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Showing posts with label Yoga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yoga. Show all posts

5 Tricks to Help Them Remember Sight Words

I've been fascinated by the brain for years now. I have been reading quite a bit about how the brain works and the best ways to help children learn. 


5 Tricks to Help Them Remember Sight Words: based on brain research, here are 5 different strategies to help little readers remember sight words.

There are basically two types of words for the children to learn. One kind is based on letter sound relationships and letter patterns. In other words, they can be "sounded out." The other kind of word can't be "sounded out" and must be learned by the way it looks: by sight! These suggestions are to help with sight words. 

Here are some brain strategies that are easy to implement into the classroom to help the kiddos remember those important sight words.
5 Tricks to Help Them Remember Sight Words: based on brain research, here are 5 different strategies to help little readers remember sight words.

Practice makes permanent! When the children practice a little bit each day, it will help them remember. It's also a good idea to introduce small amounts at a time. If they need to know the first 100 Sight Words, only give them 10 at a time, then slowly adding on as they master those. Going through their pile of sight words for 5 minutes every day is more valuable than once a week for 30 minutes. Remember when you were in college and cramming for an exam? It didn't work so well, did it. (But somehow we got through it!)

5 Tricks to Help Them Remember Sight Words: based on brain research, here are 5 different strategies to help little readers remember sight words.

Exercise brings oxygen to the brain, and helps the brain become more receptive to learning. We all know that sitting still for too long makes for cranky, wiggly children (and adults!) Experts say bodies to move every 20 minutes. Bodies of children need to move more frequently than that! A quick walk, a little yoga, or a nice stretch are perfect Brain Breaks for little learners.
5 Tricks to Help Them Remember Sight Words: based on brain research, here are 5 different strategies to help little readers remember sight words.

 Emotions play a big role in memory. If you make it fun, they're more likely to remember. Games make learning fun! A little healthy competition gets the pulse moving and the emotions rolling. It really makes a difference!
5 Tricks to Help Them Remember Sight Words: based on brain research, here are 5 different strategies to help little readers remember sight words.

Brains are visual! Brains remember colors and other visuals, like cute little pictures. Use color when making word lists or word cards. You can use a variety of colors, but make sure they can be easily read. Make sure the words are appealing for the children.

5 Tricks to Help Them Remember Sight Words: based on brain research, here are 5 different strategies to help little readers remember sight words.

Experts recommend sight words be practiced in phrases rather than in isolation. Words in isolation don't have much meaning to the children, and brains need meaning. Three or four words in phrases have a lot more meaning and are more likely remembered by growing brains.

I do have some sight word phrases that follow these suggestions. You can find them HERE.


5 Tricks to Help Them Remember Sight Words: based on brain research, here are 5 different strategies to help little readers remember sight words.

There are built in Brain Breaks.


5 Tricks to Help Them Remember Sight Words: based on brain research, here are 5 different strategies to help little readers remember sight words.

There are color coded word cards, if desired, with "cute pictures."


5 Tricks to Help Them Remember Sight Words: based on brain research, here are 5 different strategies to help little readers remember sight words.
There are plenty of color coded phrase cards, again with "cute pictures." The different colors on the borders correspond to the Fry Sight Word level.

5 Tricks to Help Them Remember Sight Words: based on brain research, here are 5 different strategies to help little readers remember sight words.

There's also a game that can be used to practice the words or phrases! The pictures correspond to the pictures on the individual cards. Each level of words is compatible with the game board, so it's easy to differentiate.

5 Tricks to Help Them Remember Sight Words: based on brain research, here are 5 different strategies to help little readers remember sight words.

The game board and cards are easily stored in ziplocks!
 

What are your tricks to help them remember sight words?


Sight Words: based on brain research, here are 5 different strategies to help little readers remember sight words.




Six Ways to Help Kids Beat the Winter Blues

The Winter Blues
A medical diagnosis might be Seasonal Affective Disorder.
 
Six Ways to Help Kids Beat the Winter Blues: Winter can seem very long, and often gets the kids feeling "down". Here are some ideas to help them through it!
 
I am not a medical professional, but I have seen these symptoms in many of my students:

  • change of moods
  • increased crying
  • difficulty concentrating
  • fatigue or loss of energy
  • lack of motivation
  • feeling sluggish or agitated
  • problems getting along with others
  • changes in appetite

Honestly, with the incredible amount of snow here in the northeast, we've been stuck inside way too much, and it's not just the kids struggling with these symptoms!

