How Journaling Can Help Students With Stress

Thinking about journaling with your students? Due to the effect of the pandemic, it is no surprise that stress levels are running high for everyone, including our students. Their school year was abruptly cut short, their schedules and routines were turned upside down, and  they have been cooped up at home away from their friends. They may also be feeling stress from the struggles their parents may be facing as a result of the stay at home orders across the country. 

While we may not be able to see our students in person, we can still try our best to help them cope with these strange times however we can. Studies show that journaling could be a great way to do that. 

Here are the ways that journaling can help your students cope with stress. 

  • Having your students write down how they are feeling can be a great way to clear their mind
  • It can boost their mood
  • It can offer a great distraction from the fear and stress many of them are facing 

You can find more information on how journaling helps kids here.

With this in mind, I created these journaling products that you can give to your students to help them through these difficult times. 

My Yearlong Writing Prompts Bundle for students in kindergarten to 3rd grade includes: 

  • 12 themed monthly journals
  • 365 writing prompts for every day of the year
  • Word bank for each journal
  • Writing rubrics 

My Coronavirus Living History Journal is designed to help students write about what is happening now during the pandemic. This includes: 

  • Pick and choose pages to print out and color 
  • 36 pages of activities and prompts to help students cope

Journaling To Help with Stress

You can find more information on journaling during coronavirus here.

These are unprecedented times which makes it a great time to start journaling with your students. It is a great way to help them face their fears while dealing with all of the uncertainty and ultimately improve their mental health. 

What stress relieving activities do you like to do with your students? Let me know in the comments!

Journaling To Help With Stress

Reasons To Keep Learning Through Summer Break

Kindergarten is such an important part of a child’s education. It introduces them to so many vital lessons and sets them up for success throughout their elementary school education. They learn important concepts like letters, writing, and basic math. Many students progress so much through the year that summer break can seem like it is halting the momentum. Therefore, I think it is so important to keep the learning going through the summer!

Summer learning helps students retain the information they learned throughout the school year. Summer learning loss can cause a lag at the beginning of the next school year because students take time to adjust and remember what they learned months before.  If students continue to practice and learn through the summer months, their minds are kept sharp and they are better prepared for the next school year. This is because the information is still fresh in their minds and they have had plenty of time to practice and master what they learned.

To help improve summer learning for students, I created Summer Learning Packets for Kindergarten and other grade levels. You can assign them at the end of the year for a fun way for your students to continue to practice the extremely important information they learned throughout the school year. This way, the information they learned is better retained and they can go into 1st grade with their head held high because they know their stuff and they feel confident that they can continue to learn and thrive. 

In these packets you will find

  • Weekly Summer Journal with a word bank
  • Math worksheets including a 100 chart, adding and subtraction
  • Reading and writing practice worksheets
  • Summer Reading Log
  • Progress tracker sheet
  • and much more!

If you are looking for learning packets for other grades as well, I have a bundle of Summer Learning Packets for all elementary levels!

This bundle includes:

  • Pre-K to Kindergarten Packet
  • Kindergarten to 1st Grade Packet
  • 1st to 2nd Grade Packet
  • 2nd to 3rd Grade Packet
  • 3rd to 4th Grade Packet
  • 4th to 5th Grade Packet

Each packet is packed full of grade level appropriate worksheets, journals, activities, progress logs, and more.  Summer practice for kids can enhance summer learning for students!

Do you have other ways to keep your students’ minds sharp in the summer? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts! 

Summer Learning Pin (1)

Digital Award Ceremony – End of the Year Virtual Classroom Awards

End of the Year Activities

Celebrating accomplishments at the end of the school year is not only popular, but important to recognize student achievements.  Accomplishments can include more that academic success.  Recognizing improved behavior, attendance, athletics, character, art or music abilities are great ways to shine the spotlight on your students at the end of the year.

Distance learning has made it more difficult to celebrate our students with their friends and family.  But, it is not impossible! If you are an educator who is using Zoom, Google Meets or some other way to video conference your students, there is many ways to celebrate.

First, send and invite to the families and students for your virtual ceremony. If you normally give certificates to students,  fill them out as normal and then share them during the ceremony.  You can than email or mail them their certificate.

Don’t want to worry about printing out certificates?

You can create certificates in a PowerPoint or with Google Slides to share during your meet-up.  Then, just send them a copy through email.  There are lots of pre-made editable certificates available online also.

Planning a Virtual AWARD Ceremony

If you are doing your own planning for your classroom, grade level or even the entire school, here are some key elements to consider:

  • Introduction  Music
  • Introduction Slide to the Ceremony
  • Certificates (Titles and possibly add Images of each student)
  • Music during the show
  • Funny Moment Slide Breaks (A group photo or funny science moment)
  • Will there be a video or live announcement from you, a special guest or the principal?
  • Ending Music
  • Practice Practice Practice

Here is an example of how to create an end of the year virtual ceremony:

There are virtual award ceremony templates already made for you at TpT to make your celebration easy.  You just drag and drop text and images in the google slides.


Do you have an award ceremony for your students? If so, what types of awards do you give? Please leave your comments below, I would love to hear how you recognize your students.

Digital End of the Year Memory Books

As teachers learn about school closures for the rest of the 2020 school year, they scramble for new ways to connect with their students.  Of course the safety of children is a top priority, so we understand why they are not opening the schools up.  This still leaves teacher feeling like they didn’t get a chance to really say good-bye in a meaningful way.

