Teaching Social Skills To Kids

Reading, writing, and arithmetic- that’s all you have to teach, right? Once you’ve wiped the tears from your face from laughing so hard, take a moment to think about the non-academic skills that you teach in your classroom. Students learn study skills, organization, public speaking, and many other important tasks. These skills are necessary and worth our time as teachers. Perhaps most importantly, students learn in our classrooms how to engage in appropriate social interactions. 

Social skills help students succeed in the classroom, but also impact their success as adults entering the “real world”. Appropriate social behaviors help your classroom run smoothly and help students learn how to interact positively with their communities. Although you teach lots of social skills implicitly while running a classroom, students often need explicit instruction in managing their emotions and behaviors. 

Why teach social skills?

  • It helps students manage their emotions
  • You can give your students support on how to handle certain emotions
  • It teaches self-regulation
  • Improves behavior
  • It creates better problem solvers
  • Can easily be incorporated into your lessons

Not to worry- I have developed some tools that will make social skills instruction painless!

First, the Daily Behavior Chart Resource is perfect for addressing specific ways students can control their behaviors throughout the day.

social skills

Teachers can target the behaviors that students need to develop social skills successfully. It includes editable charts to track students’ behaviors, which are great for parent feedback and data collection. There are several styles of charts to help you best meet your students’ needs.

Students will also love the included contracts for earning rewards. By recording and looking back on their choices, students will learn that they can control how their day develops. 

Next, the Calm Down Corner Printables are perfect for helping students learn to control their emotions and reactions.

social skills

Learning about feelings and how to express them is key to developing strong social skills. The printables in this set will help you create a calm classroom space while assisting students in working through their feelings.

social skills

This resource includes visual cue cards, charts to track students behaviors, printables to help students identify triggers, and even posters for your Calm Down Corner. 

Grab these resources today and watch your students develop amazing social skills!

If you are needing some tips for teaching while social distancing, check out my post here! 

social skills

Facts About Bats For Kids

There are so many things to love about fall besides the pumpkin spice and fall scented candles, it is also so fun to bring fall and Halloween themes into the classroom. Integrating seasons and holidays gets your students excited to learn, and what teacher doesn’t love that? 

One topic that my students love to learn about is bats! They only come out at night, they’re spooky, and might just share some qualities with vampires. They make a great science topic for fall or Halloween! Teaching facts about bats to your kiddos is exciting and will help increase engagement and retention. 

Here are some bat facts to include in your lessons:

  • Bats are flying mammals
  • There are over 1000 different species of bat
  • They are nocturnal or active at night
  • They feed on insects, fruit, fish, and some even on blood

To help you take your bats unit up to the next level, I created a special Bat Facts Escape Room! This game is so fun, your students will be learning without even realizing it. 

Check out my Bats Escape Room Video Tutorial here

This escape room requires no prep and is super easy to use. It is great for in person learning or distance learning. 

During the escape, students will be tasked with solving 4 lock clues in order to escape the bizarre bats buzzing around their building. There is a pdf included in this download with directions, the link to the site, an answer key and an optional note taking worksheet for students. This activity takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

Students will:

  • Listen to short audio directions and a YouTube video
  • Solve 5 Comprehension Questions
  • Solve a Jigsaw Puzzle
  • Count BATS
  • Work on problem solving as a group or individually
  • Learn about echolocation, colonies, different types of bats, vampire bats, and nocturnal animals

Do you have any tips for teaching students about these nocturnal animals? Let me know in the comments!

bats

 

Want more Halloween fun? Check out my Halloween Escape Room here!

Fall Crafts That Tie In With Literature

Fall is such a wonderful time of the year- especially in the classroom. It’s right after we start the new year and our students are focused and excited. I love bringing the elements of the fall season into our day to day activities and lessons. With all of the colors and activities available, there are so many ways to use fall themes in your lesson plans. 

One of my favorite ways to do that is to look for books with fall or Halloween themes. Finding a good book to read to your class and then doing a corresponding activity is a great way to explore the story more in depth with your students and make a text to self connection. Text to self connections teach your students valuable skills they will need in school and in life. Your students will learn to make the connection between what they are reading and themselves and explore empathy.

My Where’s My Mummy Craft is a fantastic option if you are looking for a Halloween themed activity that is both engaging and fun. 

 

fall crafts

Included in this activity you will get:

  • Mummy craft printable
  • Text to self connection printable
  • “I Want My Mummy” bulletin board display

Start by reading the book “Where’s My Mummy” by Carolyn Crimi to your class. Have your students use the Mummy Craft printable to glue on toilet paper and googly eyes to make their own adorable little mummy. 

This activity focuses on making a text to self connection. Here are questions you can ask your students to get the conversation going: 

  • How do you think the mummy felt in the story?
  • How would you feel if you couldn’t find your parent? 
  • How would you feel when you did find them?

A huge bonus when you do this craft is that it makes great Halloween classroom decor!

fall crafts

Want more fun Halloween activities for your class? Check out my Halloween Bats Escape Room here!

fall crafts

 

Why Escape Rooms Are Great For Elementary

You probably already know that escape rooms have become hugely popular in primary grades recently. They’re exciting, unique, engaging, and make your students think! What’s not to love? They’re perfect for any grade in elementary.

If you haven’t heard of this before, you may be wondering what escape rooms are. 

An escape room is an escape game where your students have to work together in real life to discover clues, solve puzzles, and complete tasks in order to escape. But how do you do an escape room with 5 and 6 year old kindergarten students? 

It may seem obvious, but you don’t actually  need to have expensive locks, fancy boxes, or big prizes. My escape rooms meet standards, don’t need locks, encourage 100% engagement, and get kids to work together in teams to help each other open any box and escape their room. The activities and puzzles are grade level appropriate so they will be just challenging enough to be fun. 

My escape rooms have 3 to 5 tasks for students to solve in order to get their next clue.  They also have video hooks to build anticipation. You can make it fun by letting them escape the room and go to recess, the library, or really get the excitement up with a cookie party!

Escape rooms make a GREAT Halloween activity, especially. The Halloween theme will add a spooky and fun twist. 

This Halloween Escape Room is for kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students. It includes step-by-step instructions that will guarantee student engagement while your students work together to find the missing classroom pumpkin that was stolen by the werewolf.

escape rooms

Check out this escape room Halloween Mystery video to hook them in! 

 

Want to see this Halloween Escape Room in action? Check out this fun video from The Magical Teacher to see how she used in her classroom for a thrilling Halloween mystery. 

 

 

Do you use escape rooms in your classroom? Let me know in the comments!

escape rooms

Looking for more Halloween activities, check out my post here for Halloween crafts and center ideas!