As I'm sure you know, teaching can be tough under normal conditions.

It's even tougher when the kids just want to nap at their desks!

But what can we do about it?

Here are a few things I've tried:

Six Ways to Help Kids Beat the Winter Blues: Winter can seem very long, and often gets the kids feeling "down". Here are some ideas to help them through it!
1. Exercise!  Get those kids out of their seats and moving! They may not feel like getting up at all, but that's a sign they really need to!  It's important to do some exercises that will get their blood pumping, like jogging in place, jumping jacks, or Go Noodle! (If you haven't discovered Go Noodle, it's time to check it out! It's free, and the kids love these Brain Breaks!)
GoNoodle Inspiration Blog


Six Ways to Help Kids Beat the Winter Blues: Winter can seem very long, and often gets the kids feeling "down". Here are some ideas to help them through it!

2. Rest and Relaxation! They need some quiet time, too! There are yoga moves that are perfect for kids, and simplified forms of meditation. (Many studies show the need for meditation!) In my classroom we have "silent seconds". That's when the kids sit with their hands on their knees, trying to clear their minds of all the clutter. They love it, and seriously need to clear their minds. (We all do!) Another form of relaxation? Bring out the water color paints! They are suddenly VERY quiet when those come out!

Here are some book ideas if you want to find out more about yoga with kids!


Here are some ideas to help them through it!     Here are some ideas to help them through it!   Here are some ideas to help them through it!

Six Ways to Help Kids Beat the Winter Blues: Winter can seem very long, and often gets the kids feeling "down". Here are some ideas to help them through it!

3. Happy Music! There is much research that proves music affects our moods. When the children are acting tired and dragging themselves around, it's time to put on some happy music! It's OK to let them dance! HERE is a post I did years ago that has several suggestions for Happy Music for the classroom. HERE is another link to a post that gives suggestions for a variety of kinds of music, and when to use it in the classroom. 

Six Ways to Help Kids Beat the Winter Blues: Winter can seem very long, and often gets the kids feeling "down". Here are some ideas to help them through it!

4. Get Outside! I realize sometimes this isn't possible, but it's important for those kids to breathe fresh air and get away from the stale air in the classroom. Plus, they need that Vitamin D from the sun! (Did you realize many symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are similar to those of seasonal affective disorder?) What learning activities can be done in the snow? Measuring? Science? I'm sure you can come up with something!

Six Ways to Help Kids Beat the Winter Blues: Winter can seem very long, and often gets the kids feeling "down". Here are some ideas to help them through it!

5. Shake it Up! Kids need to look at things differently. This can be as simple as rearranging the furniture or having a backwards schedule day. It might mean changing the routine or doing something totally different one day. It's amazing how one crazy day can put them in a better mood. Plus, when they get back to the routine, they appreciate it more!
Six Ways to Help Kids Beat the Winter Blues: Winter can seem very long, and often gets the kids feeling "down". Here are some ideas to help them through it!

6. Plan Something Special! Kids (and adults) need something to look forward to. It gives them motivation. Luckily, February has plenty of opportunities for special activities! We're planning a Valentine's Day party, and I'll go out of my way to make it super fun. They need it! We also have Day 100 (which will be whenever we get back to school after this recent snowstorm!), Presidents Day, Mardi Gras, and Chinese New Year. (Which brings me back to #2: rest and relaxation!) But with the winter we've had, I may have to bring back something I haven't done in years:
 

Virtual Trip to Mexico!

Here are some ideas to help them through it!Yes, we actually go on a virtual trip to Mexico. We get in our virtual airplane, put on our seat belts and fly to Mexico. We get out of our seats, and exit the plane to the warmth of the Mexican beaches. We bring our beach towels, have tortilla chips and salsa while enjoying our books. We see virtual animals and feel the virtual warm breeze.  I might even sneak in some mapping skills and a handful of Spanish words to keep it interesting.

Of course, I might have to bring out some resources like this one: 

Here are some ideas to help them through it!

or this one

Here are some ideas to help them through it!

or perhaps this one:
Six Ways to Help Kids Beat the Winter Blues: Winter can seem very long, and often gets the kids feeling "down". Here are some ideas to help them through it!



We CAN get past this winter!

Six Ways to Help Kids Beat the Winter Blues: Winter can seem very long, and often gets the kids feeling "down". Here are some ideas to help them through it!


