Wednesday, August 10, 2022

An Oldie But a Goodie: My FAVORITE Classroom Game!


If you've been around this blog a while, you've seen me talk about my FAVORITE game before.  It's called "Back-to-Back" and it's the PERFECT way to get a quick check on how your students are doing on a concept.

We use this weekly in my classroom and the kids absolutely love it.  I love that I can see who's got it and who needs more practice!

Click the image below to check it out.  The two kiddos in this video were in 1st and 2nd grades when this was posted... they're such big kids now!


Friday, August 5, 2022

Calm Down Corner Printable Cards

We all know that SEL is important in the classroom; teaching students to recognize and manage their emotions has become more important than ever.

Most classrooms have a "Calm Down Spot" whether you call yours a safe place, the cool down spot, the break place... whatever it is, they serve the same function: providing students a place where they can get away from what is stressing them and focus on returning to a place where they are ready to learn.

In my classroom, I have a desk off to the side where students can go when they need to remove themselves from emotional frustrations.  With some modeling and explicit teaching, they do use this place and it does help!

I like to have "distractors" in my Calm Down Spot so that students can calm their minds by focusing on breathing and something positive, rather than the stress of the moment.

This year I am adding some "Calm Down Cards" to my spot.  These are laminated cards with different types of activities that students can do to refocus.  The activities promote concentration, breathing, and are fun too!



Activities include using senses like hearing and sight to visualize different locations in "Picture It!", guided breathing in "Just Breathe", finding the odd one out in "Spot the Difference", concentrating to solve a maze, finding hidden objects, and a set called "Blow" which will have students doing deep breathing without realizing they are doing it!

This is one example from the "Find It!" cards.  I know students will enjoy the opportunity this provides to refocus and chill so they are ready to learn.


This pack with over 40 printable cards is available on TpT for just $4!



I hope you'll click the link and check out the preview to see all that is included.  Feel free to leave a comment sharing how you promote emotional regulation and/or about your calm down spot!

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

A Whole YEAR of Digital Morning Meetings... YES!

Do you morning meeting in your classroom?  This is one of my favorite times of the day.  We greet each other, we learn, we laugh... what a way to build community!

In an attempt to streamline my meeting, keep consistency, and ensure students are engaged, I have created an entire year... 36 weeks of digital Morning Meeting activities.  Simply add kids and you are good to go!


Each week follows this format...

On Monday, students memorize a picture and then answer three questions about the details in the photo...




On Tuesday, students will travel to another country to learn more about our world.  Each "Travel Tuesday" lists facts about the country.  Teachers may want to look at these ahead of time to tell more about the famous person or the foods.

Wednesday is full of "Would You Rather" goodness as students choose between- sometimes very silly- options!

Thursday is all about character building.  Each week presents either a quote (odd weeks) or a scenario (even weeks) that allows students to think about social-emotional situations and their responses.


And, finally, Friday ends the week with a laugh.  Each Friday is a silly joke and its answer...

I tested these out on my 2nd graders the last week of school and they LOVED them.  We had been following a similar format during the year, but having the visuals displayed on the board for the activities instantly increased engagement and excitement.

We start each meeting with a class greeting.  And... I have those for you too!  Twenty-five different greetings... means you can do one a day for a month and never repeat!  


For myself, I opened the Morning Meeting file in Slides and then added a greeting slide in front of each day.  This way it's all in one place!

When you buy the Morning Meeting slides, you actually get the greetings FOR FREE!!!!!!

So, what are you waiting for?  Jazz up your Morning Meeting, be prepared for the entire year, and start the day off building community every single day!

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