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Showing posts with label confidence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label confidence. Show all posts

Routine and Novelty: How Can We Keep a Balance?

It's important to keep routine in our daily life, especially when it comes to children. Routine brings a sense of security and builds confidence in children. Knowing what to expect in their day makes them feel in control of their surroundings. It helps them build the courage to take risks.

But routine can also become boring.

Routine and Novelty: How Can We Keep a Balance? This blog post explores why we need both routine and novelty, and how we know when to "shake it up."

Brain research tells us that brains need both routine and novelty to grow. Yes, these words are antonyms, but both are necessary for learning to happen. Too much routine can become tedious and dull. Too much novelty becomes confusing and chaotic. How can we find a balance?

The best way to find that balance? Pay attention to your students! This is probably the most important part of being a teacher or a parent: know your students! Watch for signs that they are happy, bored, confused, or content. This is how you know they should continue with a routine, or are ready for a "shake up." 

The beginning of the school year, or right after a break, sticking to a routine is essential. They find comfort in that routine, and are happier and more content. 

But after a while, that same routine becomes the enemy! They need something different. A change. But as we all know, many people fear change. It's a rocky road, so proceed with caution.

Start with something simple. I always love to change the seating arrangement when boredom starts to set in. They get to come into a classroom that's familiar, but there's something different. When they find their new spot, there are loads of smiles! Plus, I love the giggles when they start to walk to their old spot, then realize they don't sit there anymore!

A few other ideas for an easy change from the routine: 

  • change the schedule (be careful, this could cause a domino effect with children who receive services)  
  • bring in a special snack to go with your lesson
  • speak with a funny voice, or use an accent
  • take a break from what you're teaching and have a special lesson
  • take your lesson to a different spot... outside, in the hall, cafeteria, or any extra space
  • wear something unique that will spark their attention
  • introduce some new team building games See these blog posts: Space Balls, Paper Bag Dramatics, Team Building Activities  (these games can often be altered to fit academics)
  • have them wear something to go with a theme
  • bring in a guest teacher or guest reader
  • do some Reader's Theater in the classroom See this blog post: Dramatics in the Classroom
  • plan a craft or art project to go with your lesson
  • get some new books for your classroom library
 
Once the children are able to handle small changes, it's time for a BIG change in routine!

Here in New England, the winters are long, dark and cold! By mid-January, we always need something big to shake things up! By this time, the children are quite secure in their routine, and basically dealing with "cabin fever" and are absolutely sick of everything! (No matter where you live, I'm sure the children get to this point!)

These are some things I do to help shake them from this state:
For more information about Routine and Novelty, see this blog post: Predictability and Novelty
 
 
Routine and Novelty: How Can We Keep a Balance? This blog post explores why we need both routine and novelty, and how we know when to "shake it up."

 

Let Them Get BORED!

Do your children complain about being bored?
What do you do about it?

Well, studies show that the best thing we can do for the children is let them be bored!

Let Them Get BORED! There is much scientific research that tells us that it's not such a bad thing to let children get bored, but it's actually good for them!

Teachers know children are quick to say, "I'm bored," when what they mean is, "I don't feel like doing this work." These words can have a lot of power, and need to be taken in stride. Don't let "This is boring!" become an excuse to get out of work, or a way of getting someone to provide them with entertainment. 

Once you determine they are truly bored, here's some interesting information.

Let Them Get BORED! There is much scientific research that tells us that it's not such a bad thing to let children get bored, but it's actually good for them!
Yes, it's true. There is a whole lot of scientific evidence to prove that creative thinking happens when children (and adults) do their best thinking when they are bored.  Let them get bored and enjoy watching how creative they can get!

Let Them Get BORED! There is much scientific research that tells us that it's not such a bad thing to let children get bored, but it's actually good for them!
I know what you're thinking: how can boredom build confidence? Well, when children learn to entertain themselves without another person telling them what to do, they gain confidence in themselves. They realize they can do it! They have the power!

Let Them Get BORED! There is much scientific research that tells us that it's not such a bad thing to let children get bored, but it's actually good for them!
This makes sense, doesn't it? Boredom is the problem. Children think of creative ways to solve that problem, as long as no one interferes to entertain them. You'll be amazed at how many problems children can solve when given the opportunity! Then, of course, their confidence will continue to grow!

Let Them Get BORED! There is much scientific research that tells us that it's not such a bad thing to let children get bored, but it's actually good for them!
Admit it, these times are quite stressful! Please don't add the pressure to constantly entertain your children. Take some time for yourself, and let the children entertain themselves. They'll come up with something! They'll be fine. Make sure you are fine as well. 