Six Ways to Survive The Last Week Before Christmas

I'm bracing myself for a challenging week. It's a busy time of year. There are very few hours of sunlight per day. That really affects the spirit of many. Kids are overstimulated, sleep deprived, and downright cranky.

Six Ways to Survive The Last Week Before Christmas: This blog post has several ideas for keeping the children engaged in learning during those VERY busy weeks before Christmas, including freebies for active learners!Here are Six Ways to Survive the Last Week Before Christmas:


Six Ways to Survive The Last Week Before Christmas: This blog post has several ideas for keeping the children engaged in learning during those VERY busy weeks before Christmas, including freebies for active learners!

1.  Bribery Works!  Yes, I've been known to resort to bribery. I would hope that children want to be good just for that personal pride, but that's not realistic. They need to earn something.  
 
This week, we're working toward a Christmas party on Thursday afternoon. I've already planned the party.  We'll have entertainment and gifts to open, and food and fun stuff. But I tell them those plans can be cancelled if they don't earn the party. I've come close to cancelling the party in the past, but we've always had the party. One thing to remember about bribery... the "bait" needs to be WORTH IT, or it won't work next time! (I'll be sure the Christmas party is awesome!)

Six Ways to Survive The Last Week Before Christmas: This blog post has several ideas for keeping the children engaged in learning during those VERY busy weeks before Christmas, including freebies for active learners!

2.  Keep Them Active!  I've got some games (freebies!) that keep the kids out of their seats.
Try Golfing for Tens
 
Six Ways to Survive The Last Week Before Christmas: This blog post has several ideas for keeping the children engaged in learning during those VERY busy weeks before Christmas, including freebies for active learners!

Six Ways to Survive The Last Week Before Christmas: This blog post has several ideas for keeping the children engaged in learning during those VERY busy weeks before Christmas, including freebies for active learners!

 
Six Ways to Survive The Last Week Before Christmas: This blog post has several ideas for keeping the children engaged in learning during those VERY busy weeks before Christmas, including freebies for active learners!
 

Or even a game like this one I found on Amazon.

Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.


The key is to get the kids having so much fun, they don't realize they're practicing their adding skills!


Six Ways to Survive The Last Week Before Christmas: This blog post has several ideas for keeping the children engaged in learning during those VERY busy weeks before Christmas, including freebies for active learners!

3.  Try a Little Yoga!


Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.

Kids really adapt well to Yoga, and it really calms them down and helps them focus! Honestly, it helps me, too!




Six Ways to Survive The Last Week Before Christmas: This blog post has several ideas for keeping the children engaged in learning during those VERY busy weeks before Christmas, including freebies for active learners!


4. Add some music to your day!

I use this one in my classroom all the time!
 
Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.

Any baroque music makes a great calming background for the classroom!
Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.

Of course, my acupuncturist uses this background music, and I know it relaxes me!
Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.

Or, if you're looking for holiday music, this one is my personal favorite in the classroom: 
Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.

And who doesn't love this one?

Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.

Six Ways to Survive The Last Week Before Christmas: This blog post has several ideas for keeping the children engaged in learning during those VERY busy weeks before Christmas, including freebies for active learners!

5.  Let them paint!
I am always amazed at how quiet the children become when I pull out the water colors! Of course, one needs to have an educational purpose for painting, but I really don't think creative teachers like us would have a problem thinking of something, do you?
Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.

Six Ways to Survive The Last Week Before Christmas: This blog post has several ideas for keeping the children engaged in learning during those VERY busy weeks before Christmas, including freebies for active learners!


6. Have a Game Day!

There are plenty of board games out there that are perfect for strengthening the children's reading and math skills, and some great strategy building, but be sure to keep the "learning" part a secret... they'll think they're getting away with something!  Here are a few of my favorites:
 Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.

Apples to Apples is my favorite! It always makes the kids giggle, and (shhhh...) works some valuable thinking skills! 


Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.

Scrabble works reading, writing, and even math, as well as strategic thinking!


Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.

Uno is a classic! 

Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.
Plus, Yahtzee is a great game for strengthening math skills!

Explore this image for an affiliate link to Amazon.

 Then, of course, regular playing cards will always entertain, and make mathematical paths in the brain. (Seriously!)

Well, there are six ideas to help you through this week. I hope this helps! 

But, as all teachers know, when all else fails, be sure to keep a stash of chocolate in your desk for those particularly stressful days!




How do you survive the week before the holidays!


Six Ways to Survive The Last Week Before Christmas: This blog post has several ideas for keeping the children engaged in learning during those VERY busy weeks before Christmas, including freebies for active learners!



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