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January 15, 2016

Tackling the Winter Blues

By Rhonda Stewart
Grades 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    I am working on keeping myself motivated, upbeat, and determined to stave off winter blues. To this end, I revisited some ideas from my post on "Staying Healthy and Happy." This year, however, I added and implemented some new touches to help not only myself, but my students as well.

    Teacher Blues Busters

    Inspiration Journal

    It's so easy to look at life through a negative lens. To combat this, for years I have kept a personal “blessings journal.” My journal is filled with moments that make me happy and I write down at least five of them every day. I decided to transfer this concept to my classroom. Recently, I have jotted down school-related moments that bring a smile to my face. I will admit it was a struggle at first, but it is becoming easier. Even the words on the cover of my journal help me to keep my eyes on the prize: staying positive!

      

    Inspirational Quotes

    I took some motivational quotes and placed them strategically around the classroom. They can be found on the window ledge, on the classroom door, and on the walls. In keeping with our Dr. Seuss classroom theme, our entire rear wall includes motivational quotes from his books. I like to think of it as "the words have our backs when things get tough." Added benefit: Dr. Seuss is always good for a laugh!

    Door Quote

    Wall Quote

    Windowsill Quote

    Dr. Seuss Quote Wall

    5 Minutes of Peace

    There is a free app that you can download to your phone called Take a Break. It coaches you through a brief mediation. I use this app at home and decided it could be helpful at school as well. It is definitely five minutes of peace! It helps to keep my mind clear and focused so that I do not feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. This will come in very handy during standardized testing for me and my students!

    Motion Creates Emotion

    Get moving! The theory is that once your body is active and moving, endorphins are released that help to relieve stress and make you feel happy. GoNoodle is free and a fun way to interact with your students. I first heard about this from one of my fellow bloggers, Kriscia Cabral, in her post "Brain Breaks With GoNoodle." These quick, interactive breaks help to shake the winter blues as well as refocus your students on the lesson being taught. My students and I are embarking on a new unit on informational text. Having these mini-breaks will definitely energize us!

     

    Pearls of Wisdom Set realistic goals for yourself. This way you can celebrate your moments of achievements!

    As always, do you have any ideas to keep the positivity going to shake the winter blues? Please share! I enjoy sharing ideas that make all of our lives easier!

    I am working on keeping myself motivated, upbeat, and determined to stave off winter blues. To this end, I revisited some ideas from my post on "Staying Healthy and Happy." This year, however, I added and implemented some new touches to help not only myself, but my students as well.

    Teacher Blues Busters

    Inspiration Journal

    It's so easy to look at life through a negative lens. To combat this, for years I have kept a personal “blessings journal.” My journal is filled with moments that make me happy and I write down at least five of them every day. I decided to transfer this concept to my classroom. Recently, I have jotted down school-related moments that bring a smile to my face. I will admit it was a struggle at first, but it is becoming easier. Even the words on the cover of my journal help me to keep my eyes on the prize: staying positive!

      

    Inspirational Quotes

    I took some motivational quotes and placed them strategically around the classroom. They can be found on the window ledge, on the classroom door, and on the walls. In keeping with our Dr. Seuss classroom theme, our entire rear wall includes motivational quotes from his books. I like to think of it as "the words have our backs when things get tough." Added benefit: Dr. Seuss is always good for a laugh!

    Door Quote

    Wall Quote

    Windowsill Quote

    Dr. Seuss Quote Wall

    5 Minutes of Peace

    There is a free app that you can download to your phone called Take a Break. It coaches you through a brief mediation. I use this app at home and decided it could be helpful at school as well. It is definitely five minutes of peace! It helps to keep my mind clear and focused so that I do not feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. This will come in very handy during standardized testing for me and my students!

    Motion Creates Emotion

    Get moving! The theory is that once your body is active and moving, endorphins are released that help to relieve stress and make you feel happy. GoNoodle is free and a fun way to interact with your students. I first heard about this from one of my fellow bloggers, Kriscia Cabral, in her post "Brain Breaks With GoNoodle." These quick, interactive breaks help to shake the winter blues as well as refocus your students on the lesson being taught. My students and I are embarking on a new unit on informational text. Having these mini-breaks will definitely energize us!

     

    Pearls of Wisdom Set realistic goals for yourself. This way you can celebrate your moments of achievements!

    As always, do you have any ideas to keep the positivity going to shake the winter blues? Please share! I enjoy sharing ideas that make all of our lives easier!

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Susan Cheyney

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