TOP 10 Reasons Why to Greet Students at the Door Each and Every Morning
• Provides a smile and a reassurance that the teacher is glad the student came to school today, which sets the tone for a positive day • Promotes a strong relationship between the teacher and student • Enhances a positive classroom climate • Provides a moment of connection when you greet them by name- young children love to hear their name – let’s use them in positive statements • Assists children with letting go of issues that may have occurred on the bus or at home- they are being welcomed to a new start to the day • Promotes a sense of belonging and trust that school is a safe place • Provides social and emotional support • Demonstrates and models of how to greet others, how to use kind words, and how to be respectful • Provides a proactive, preventive technique to reduce challenging behaviors • Starts the day for the teacher with LOTS of smiles and positive interactions!
Greetings must be delivered with sincerity and genuine care for the students. If you rush through greetings, the students will not feel valued or respected which may lead to challenging behavior.
Use the student’s names
Provide options that include touching as well as include no touching to meet the needs of all students
1.Breathing influences all other systems in our bodies. Slowing our breathing and being conscious of our breathing helps us to calm our nervous system. Therefore, this is a skill that students will need throughout their entire lives.
2. Easy to do anywhere – with no equipment- it is portable!
3. Produces a relaxed state of being
4. Can be calming
5. Improves oxygen to the brain which in turn improves our thinking ability
6. Provides us with a sense of control
Teach each technique – one at a time to the entire class when everyone is calm and in a good mood.
Show visuals of each technique and post them in a place where students can use them as reminders.
Practice, Practice, Practice at all times of the day. Students need lots and lots of practice so that the techniques can be used automatically in times of stress. It takes LOTS of practice to become an expert.
Teach students to recognize signs of stress, frustration, and anger such as face getting hot, clenched fists, heavy breathing, crying, sweating, scrunched eyebrows, pounding heart.
Teach students the difference between short, quick, shallow breaths and long, deep, calming breaths. We want students to be using deep breathing since short breaths can actually make anxious feelings increase.
Model and role-play different situations practicing self-talk such as “I am upset that he took my toy. I can breathe like a bear 7 times.” “I am nervous about the fire drill. I can take 7 bunny breaths.” “He cut in line. I can say, “It’s okay” and take 7 deep breaths.”
If students need energy, have them inhale for a count of 7 and breath out quickly- see lion’s breath in the document download.
If the students need to calm their minds and bodies, have them inhale for a count of 3 and exhale for a count of 6 or so (shorter inhale/longer exhale). See Calming Breaths in the document download.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
The Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines SEL as “…the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”
CASEL also reminds us that social emotional learning starts at home. Families play a crucial role in the child’s development of self-regulation, emotion management, problem-solving skills as well as the building of a healthy positive self-esteem.
Social emotional learning is more critical than ever right now but the challenge for teachers is how to help students engage in SEL activities through remote or distance learning. I developed a week of activities for families to complete together. Keep checking back to journeyintoearly childhood.com for further weeks of activities or just sign up to receive the blog directly to your email on the home page. https://journeyintoearlychildhood.com/
Please feel free to use any part of this slide deck that will benefit your students. If sharing with other staff members, please refer them to this website page.
I posted this back on November 20, 2019. Our work toward building a culture of equity for all continues as we all strive for awareness, understanding and continue to support each other and build each other up.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children have developed a new position statement which helps to support our work toward equity with both our students and within our field of early learning.
NAEYC Statement on Equitable Education:
All children have the right to equitable learning opportunities that enable them to achieve their full potential as engaged learners and valued members of society.
Each child will…
demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities;
express comfort and joy with human diversity, use accurate language for human differences, and form deep, caring human connections across diverse backgrounds;
increasingly recognize and have language to describe unfairness (injustice) and understand that unfairness hurts;
have the will and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.
Reflective Questions: 1. Read the recommendations, what are the areas in which your teaching and/or program are strong? 2. Read the recommendations, what are the areas in which your teachers and/or program need some tweaking? 3. Make a plan for this school year- what is one change that you and your team can implement? 4. Make a long term (1-3 year plan) for you and your team- how can you tweak your program to become more equitable and meet the recommendations as set forth by NAEYC.
More reflective topics on racial equity to explore during PLCs or team meetings: