Kindness Month: BE KIND CHALLENGE (free download)

February is a great month to focus on kindness

as well as February 17th is National Kindness Day

Children are not always naturally kind. They need to be taught lots of different ways to show kindness as well as the importance of showing kindness. Children also need lots and lots of modeling of kindness from the adults in their lives.

Kindness Challenges…

ONE: Challenge yourself and your colleagues to show 20 acts of kindness throughout the month and share those with the students.

TWO: Challenge the students to find five things you do each day that show kindness. They need to tell what you did AND HOW it showed kindness.

THREE: Challenge for the students to think of the different ways to show and think about kindness- kindness to others, to our environment and to themselves!

Here is a free download of a FIVE DAY KINDNESS CHALLENGE- appropriate for grades K-3rd

Building Friendships through Transitions and Using Names

friendships names journeyintoearlychildhood.com

Aristotle once stated, “who would choose to live, even if possessed with all other things, without friends.”

Many of our students struggle with the basic components of building friendships such as asking to join in play, suggesting play “Let’s…”, sharing, taking turns, changing perspectives, cooperating, and using respectful language.

We, therefore, must directly teach friendship skills through intentional, deliberate discussions and opportunities throughout the day. These opportunities can be embedded into the activities and work that is already occurring in the classroom setting.

transitions to build friendships journeyintoearlychildhood.com

using names journeyintoearlychildhood.com

 

Continued Need for Deep Breathing

One of the best ways to help children prepare their minds and bodies to be ready to learn is through deep breathing.

Deep breathing is a quick and efficient strategy for lowering stress in the body. When we breathe deeply, a message is sent to your brain to calm down and relax.

At this time of the year and especially during this up and down year, it is important to remember to teach our students to stop and breath when they are feeling lonely, upset, aggravated, frustrated, bored, irritated, cranky, etc. AND it is important that the adults in their lives model this strategy frequently!

NOTE: Notice the emotion vocabulary words (lonely, upset, aggravated, frustrated, bored, irritated, cranky). Let’s help children to be specific about their feelings- are they sad because they are lonely or because they are frustrated? The greater depth of emotion words that we can assist children in using and be able to discern how they are feeling with more precision, the more specific we can be with providing useful, intentional strategies plus it is teaching our students to have emotionally rich expression.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Spring Themed Deep Breathing and Calming Strategies…

Also check out Winter Themed Deep Breathing Strategies (four strategies) at

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Themed-Deep-Breathing-Strategies-6256399

Winter Themed Deep Breathing Strategies journeyintoearlychildhood.com

AND

Teaching Deep Breathing: 16 Strategies https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Deep-Breathing-16-Visuals-of-Different-Ways-to-Breathe-Deeply-4289195

Breath with Mr. Snowman

We all need to take the time to give ourselves permission to stop and breath. Breath mindfully with Mr. Snowman while tracing his circles. As you breath in, visualize positive images and as you breath out, visualize all negative energy, stress and confusion leaving your body.

Michigan Medicine at University of Michigan reminds us: Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax. See their website: https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2255#:~:text=Deep%20breathing%20is%20one%20of,this%20message%20to%20your%20body for additional deep breathing ideas.

For more Winter Themed Deep Breathing Strategies, visit https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Themed-Deep-Breathing-Strategies-6256399 or contact Debra at journeyintoearlychildhood@gmail.com

Deep Breathing Strategies: Winter Themed

One of the best ways to help children prepare their minds and bodies to be ready to learn is through deep breathing.

Deep breathing is a quick and efficient strategy for lowering stress in the body. When we breathe deeply, a message is sent to your brain to calm down and relax.

Here are some fun strategies to teach the children in the winter months…

Visit Winter Themed Strategies for Deep Breathing or send an email to journeyintoearlychildhood@gmail.com to receive the document at no charge

Learning at Home: Let them PLAY

Remote learning at home with young children can be a daunting task. However, remember that the best way for children to learn is to play! Let them PLAY!! Research proves that play is essential to a young child’s development. (Crisis in Kindergarten: Why Young Children Need to Play authored by Joan Almon and Edward Miller, published by Alliance for Children)

Play strengthens and builds a child’s …

Vocabulary

Attention Span

Ability to persist

Problem solving skills

Collaboration

Empathy

Language comprehension

Curiosity

Creativity

Symbolic thinking

Impulse control

Conflict resolution skills

Imagination

Relationship building skills

Critical thinking

and many, many more.

