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Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Keep Them Healthy and Learning

 Wow, the world is a crazy place these days!
 People all over the world are getting sick, and it's getting mighty close, isn't it? 
Many districts are closing schools to keep children away from each others' germs.
Social distancing will keep this from spreading. 

Keeping them healthy and learning: This blog post has suggestions and resources to help both teachers and parents during the Coronavirus pandemic, social distancing, and time away from school.


I know many, many schools are closed. Some schools are sending work home, others are giving digital instructions, and others are just on "extended vacation."

Typically, my blog posts are directed to teachers, but this one is for teachers, parents, and caregivers. 

If you're home with little ones, or if you're sending work home to little ones, I think this is a great time to teach them about looking out for germs and protecting themselves. Here are some great books: 


And some great videos for them to watch... the key is handwashing: do it right and do it often!

 

 

There are several online learning companies that are offering their services for free during these closures. Here are some of my favorites:


I'm sure you could find more!

Some other suggestions if you have kiddos home for an extended time:

1. Establish a schedule! Set aside a time for reading, writing, educational games, and even a little screen time.

 2.  Make sure they get outside to play! That fresh air is more important than ever!

3. Social time! Although we're trying to keep them away from each other, let them face time their friends. Humans are social animals, and they need each other. Social distancing can lead to loneliness. 

4. Family time! Hopefully there's time to enjoy each other. Board games and puzzles are perfect ways to have family fun. If you're adventurous, do some baking with the kiddos, or even some crafts!

5. Be sensitive to their worries! It's a good idea to see this time as an "adventure," but understand that they really do know why this is happening, and may have worries and anxiety over the situation. Let them talk about their feelings, but try to help keep them from dwelling on their negative feelings

6. Address your own concerns as well! I don't think any of us have ever experienced a pandemic quite like this before! Luckily, we have the internet to keep us from becoming socially isolated. Try to follow the same expectations we have for the kiddos: avoid to much screen time, stay active, stay social as much as you can, and don't dwell on the "what ifs."  

7. Check in on others! This is a hard time for all of us. Think of the elderly, and those with physical limitations. Reach out to working parents who are struggling to find child care. Help out those families who won't be fed breakfast and lunch at school for a few weeks. Many people are suffering financial loss at this time. How can we help them?


 A few other resources to share to keep children learning:

This is one of my newer Boom Learning resources that I've set for free because of the need for online learning during the Coronavirus crisis.  Enjoy!  Healthy Habits Digital Task Cards 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Healthy-Habits-BOOM-Learning-Digital-Task-Cards-5325118?utm_source=blog%20post%20for%20corona&utm_campaign=healthy%20habits%20boom

 If you enjoy the Boom Learning platform, here is a link to more Boom Learning Resources.

 I've also set this resource for free during this crisis. Let's keep these kiddos thinking about staying healthy! 

Healthy Habits: a booklet for visualization, illustration, and discussion
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Healthy-Habits-Informational-Text-for-Students-to-Visualize-and-Illustrate-434931?utm_source=blog%20post%20for%20corona&utm_campaign=healthy%20habits%20for%20illustration



I also have a several resources that are free, that can be sent home for fun work! See these resources HERE: Free Resources

I also wanted to let you know my TpT store will be on sale for the next few days at 20% off to help you out during this crazy time. I hope this helps!

And please, reach out to others. Let this crisis show who you really are. Let it bring out the best in us. 


Keeping them healthy and learning: This blog post has suggestions and resources to help both teachers and parents during the Coronavirus pandemic, social distancing, and time away from school.





Laughter is Truly the Best Medicine!

Did you realize that laughter is not only fun, but actually healthy for you?

Laughter is truly the best medicine: This post contains evidence that laughter is healthy AND helps learning happen! Plus, there are a few suggestions on squeezing a few laughs into the classroom.

Here are some of the benefits of laughter:

1. Laughter releases good hormones - the kind of hormones that fight the stress hormones. We all know that children these days have a great deal of stress in their lives! (Can we say TESTING?)
2. Laughter boosts the immune system - those same hormones that fight stress help your body fight germs!
3. It lowers the blood pressure.
4. It relaxes your muscles.
5. According to a study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, laughter during instruction increases test stores. (I don't know anything about this study other than seeing this information in several different places including THIS link. I want to learn more about this study!)
6. Humor can help erase negative emotions. Seriously, how angry can you feel while laughing?
7. Laughter provides a workout for many muscles including your abs.
8. Laughter is contagious, and builds social bonds.
9. Laughter is free!
10. I may be biased on this one, but I think there are few sounds more pleasant than the sound of children laughing.
 
I do make a point to include humor in my classroom every day. Luckily, second graders have fairly simple senses of humor.


In a writing lesson a couple of weeks ago, (about including things to get the reader's attention) I told them there were two words that are guaranteed to make children giggle:  bellybutton and underwear. (Of course I was very dramatic when telling this, with that dramatic pause after each word so that I got two sets of giggles!) Try it on your kids, it works!


One thing I love about teaching little ones... they always laugh at my jokes... no matter how many times I say it!  I've been known to wear out many a joke, yet still get laughs! Yesterday, when we cleaned out desks, I told them to take home their Christopher Columbus booklets, since "That ship has sailed".  Those booklets kept showing up for the rest of the day (yes, we're working on organizational skills) and I kept repeating... "because that ship has sailed". I got a laugh every time!


But it's almost November, when I get to use one of my favorite jokes to wear out:

Question:  If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?

Answer:  Pilgrims!

Sometimes it takes some explanation, but that's half the fun!

What jokes do you share with your students?


Laughter is truly the best medicine: This post contains evidence that laughter is healthy AND helps learning happen! Plus, there are a few suggestions on squeezing a few laughs into the classroom.

