Exciting lesson ideas, classroom strategies, book lists, videos, and reproducibles in a daily blog by teachers

Alycia

I live in New York

I teach 3rd grade

I am an almost-digital-native and Ms. Frizzle wannabe

Rhonda

I live in New Jersey

I teach sixth grade literacy

I am passionate about my students becoming lifelong readers and writers

Christy

I live in New York

I teach K-5

I am a proud supporter of American public education and a tech integrationist

Erin

I live in Michigan

I teach second grade

I am a Tweet loving, technology integrating, mom of two with a passion for classroom design!

Allie

I live in Nevada

I teach PreK-K

I am a loving, enthusiastic teacher whose goal is to make learning exciting for every child

Genia

I live in Michigan

I teach 3rd grade

I am seriously addicted to all things technology in my teaching

Kriscia

I live in California

I teach fourth and fifth grades

I am an eager educator, on the hunt to find the brilliance in all

Brian

I live in North Carolina

I teach kindergarten

I am a kindergarten teacher who takes creating a fun, engaging classroom seriously

Meghan

I live in Alabama

I teach 1st grade

I am an obsessive personality with a creative flair

Lindsey

I live in Illinois

I teach fourth grade

I am a theme-weaving, bargain-hunting, creative public educator

Four Simple Ways to Tame Spring Fever

By Christy Crawford on April 4, 2014
  • Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Spring has sprung! Take some time to implement these four simple steps into your class routine that will calm anxious test takers or cooped-up kids.

 

 

1. BREATHE

Rosey Espinal and Marie Elaina Zuccaro's kindergarten classroom is eerily calm. What's their secret? Fine-tuned breathing techniques! Review their video, appropriate for all ages, with your class. You'll also see breathing techniques (including pebble meditation) from fourth-grade Zen masters, Susan Whitaker and John Burnstein. Mobile users can view the calming techniques here.

2. CREATE A PEACE CORNER

Zuccaro and Espinal suggest filling a classroom corner with sensory items (bean bags, pillows, relaxation bottles full of sparkly goo, textured balls, or squeeze toys) and books on feelings that will calm ruffled souls. Check out Zuccaro's links below to create the ultimate peace corner kits.

 

Zuccaro and Espinal show off "Peace Corner" supplies!

Relaxation Bottles

I Spy Bottles

Calm Down Box and Calm Down Kit

Peace Corner

Consider including lots of crayons and poster paper in your peace corner for a "knuckle crayon calmer." Have students put bright-colored crayons between each of their knuckles and draw or spin the wax in a circular motion to produce a tension-releasing masterpiece. Check out the video above to see my first and third graders demonstrating the "Knuckle Crayon Calmer."

If you can, convince an administrator to permit staff to create these kits during a professional development session. Stressed-out educators may find that process (making and testing the kits) relaxing.

Educators Whitaker and Burnstein suggest a "Movement Break Station" outside the classroom for older students. When they are finished, students return ready to focus. Whitaker and Burnstein adorned their station with suggestions for yoga poses, wall push up mats, and fun, finger mazes. For more movement activities, check out Genia Connell's post "Help for Your Fidgety Students."

 

3. TALK IT OUT

Warm weather gives rise to arguments inside the classroom and on the playground. Give your students a structure to handle tense situations. Whitaker and Burnstein have mapped out the following seven steps for a "Peace Talk."  Peace Talks loaded with "I statements" are great for students of any age.  

 

Whitaker and Burnstein with 4th grade superstars.A. Calm down/cool off BEFORE a peace talk. (For example, try the movement break station.)

 

B.  Review the rules.

*Stay calm calm face, body, and voice.

*Stay respectful.

*Work diligently to solve the conflict.

 

C.  When Person one talks:

"I felt _________ when _____________."

Person two actively listens without interrupting.

 

D.  Person two repeats back:

"You felt ______when _____________."

 

E.  Take turns talking. Continue repeating back and listening without interrupting. Figure out what the problem was.

 

F.  Make a plan for next time.

"Next time, I will _________________."

 

G.  Shake hands.

 

 

4. GO OUTSIDE

You can work on the Common Core State Standards outside too! Have students read and write poetry while barefoot in a grassy field or park, take a field trip to a local supermarket bringing along dry erase markers and wipe boards for mini-math lessons, or explore a hands-on science or history museum.

 

What's your secret to surviving "spring fever"?

Comments (0)

Post a Comment
(Please sign in to leave a comment. Privacy Policy)
Back to Top