Mindfulness Strategies for the Holidays

Children are not naturally mindful of their feelings, their own self-worth, and the positive attributes of others. We need to explicitly teach students strategies to be present and be mindful of themselves and others. Mindfulness has been demonstrated through a growing body of scientific research to have a positive effect on mental health and well-being. Practicing mindfulness has been documented as an effective strategy to regulate emotions and feel compassion and empathy.

FREE DOWNLOAD of some mindfulness activities during the holiday season

SEL Remote Style: Deep Breathing with Mr. Turkey

One of the best ways to help children prepare their minds and bodies to be ready to learn is through deep breathing.

Deep breathing is a quick and efficient strategy for lowering stress in the body. When we breathe deeply, a message is sent to your brain to calm down and relax.

Have fun practicing deep breathing to calm the brain and the body to be ready to learn. We still have two to three days (depending on the school district) for some purposeful, target-driven learning to occur. Use this turkey deep breathing to add in some holiday fun while preparing the mind so that the learning will stick!

Reframing Our Words

Reframe Our View of Behavior journeyintoearlychildhood.comREFRAME OUR WORDS for POSITIVE OUTCOMES

We can reframe the way we view behavior to look through a lens that all behavior is a form of communication or a need for skill fluency practice (need for the behavior to be explicitly taught with precise language and practiced multiple times in multiple situations).

We also reframe our requests to students to specifically teach what we DO want students to be doing. We are teaching the correct behavior instead of giving attention to the incorrect behavior.

Using positive, precise language to help support the development and practice of social and emotional skills.

EXAMPLES:

STATEMENT REFRAME to the POSITIVE and/or to the PRECISE
Don’t run. Use walking feet to stay safe.
Don’t yell. Use a quiet voice to be ready.
Don’t touch the wall. Keep your hands locked in front of you to stay safe. (behind you). (make sure students understand the vocabulary of in front and behind)
Walk nice. Walk on the line a shopping cart length behind your friend to stay safe.
Listen to me Eyes are watching me, ears are listening to my voice, hands and feet are still to be ready.
Put away your coat. Hang up your coat on the hook in your cubby to be responsible. (remember that “put away” at home might mean throwing the coat in the corner)
Stop playing with your mask. The mask needs to stay on your face. We are being kind to ourselves and each other by wearing our mask. We will go outside soon for a break.
Don’t grab it from your friend. Everyone has their own supplies. Please use the items in front of you or raise your hand if you can’t find yours.

Many children need explicit, direct teaching of skills. Below is a resource that may help.

Two Versions- click on the links to view them at TpT- then sign up for my blog and send me an email at journeyintoearlychildhood@gmail.com and let me know which version you would like to use. I will send it to you at no cost.

I Can Be an Incredible Friend Social Story

I Can Be an Incredible Friend- tools to stay safe when I want a toy

Social Story for tools to use when I want a toy or item

I Can be a SAFE Friend Social Story
Uses the word SAFE to teach tools for when a child wants a toy or item. Send an email to journeyintoearlychildhood.com and I will send you this resourse at no charge.

Examining SEL Defintion and Week 2 of SEL Remote Style

In the blog post, Social Emotional Learning Remote Style, posted on September 10, I added the SEL definition from CASEL. As a district SEL team, we did a deeper dive into the defintion by pulling out the verbs, nouns and adjectives. It helps to provide a perspective of the key words and the focus, especially when you group together all of the words in one part of speech and ponder each set separately and then together.

We are all in this together for distance learning. Therefore, I am sharing as a FREE DOWNLOAD the second week of social emotional activities for home.

SEL Remote Style- Sharing a Week of Online Activities

See more SEL resources in my teacherpayteachers store- many items are FREE

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Journey-Into-Early-Childhood