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Showing posts with label outside time. Show all posts
Showing posts with label outside time. Show all posts

They're Not "Falling Behind..."

They're not "falling behind." 

They're surviving a pandemic!

 

They're Not "Falling Behind..." They're Surviving a Pandemic! This blog post lists some challenges and ideas for helping children through a pandemic.

I saw this phrase posted on Twitter the other day, and it struck a nerve.

Well, technically, yes, they are falling behind academically from where they should be at this point in their lives. And I know that frustrates teachers, parents, and administrators. 

The pandemic has been very difficult on all of us, but the children have had their lives uprooted. Yet, many of the children don't even understand why!

They can't see their friends. They can't see their teachers. They can't have conversations. They have to sit in front of a screen, and do assignments with little or no interaction. Their parents are frustrated if they need attention or help, as they are trying to do their own work. Or worse, their parents aren't there.

Even those who are lucky enough to be in school aren't having the expected school experience. They can't sit next to each other. They can't work in small groups. They can't share materials. They have to wear masks all the time.

It is a rare child who has the self motivation to pay attention during online learning, do assignments independently, and pass them in on time. After all they're kids!

 
These poor kids!

They're Not "Falling Behind..." They're Surviving a Pandemic! This blog post lists some challenges and ideas for helping children through a pandemic.
 
Zoom fatigue is real. Depression is real. Right now, these children are struggling with far more important things than schoolwork. Yes, I'm a teacher, I really did say that, but seriously, there really are things more important than schoolwork. Their mental health, for example!


With new vaccines being released, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It's not forever!

They're Not "Falling Behind..." They're Surviving a Pandemic! This blog post lists some challenges and ideas for helping children through a pandemic.

Help them to understand this... it's not easy for little ones!

 
But I hope to think of this as a time where they are growing in other areas.

They're Not "Falling Behind..." They're Surviving a Pandemic! This blog post lists some challenges and ideas for helping children through a pandemic.

It's a good time to focus on their whole well-being, not just academics.

How can we do that? Simple! Talk to them, learn what interests them, let them explore those things.

Right now, they're really needing to socialize, yet it's not easy with social distancing. Look for ways to get them talking to each other in safe ways... break out Zoom groups, socially distanced chats, and I'm sure there are other ways if we can be creative!

Here are a few other ideas to take the pressure off the academics and let children explore and learn other, important life skills:

Cooking and baking - besides the following directions and math skills, children are learning to be self-sufficient!

Take walks - As long as they're socially distanced, walking is not only good exercise, but it's a great way to explore the world.

Spend time outside - besides walking, there are plenty of outdoor places to visit and outdoor things to do that are safe and will get them breathing fresh air and getting excited about things going on around them! Children can learn about gardening, shadows, rainbows, qualities of air, properties of water, local animals, and plenty more!

Play board games - There are so many things children learn from playing board games! Just make sure you don't always let them win. Losing gracefully is an important skill!

And the most important thing we can do: Read to them! - I can't emphasize this enough. Read daily. Talk about the books. Let them choose the books. Choose books that will get them talking. Make it the best part of the day! (It's always my favorite time of the day!)

I've always been a believer that we are happier when we have something to look forward to. Right now, that's more important than ever! They might need your help with this, but I'm sure you can help the children find something positive in their future! 

They're Not "Falling Behind..." They're Surviving a Pandemic! This blog post lists some challenges and ideas for helping children through a pandemic.

You know, I truly believe the academics will level off. They won't be behind forever!

 Here are a few links to similar blog posts: 


Our world is crazy right now! Many students will not return to school until the autumn.What can we do about that extra long summer slide?

Avoiding TOO MUCH Screen Team: Technology is fabulous, and it's helping bridge education and communication during Social Distancing, but TOO MUCH is harmful. Here are some alternate activities to keep children offline. There's even a freebie!

 

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.
What are your ideas for helping the children grow in ways other than academically during the pandemic?

They're Not "Falling Behind..." They're Surviving a Pandemic! This blog post lists some challenges and ideas for helping children through a pandemic.


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 colorpaints! 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!


        

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!

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: 


or this one


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!


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