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Back to School Success Strategies Part 5: Watch Their Emotional Health!

It's getting closer to that time again. 

No matter where you are in your summer vacation, getting back is in your future. This series of posts is designed to make that return a bit smoother for you.

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help watch out for their emotional health.

Today is Part 5 in a five part series about returning to school successfully.

As we know, a whole lot of our children have been through some tough times in the last couple of years. Between pandemics, school shootings, and political conflict, it's a challenging world.

Most classroom teachers don't have degrees in counseling or psychology, but we do know some of the things to look for, once we know our students. Once we know there's a problem, we can look to the professionals for help.

Morning Meetings, small groups, and one-on-one times are the best times to get to know the students. Knowing them is a key to knowing when there's a problem.

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help watch out for their emotional health.

The above resource has 60 different group games that can be used in a variety of situations with a variety of age levels. Many are appropriate for using remotely as well as in the classroom. I'm sure you'll find something appropriate for your situation to get the students relax and getting to know them! 60 Team Building Games and Activities 

Here are a couple of other resources to help the children think about getting along with each other and getting comfortable. These resources are perfect for back to school, both in the classroom or virtually!

Once you get to know your students, you'll be able to notice when something's not right. 

What to do about it? Well, not having a background in mental health keeps me from going there, but here are a few things to think about:

1. Laughter!

Laughing is healing. I've actually heard laughter referred to as "Vitamin L!" Be sure to get your daily dose! (And yes, there is science to back this up!)

2. Contact the Professionals

Most classroom teachers don't have a mental health background. This is the time to contact the school counselor. Be sure to have data to share about your perceptions!

3. Be a Role Model!

Emotional Health problems can't be solved overnight, nor can they be solved by the classroom teacher. However, there are a few things teachers can do along the way to help struggling children feel a little better. 

Children need to know their feelings are acceptable. We're all frustrated right now. We're scared. It's ok to validate those feelings to the children. Talk about what scares you and frustrates you. Talk about how you're going to deal with it, in their language. Let them see how you handle those frustrations, and try to stay positive. Being a positive role model is the best thing we can do for them. 


Be sure to read the other four parts of these Back to School Success Strategies!
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.
  
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you watch out for their health.
 
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help watch out for their emotional health.
 

I imagine you're thinking of more ways to look out for their emotional health.

I hope you'll share some of these in the comments below.


This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help watch out for their emotional health.

Back to School Success Strategies Part 4: Watch their health!

It's getting closer to that time again. 

No matter where you are in your summer vacation, getting back is in your future. This series of posts is designed to make that return a bit smoother for you.


This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you teach them about good health.

Today is Part 4 in a five part series about returning to school successfully.

Watch their health!

The last few years have been difficult. The pandemic has caused huge stress in the lives of our children (as well as us) and it's still around. Health and safety have always been the most important thing in our classroom, but now we are to be even more aware of keeping them healthy, and we can teach them how to look out for their own health.
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you teach them about good health.

As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of Boom Learning Digital Task Cards for several reasons: they're easy to use, can be used on any device, they're easy to assign through different digital platforms, and most of all, the children LOVE them! This set of Boom Cards helps the students learn about bacteria and viruses and how to fight them. Germs: Viruses and Bacteria Boom Cards

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you teach them about good health.
 

This resource has an informational text with 10 questions, 6 brain breaks, and 4 sketching questions. Germs: Reading Comprehension for Active Learners


This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you teach them about good health.


Here's another Boom Learning Resource! This one helps the children understand what they can do to help fight germs and maintain healthy habits: Healthy Habits Boom Cards


This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you teach them about good health.


Finally, here's an informational booklet the children can read, learn, and illustrate. This can be easily sent home, or read, discussed, and illustrated in class. If they can keep socially distant, it's fun for them to make posters to show what they have learned! Healthy Habits Informational Text Booklet

Be sure to read the other four parts of these Back to School Success Strategies!
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.
  
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you watch out for their health.
 
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help watch out for their emotional health.
 

I imagine you're thinking of more ways to watch out for their health.

I hope you'll share some of these in the comments below.


This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you teach them about good health.










Back to School Success Strategies Part 3: Review, Review, Review!

It's getting closer to that time again. 

No matter where you are in your summer vacation, getting back is in your future. This series of posts is designed to make that return a bit smoother for you.

Today is Part 3 in a five part series about returning to school successfully.

Review, review, review!


We all know that our students have had a whole lot of time away from learning. You can call it "summer slump" or "summer slide," or numerous other things! No matter what it's called in your neck of the woods, it's time to get them back in the swing of things and bring those skills back!
 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.


You may remember that I'm a big fan of Boom Cards because they are easy to use in the classroom and can be used remotely by sending a link through any platform. These vocabulary Boom Cards are a fun way to review important science and social studies vocabulary. Building Vocabulary Science and Social Studies Boom Card Bundle

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.

Speaking of Boom Cards, these  six multiple choice Boom Cards are perfect for reviewing important skills: Combined 2nd Grade Skills Review Boom Card Bundle

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.

But it's important to keep it interesting. I like to let the children practice important reading skills by having them read informational text about important Science and Social Studies topics. It's a real time saver, and they absolutely love the topics! This bundle of Earth Changes gives them a lot of information, yet loads of practice with reading and comprehension skills. Earth Changes Bundle: Reading Comprehension for Active Learners.

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.

Math fact fluency is an important part of everyday mathematics. (This system was mentioned in Part 1 - Routines.) Brain research tells us it's important to review information in order for that information to go into their long term memory. I recommend that children review frequently the "levels" they have already mastered in this system to keep the information solid. If they never go back to it, they won't remember it! Math Fact Fluency System: the Bundle

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.

