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Showing posts with label emotional skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label emotional skills. Show all posts

Is Your "Back to School" on a Coronacoaster?" Part 5: Watch Their Emotional Health!

We are hearing so much conflicting information about the start of school this year. Here are some of the options:
  • full time in the classroom
  • full time remote learning
  • the hybrid model: a little bit of each
  • a variety of the above
With all this uncertainty, how can teachers plan for this Coronacoaster?

It's pretty scary to think about all the planning that has to take place, "just in case..." but honestly, there are several things you can start planning that can happen in the classroom, through distance learning, or a combination of both. 
Is Your "Back to School" on a "Coronacoaster?" Part 5: Watch Their Emotional Health. This pandemic has taken a toll on the emotional health of the children. This blog post has some suggestions on how teachers can help them.

I'm sure you'll agree these things need to happen no matter where or how you are teaching.

Today is Part 5 in a five part series about returning to school during this Coronacoaster!
Is Your "Back to School" on a "Coronacoaster?" Part 5: Watch Their Emotional Health. This pandemic has taken a toll on the emotional health of the children. This blog post has some suggestions on how teachers can help them.

Watch Their Emotional Health

As we know, a whole lot of our children have been through some tough times in the last few months. They've been stuck at home, away from their friends, and dealing with "Zoom fatigue!" (Yes, it's a real thing!) We really don't know the horrors that some of these children have faced in the privacy of their own homes. 

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.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/60-Team-Building-Games-and-Activities-3489364?utm_source=coronacoaster%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=Team%20Building%20games
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 them, 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 all five parts of this Coronacoaster Back to School series:

 https://www.elementarymatters.com/2020/07/is-your-back-to-school-on-coronacoaster_22.html
 
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xdIkHlyfwMc/XxcgaYqkxyI/AAAAAAAAhKQ/qZAzYl0qQ7AVEZeM2GVycuJEi2uBIOvuwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Preview%2BTemplate%2B7A.jpg   https://www.elementarymatters.com/2020/07/is-your-back-to-school-on-coronacoaster_77.html 
 https://www.elementarymatters.com/2020/07/is-your-back-to-school-on-coronacoaster.html  https://www.elementarymatters.com/2020/07/is-your-back-to-school-on-coronacoaster_42.html


Is Your "Back to School" on a "Coronacoaster?" Part 5: Watch Their Emotional Health. This pandemic has taken a toll on the emotional health of the children. This blog post has some suggestions on how teachers can help them.




Building Social Skills and Academics with Morning Meeting!

I am so thrilled with my schedule this year! Last year my students had RTI first thing in the morning, so I was never able to spend mornings with them. They came in, dropped off their stuff, and ran off to their Tier 2 assigned groups. This made it tough to build relationships with my students, and build community within my group.
 
Build Social Skills and Academics with Morning Meeting: morning meetings have numerous benefits for children and classrooms, including building social skills, emotional skills, community, focus, and productivity.
 

This year, the children stay in the classroom in the morning, and we are encouraged to start our day with Morning Meeting!

Most typical Morning Meetings have these parts:


1. Greeting
2. Sharing
3. Group Activity
4. Morning Message

There are many ways to do each part, and hundreds of references for ideas, but here are a couple: 

     

Why do Morning Meeting?


Morning Meeting helps build social and emotional skills. It builds community and helps children learn to work as a team. It helps children develop a positive tone to their day, and affects their focus and productivity for the rest of the school day. Morning Meeting helps establish a climate of trust and motivates students to feel significant. It builds relationships with classmates and teachers.

Looking for some ideas for the group activity? Try these:60 Team Building Games and Activities for Classrooms.

I did Morning Meetings ages ago (I'd estimate 20+ years!) but I haven't been able to do it recently, so it's like starting over. I'd love to hear what other teachers do during their morning meetings!


Build Social Skills and Academics with Morning Meeting: morning meetings have numerous benefits for children and classrooms, including building social skills, emotional skills, community, focus, and productivity.

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