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Showing posts with label seashore theme unit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seashore theme unit. Show all posts

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!


I Can't Stand Winter Anymore!

Years ago, before I was a mom, whenever we reached this point in the winter, I'd have a summer party. I'd turn the heat up in the house, encourage guests to wear shorts and flip flops, decorate the house with beach towels, buckets, shovels, and play a lot of Beach Boys music. (We also might have had some beverages with umbrellas!) It never made the snow go away, but it would always lift our spirits and help us get through the rest of the winter.
 
I've had enough of winter, haven't you? Let's pretend it's summer! This blog post has several ideas and resources to help lift yourself out of your winter doldrums!

A few years ago, we had one of "these" winters, and I could see that the kids were getting to that point... so we took a virtual trip to Mexico!

We actually got into an imaginary plane, took flight, and ended up in sunny Mexico! The kids are so imaginative, and so are the parents! The children would talk about how hot they were, and parents would send in Mexican treats for snacks!  

It may be time to bring back Sunny Mexico. 
Or at least pretend it's summer!

Are you (and your students) as sick of winter as I am?
You're welcome to join me in starting summer a bit early!

Here are a few of my warm weather resources: (See the images for the links!)


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mexico-Suffixes-Go-Fish-238194?utm_source=blog%20post%20sick%20of%20winter&utm_campaign=Mexico%20suffixes



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mental-Math-Addition-and-Subtraction-Game-Spring-Theme-221515?utm_source=Can%27t%20stand%20winter%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=spring%20mental%20math



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-Flower-Prefixes-Game-238367?utm_source=Can%27t%20stand%20winter%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=spring%20prefixx



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-Games-7-Literacy-and-Math-Games-Bundle-607860?utm_source=Can%27t%20stand%20winter%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=7%20spring%20games


Of course, I couldn't help but offer a freebie as well!  
Here's a Seashore Themed Paper freebie to help warm you up!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seashore-Writing-Paper-4549340?utm_source=blog%20post%20sick%20of%20winter&utm_campaign=seashore%20writing%20paper%20


How do you deal with "too much winter?"



I've had enough of winter, haven't you? Let's pretend it's summer! This blog post has several ideas and resources to help lift yourself out of your winter doldrums!

Five Fun Ideas for a Seashore Week!

In many ways, this has been one of the most fun weeks I've had as a teacher in ages!  Why? Because we're done with most of the "have tos" and I get to teach what I truly feel the children need, and will enjoy. 

Five Fun Ideas for a Seashore Week: Children absolutely love a theme week. It brings an enthusiasm for learning, and is fun for the teacher, too!


I chose to go with a Seacoast Theme for this week, and I'm not sure who had more fun, me or the kids!

We were totally busy, and squeezed in the seacoast theme every chance we could!

Here are a few of the things we did:

1.  Towels!  We brought in beach towels, and the children sat on them every time we had stories on lessons on the rug. Each day, there were more beach towels and paraphernalia, it really looked like the beach! We even had a couple of "boogie boards" and a child sized beach chair! These came in handy during Independent Reading time, as well. Yes, you guessed it, we read loads of books with the Beach theme!
Five Fun Ideas for a Seashore Week: Children absolutely love a theme week. It brings an enthusiasm for learning, and is fun for the teacher, too!


Five Fun Ideas for a Seashore Week: Children absolutely love a theme week. It brings an enthusiasm for learning, and is fun for the teacher, too!

2.  Games!  I managed to dig up several games with the beach theme that reviewed important skills we studied this year. Of course, instead of the usual tubs, I picked up some pails and buckets at the dollar store to store the beach themed games.  Great stuff!

Five Fun Ideas for a Seashore Week: Children absolutely love a theme week. It brings an enthusiasm for learning, and is fun for the teacher, too!

Five Fun Ideas for a Seashore Week: Children absolutely love a theme week. It brings an enthusiasm for learning, and is fun for the teacher, too!

Five Fun Ideas for a Seashore Week: Children absolutely love a theme week. It brings an enthusiasm for learning, and is fun for the teacher, too!

3. Books, books, and more books!  Our wonderful librarian found some great books for us to share! Here are some of my favorites:
  

  

4. Floating Boats!  This was a huge hit this week, and something I managed to bribe  motivate the children with as they're getting into their "summer mode". We made sailboats out of milk cartons, then today we floated our boats. First, they put their boats in the water, then we added "people" (balls of clay) It was interesting to see how many people they put into their boats without disaster. They were thrilled to bring their boats as well as the "people" home at the end of the day today. We called our bodies of water The Atlantic Ocean, The Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. We figured the Arctic Ocean was mostly ice and probably wouldn't have sailboats. (Yes, I'm always finding excuses to squeeze in a bit of geography review as well!)
Five Fun Ideas for a Seashore Week: Children absolutely love a theme week. It brings an enthusiasm for learning, and is fun for the teacher, too!

Five Fun Ideas for a Seashore Week: Children absolutely love a theme week. It brings an enthusiasm for learning, and is fun for the teacher, too!

5.  Seashore Theme Unit: We did manage to squeeze in some real learning, mostly in the form of centers. This set has plenty of review materials for my second graders! You can see this unit by clicking the link below or click here: Seashore Bundle

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seashore-Learning-Collection-Bundle-3872688?utm_source=101b&utm_campaign=seashore%20bundle

A little more learning fun: Science and Social Studies Activities for Summer
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Science-Experiments-and-Hands-On-Social-Studies-Activities-for-Summer-3798698?utm_source=101b&utm_campaign=s%20and%20ss%20summer


What themes do your students enjoy in your class?


Five Fun Ideas for a Seashore Week: Children absolutely love a theme week. It brings an enthusiasm for learning, and is fun for the teacher, too!
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