Let Them Get BORED! There is much scientific research that tells us that it's not such a bad thing to let children get bored, but it's actually good for them!
They are still kids! If they're not used to having to entertain themselves, expect a major whine fest! It will take some time before they've figured it all out, but it's important that they do figure this out! 

In the meantime, wean them slowly into the world of creativity! Provide art materials, give them some hints of what's available and what they could do. 

But watch them closely! Boredom can also be a sign of clinical depression. That's a serious situation. 
Special needs children may also need more guidance.

Honestly, you know your children best. Watch them closely, give them plenty of love, and encourage them to be creative.

Here's a blog post I wrote years ago that's very appropriate for this situation:  Lessons Learned

https://www.elementarymatters.com/2012/01/lessons-learned.html

Here's another related blog post that I wrote this week: Avoiding TOO MUCH Screen Time!

https://www.elementarymatters.com/2020/03/avoiding-too-much-screen-time.html

And, if they're totally stuck, here are 50 "no screen" ideas!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Social-Distancing-No-Screen-Ideas-5354786?utm_source=bored%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=Social%20Distancing%20ideas


Let Them Get BORED! There is much scientific research that tells us that it's not such a bad thing to let children get bored, but it's actually good for them!

Dramatics in the Classroom

Children learn in many ways. 
I'm particularly partial to the arts. 
Research on the brain proves that the arts make strong connections with the memory. 
Today's post is about one of my favorite arts, dramatics!


There are many ways to use dramatics in the classroom, and many reasons to do it!  Here are some of the "whys!"


Yes, it's true. It's a great place for those shy kids! It sounds odd, but seriously, when you give a shy kid a character to play, they really come out of their shell! Did you ever hear that many movie stars are actually introverts? It all makes sense!

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Reading scripts gives the children practice with reading skills. And, of course, children need to learn to speak clearly. Dramatics give them plenty of opportunities to practice speaking in front of others!

Actors depend upon each other when performing. If someone misses a line, that affects all the others. Therefore, if all team members live up to their responsibilities, they will all be successful.

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!


When pretending to be a character, children need to put themselves in the shoes of the character, and think about how that character feels. They learn empathy!

 Actors must pay attention to the script and focus on what is happening in the performance.  


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

In the context of a performance, problems always arise. Children easily solve these while working together toward that common goal: a successful performance! 

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Both verbal and nonverbal communication are important when putting on a play! Children learn to show their feelings with and without words. 

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

When children put on a skit or a play, or act out a scene, they work hard together toward a common goal. That's the kind of thing that builds confidence and self-esteem! When it's over, they beam with pride!


Now that we understand why dramatics are beneficial to children in the classroom, here are some ways to fit dramatics into your busy day!

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!
Not only is it fun to act out stories of the past, but as the children act out different parts, their movements settle into their memories. I often had my students act out the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, including saying goodbye to loved ones, the constant rocking, eating the ship's food, sea sickness, (they loved that part) seeing a newborn baby on the ship, and sighting land. As I described each detail, they went through the motions, and were totally engaged in the trip! The best part? They remember it because they were physically involved as well as emotionally involved.


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Similar to the above, but this one doesn't have to be from factual information. It works particularly well with group read alouds, or if a group is all reading the same book.  It might sound something like this, "Show what Wilber's face looks like when Charlotte wove her web." Or maybe, "Show Max's face when he realizes his dinner is still warm."
Having to recreate these moments helps them build empathy and develop feelings for the characters in their stories.


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

I remember having to memorize a list of vocabulary words every week. Do I remember those words now? Not many of them! Acting out the words makes them real. Plus, it works across the curriculum! Yes, even math!


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!
Encourage writing stories that have characters having conversations! Kids are so creative, they might enjoy a writing prompt that encourages unusual "personalities" having a discussion, for example, "What would your pencil say to your paper?" or "What would your desk say to your chair?"  This really gets them thinking about conversations and personalities.


Reader's Theater is a favorite of the students as well as the teachers! Why? The kiddos like it because it's fun! The teachers like it because it incorporates so many important skills: reading, speaking, thinking, building empathy for others, and working together, to name a few! 

Here are a few Reader's Theater resources for you to explore:


Here's a series of character Reader's Theater where the children make up the ending:

Here's one more fun resource that the children love, especially when they can make up a voice for each character:

I hope you enjoy using dramatics in the classroom as much as I do!


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

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