That Day That Teachers Dread?

Did you realize April Fool's Day is coming??? Some teachers absolutely dread this day. Are you one of them?

The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!


I'm a true believer in any opportunity to laugh!  As a matter of fact, laughter is healthy!  (See THIS blog post on the benefits of laughter!)  It's also great for the brain! (See THIS blog post on brain fitness!)



I do enjoy making the kids laugh, and I enjoy their humor.  But I kind of like to "beat them to the punch".



I set the rules first thing:  April Fool's Day is about making people laugh.  It is NOT about making people mad.



I stuck around for a while after school today setting up some things that will hopefully lead to a few laughs.



I wrote the morning letter for Monday. I usually write about the morning routine, reminding them of their daily responsibilities, and if anything unusual were going to happen on that day. Monday's letter says we're going on a field trip to Disney World. The schedule is set up with the word "field trip" at the top, and nothing else!



Here's the date for Monday:  (They have actually

earned 25 minutes, not 325!)
The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!

When you're 7, seeing things you normally see, but upside down, is pretty funny.  (Note the calendar arrow pointing to August, rather than April!)
The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!

Again, upside down is pretty funny when you're 7.
The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!

  Some of the names and stations for the morning literacy block are upside down... great stuff.  
The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!

This is where we often put "exit slips" for reading.  They put a post it on their number, telling something about the story they read.  I put a post it with a personality trait on their numbers.  Hopefully this will make them smile!

The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!

How do I bring April Fool's Day into reading?  I bring out my joke books! (Images are affiliate links to Amazon.)
          

And, of course, who understands the sense of humor of a seven year old better than Robert Munsch? (More affiliate links to Amazon.)
            

How do I bring April Fool's day into Math?  With Problem solving!  Check out my April Fool's Day Math Freebie!


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/April-Fools-Day-Math-Story-Problems-226758?utm_source=blog%20post%20the%20day%20teachers%20dread&utm_campaign=April%20Fool%20Math

Looking for more learning related to April Fool's Day?
Try these April Fool's Day Printables!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/April-Fools-Day-Math-and-Literacy-Activities-1175492?utm_source=April%20Fool%20Blog%20Post&utm_campaign=April%20Fool%20Printables

Interestingly, I have several of the same ideas, plus a few more on last year's April Fool's Day post!  HERE is the link to see that one!

Have a happy April Fool's Day!  
I hope you hear loads of laughter!

The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!

When Bad Things Happen, Make Lemonade!

Two years ago today I had a stroke. It really didn't seem like much, and I didn't even go to the hospital right away.

I felt a tingling in my left arm while I was in the shower. At first I thought I might be having a heart attack, since one of the symptoms is tingling in the left arm. So naturally I did what any mother would do. I quietly got out of the shower and got dressed. My biggest fear was embarrassing my teenage daughter by being naked when the EMTs arrived. When I started walking around, I noticed my left leg was also tingling.

I really didn't want to go to the hospital, since it was Saturday of the holiday weekend. But finally, I realized that tingling wasn't going away, so I went.

It's a good thing I went. I was there for hours, drifting in and out of sleep. They gave me all the necessary tests, and sent me off in the wee hours. It wasn't until about a week later that I realized that tingling was pretty much on my entire left side... my scalp and my torso in addition to my arm and leg. It was the most intense in my arm and leg.

I went back to school a week later for the last 2 weeks of school marathon. Somehow I had to pack my room, yet I was so tired I couldn't see straight, and I'd lost control of much of my left side. Lifting heavy boxes wasn't an option, yet I got very little help packing my classroom. I do remember falling off my ladder hard, which is probably what messed up my alignment, but I didn't find that out for another year. I did something nasty to my shoulder which makes it pretty useless for anything more than 5 pounds.

It wasn't for a couple of months that I realized the full impact of the stroke. I went to occupational and  physical therapy to develop the muscles in my arm and hand that weren't working, and work to restore my balance. I had gone as far as they could bring me on the OT, but the insurance was withdrawn before I could "graduate" from the PT.

I think one of the toughest things is that I "look fine". That may sound silly, but I think if I were looking less than fine some of my colleagues might be a tad more compassionate.

Two years later:  I still struggle with fatigue. It's gotten better than it was when I first had the stroke, but I still have trouble making it through the day, and I'm useless on evenings and weekends. I still struggle with my left arm with things like opening water bottles, ATMs, and holding onto things. I still have trouble with balance. I'm OK if I'm on a flat surface and I can watch where I'm going. That's not always easy while teaching second graders. I still have trouble lifting things, too. Much of the tingling is gone, but it's still there, especially in my arm and leg. I try to give the illusion that I'm fine, because I just don't like to be pitied or treated like I'm less than whole. But the fact is, I'm far less than what I was before the stroke.

The bad news? After 2 years, I've probably progressed about as far as I can go. I've known all along that the further away from the stroke, the less chance of getting those skills back.

But, I've chosen to make lemonade out of this. Luckily, my daughter is off in college now, so I'm back to living alone. It sounds terribly lonely, but it's not at all. It's just less responsibility after school. I like that! I do minimal cooking and cleaning during the week, since I'm usually far too tired, especially as it gets near the weekend. 

So I had to take up a hobby that didn't need me to be up and walking around. (Or dancing... like my previous hobby of musical theatre!) So I took up blogging!

In a way, I feel like blogging has given me back my life! It gives me something to look forward to every day when I drag myself out of school. I try to finish all my work at school so I'll be free and can blog, pin, tweet, and post on my facebook page. I spend a lot of time at my laptop, reading about brain research, and making materials to help students learn. It's a good life!
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