I'm not sure why today was such a tough day for so many of my little ones. The last couple of weeks haven't been easy due to a variety of schedule changes, but I'm not sure why today they had such a significantly difficult time focusing and completing work.
I used many of my brain based learning tips to try to get them involved in what I was teaching during math:
- I played music for focusing. (I love this CD set, and it usually helps! Click the image to the right to find out more.)
- I had the children do some Yoga moves and some Brain Gym moves.
- I got the children moving as part of the learning... using the math gestures we have that go with adding and subtracting.
- I had them using their voices and repeating phrases after me.
- I had them using manipulatives in Math.
- I varied the sound of my voice. (My acting background comes in handy sometimes!)
- I used visuals - one of the enVisions math movies. (They typically love these!)
- I had them "turn and talk" about what they were learning.
- I used my Whole Brain Teaching scoreboard.
- I even used bribery! (When you finish your independent work, you can play.)
They just were not in the mood for learning today. They're really good kids. They weren't trying to be naughty or avoid working. They just couldn't focus.
I've seen this happen to kids every so often. I think they're kind of like sponges. They have been absorbing information since September. They're getting smarter and refining their skills. But just like sponges, they become saturated and just can't hold any more. Now if I could just "squeeze them out" and make room for more!
That's what vacations are about. Luckily, we have the Thanksgiving break next week!
But after school today, I tried one trick that usually brings them back... I rearranged the furniture!
What do you do when your little ones can't focus?