue reading
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:
We love using Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom! to integrate our beginning of the year learning as we are focused on letters and sounds, numbers and counting, and our 5 senses. Our students LOVE the rhythm and rhyme of the story and … Continue reading
Use these free pages to create an “All about me Book” with your students. Enjoy!
Capture the first weeks of kindergarten with this memory book. You’ll find over 25 prompts to get your students drawing and writing! Each child will create a personal memory book that captures memories of themselves and the important skills they … Continue reading
I was first introduced to the concept of Whole Body Listening many years ago when I became the full inclusion teacher for our students with autism. However it has proved to be a method that is helpful to all my kinders, … Continue reading
Common core takes number practice beyond counting and identification because it allows our students to understand the value of each number, how it is made, and represented by numbers. Ten frames and base ten blocks are an important component of the process … Continue reading
Every year that I’ve been creating curriculum packets, I learn more, which is wonderful, it makes me a better teacher, but then it also compels me to go back through curriculum that I have out there and make changes. I aspire to be as good as some of the amazing teachers out there blogging, creating, and working as teachers.
Summer has started, and I’ve dived back into some of the packets that I’ve been wanting to update. I’ve finished the Goldfish and Worm packet… for this year at least! I love science and so this has been at the top of my list for some time now 🙂
I’ve updated the look, expanded the ‘big’ questions that you can explore with your class, and created some fact pages that you can make into a book and use as a guide as you and your students go through the units.
Clipart generally becomes one of the biggest challenges to creating curriculum for me. I’ve learned how to make my own drawings, scan them, and photoshop them as a supplement. My daughter actually made most of the art for both of these packets, which as awesome. Below is her beautiful goldfish.
I still a beginner with photoshop, so I am sure as I continue to work with it, as with anything, I’ll get better, learn new tricks, and then find myself back in older documents, updating my work. I tend to do best with scientific drawings, though they can be somewhat rudimentary. I am live in a house full of artists, so I am hoping, as with blogging, I’ll get better as I go, develop a personal style that I feel comfortable with, and learn all the tools I need to make work I am proud of and that other teachers enjoy.
The kids art, of course, is always my most favorite.