These Math Challenges are a fun way to review old math skills for grades 3-5! Since math continues to build on previous skills, it's important that those skills are strong. These challenges review second grade math concepts, but with an added challenge! Mystery Math Challenge Bundle

Here's a link to several "summer review" resources that can get their brains back on track: Summer Review Games and Activities

Be sure to read the other four parts of these Back to School Success Strategies!

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.
  
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you watch out for their health.
 
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help watch out for their emotional health.
 

I imagine you're thinking of more ways to review and strengthen important skills!

I hope you'll share some of these in the comments below.

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.

 

Back to School Success Strategies Part 2: Build Relationships

It's getting closer to that time again. 

No matter where you are in your summer vacation, getting back is in your future. This series of posts is designed to make that return a bit smoother for you. 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you build relationships.

Today is Part 2 in a five part series about returning to school successfully.

Build Relationships

As teachers, we all know that building relationships is as important as the teaching itself! After all, if they don't know you care, they won't learn from you!


Morning Meetings are a great way to build relationships with students, and help them build relationships with each other! Interesting topics of discussion are great for getting them to develop oral language as well as building those bonds. 

It's also a good idea to find times to connect on a more personal level. It can be a challenge to find one-on-one time with them, but it's worth the effort! If the children are old enough, it's fun to let them write in a journal, which they'll pass in. They love when you write back a personal note! This can be build into the morning routine, or perhaps a part of writing or literacy time.

Here are some resources and ideas to help build relationships and connections: 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you build relationships.

These games can be easily used in the classroom, and are perfect for Morning Meeting! Plus, many of these games can be adapted to topics of learning! 60 Team Building Games and Activities

This is a series of 5 postsdesigned to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you build relationships.

If you're not familiar with Boom Cards, it's time you hopped on this bandwagon! Why? They can be used on any device, since all you need to do is send a link. You can send the link through any platform! 

This set of Boom Cards lets the children answer questions about themselves, helping them get to know themselves a little better, and helping the teacher get to know them as well! (Don't tell them it's a great way to practice reading and writing skills, and the teacher can easily make assessments of their writing skills!) 

These can be done through distance learning, or in the classroom. It might be fun to bring this resource back a few times a year in order to see the growth and change the children are experiencing: Who Am I: Get to Know Your Students Boom Cards
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you build relationships.

I don't know if it's possible for children in classrooms to play board games while staying socially distant, but this game could be sent home to be shared with families. The cards themselves make great questions for discussion, during Morning Meeting or reading discussions! Get to Know You Board Game

I'm sure you have more ways to build relationships with students than I've listed here. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below!

Be sure to read the other four parts of these Back to School Success Strategies!

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review and strengthen known skills.
  
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you watch out for their health.
 
 
 This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help watch out for their emotional health.

I imagine you're thinking of more strategies for building relationships!

 I hope you'll share some of these in the comments below.

   
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you build relationships.





Back to School Success Strategies Part 1: Establish Routines!

It's getting closer to that time again. 

No matter where you are in your summer vacation, getting back is in your future. This series of posts is designed to make that return a bit smoother for you.

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.


Today is Part 1 in a five part series about returning to school successfully.

Establish Routines!

Establishing routines make children feel safe. It takes the "guesswork" out of each day when students know what to expect and what is expected from them. It makes children (and adults) feel secure when they know what is going to happen.

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

I like to start each day with a morning meeting. I typically have a question for discussion that's based on that day. These Morning Meeting Greeting Activities and Calendar Writing Prompts are perfect for displaying whether you're having a morning meeting in the classroom or virtually.


This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.


Each month comes with daily pictures/ prompts for display, plus matching text for writing answers.This is a great routine that could be started every morning in the classroom. They could also be discussed, then given as a written assignment as well.

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.


Math facts are an important part of the math routine, as research tells us these should be practiced a little bit each day. I swear by this system, which gives the students a small amount of fact families at a time to master. It's very easy to differentiate, as they can move to the next level as soon as they show mastery. Plus, there's a digital component for practice and/ or assessment! Math Fact Fluency Systems for Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division Fact Fluency.

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

For years, I have started the beginning of the school year by teaching these Six Strategies for Success. We recited them (along with gestures) every morning during Morning Meeting. Six Strategies for Success in School: Activities, Booklets, and Posters
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

Another routine to start is regular communication with parents. Here's something that will make your life easier! (The Back to School edition is free, if you want to check that one out!) Parent Communication Monthly Brochures
 
  
https://www.elementarymatters.com/2012/01/writers-workshop.html


I If you have some time in the classroom at the beginning of the school year with yoru students, starting Writer's Workshop would be a top priority! This resource will help you get going. Writer's Workshop Starter Kit. Once the students learn the routine, they can practice at home. For more about Writer's workshop, see this blog post: Writer's Workshop.

Here are a couple more resources to help you get started on some important beginning-of-the-year routines:

These are perfect for learning and spelling sight words: Research Based Sight Word and Spelling Activity Cards.

Research tells us that sight words are best practiced in phrases. I've used these Warm-up Phrases as a warm up to my reading groups for years! It's great for building fluency! The first in the series is free: Dolch Warm-up Phrases: Pre-primer Level.

Be sure to read the other four parts of these Back to School Success Strategies!

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review known skills.
  
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you watch out for their health.
 
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help watch out for their emotional health.
 

I imagine you're thinking of more routines that will be important. 

I hope you'll share some of these in the comments below.

 
 
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

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