A digital memory book is a great way to encourage your students to relive their school year if your students have access to technology.  You can even push out autograph pages for the class to use their favorite fonts to sign their names.  If you have pictures you took during the school year, add them to the digital file to push out through Google Classrooms or email.

Journaling During the Coronavirus

Writing Journal during the Coronavirus for kids

Journaling to Keep Kids Calm

NOW is the time to be journaling! We are all living history right now.  Even though this is a time of uncertainty, there is a lot to learn, feelings to explore, thoughts to organize and people coming together to turn lemons into lemonade.  We didn’t ask for this Coronavirus. Everyday is like living in a strange movie.  One moment you are fine and the next moment the sky is falling.  Journaling is a great way to organize your thoughts.  Students right now should be taking notes of news headlines, observing the stock market fluctuate, and learning about healthy habits.

Should Adults Keep a Journal?

Writing is a great way to confront your emotions during difficult times.  It helps you face your fears.  Taking notes of what is going on in your world, your mind and your home can help you stay mentally healthy.  Journaling serves as a great tool for people at any age!  Start journaling today.

Distance Learning Packets for HOME

This is a difficult time for teachers and parents everywhere with the uncertainty of the Coronavirus changing our life.  There is one thing that I know for sure, CHILDREN NEED to keep a routine in their life to help them feel safe.  I created some distance learning packets with a fun spring theme to help keep children on track with their education and on a regular routine.

Packets range from Pre-K to 5th Grade.  They all include math and literacy skills that are specific to the standards for each grade.  Each packet has a sight word list, reading log, writing activities and include different covers.  This makes it easy to print and staple into a fun Spring Break Journal.

The easy NO PREP packets are available for only $4:

PRESCHOOL

KINDERGARTEN

FIRST GRADE

SECOND GRADE

THIRD GRADE

FOURTH GRADE

FIFTH GRADE

GET the all BUNDLED!

PRESCHOOL HOME LEARNING PACKET

KINDERGARTEN DISTANCE LEARNING PACKET

FIRST GRADE HOME LEARNING PACKET

SECOND GRADE DISTANCE LEARNING PACKET

tHIRD GRADE HOME LEARNING PACKET

4TH GRADE DISTANCE LEARNING pACKET

5TH gRADE HOME LEARNING PACKET

We are in this together! Here is a FREE home lesson made especially for families who want their kids to learn about healthy habits and have fun while they are home.

Coronavirus Distance Learning for PARENTS

Another great way to keep kids engaged is to have them create a 2020 Memory Journal.  Journaling is a great way for kids to organize their feelings.  They will write about their feelings, things they can control, learn about the stock market on a kids friendly level, take temperatures and read about healthy habits.

Coronavirus Journal for Kids

Hopefully this pandemic won’t run all the way into summer.  I do have summer packets ready for you. Check out the bundle.

summer packets for home learning

FOLLOW MY STORE for more educational resources.

At Home Learning During The Cornonavirus

This is a scary time we are living in right now.  Part of me as parent wants to tell the district that we have bigger issues to worry about than distance learning. The teacher part of me knows that students can miss a lot of information in a month or two without instruction.  There is no way that we can replace good teachers with parents or packets to be as effective for our children, but parents can encourage home education during this time.

Are Worksheets the Answer?

You won’t find many teachers who support overloading kids with worksheets, but you also won’t find many who never use worksheets. Sending home packets with students can be a great way to keep students learning if we remember the importance of worksheets.

Just because it’s on paper doesn’t mean it’s bad.  Well-designed worksheets help structure work for children.  Printed resources can keep children on task, help them concentrate and hopefully help them work with very little support from adults. I know lots of teachers who had to scramble to put packets together for students this past week.  Some felt guilty. Others felt like they did a service for their families.  I have used packets in the classroom to organize student work.  Many worksheets are designed to have students work together or provides a hands-on learning game. I sent home spring break packets, summer packets and homework packets regularly to my families to help their children.  

Worksheets as ACTIVITIES

Some worksheets can easily be made into flashcards, tasks for physical or oral activities, puzzles, origami, art or games.  One of my favorite kinds of printables are Write the Room activities.  This is where you place vocabulary words, sentences or pictures around a room. Students must move around to locate each one. Then, they read and write it on a worksheet.

Many worksheets have checkoffs or keys for students to use to monitor their own learning progress.  As a teacher, I can use the worksheets or activities to see how my students are learning.  Parents could check to see if students did the work later instead of having to be there if they have to go to work.  Worksheet packets for students who don’t have access to computers can be very valuable to their education.  What parent doesn’t like to hang a worksheet or piece of art on the refrigerator to show they support their child’s efforts?

Powerful Packets

Teachers would all love to have hands-on “worksheet free” classrooms.  The truth is sometimes you can’t replace old fashion paper and pencil activities. They are valuable when you need assessment tools that show previous knowledge, to view learning outcomes, to share information with other adults and to allow students to monitor the progress of their own learning.

Not all kids can learn from a packet or worksheet which is why the value of a good educator will always be needed for maximum growth. Packets can be powerful though.  So, don’t judge others who find them successful.

Keep helping students to learn, use social distance and keep your hands clean! We are all in this together. Which reminds me of these FREE labels to put on your hand sanitizer bottles to help empower children.

Hand Sanitizer Labels

March FREE Teaching Resources for Teachers

March Resources for Teachers

So this is a CRAzy (with a capital CRA) time of our life!  Teachers and parents we will get through this difficult time with the Coronavirus floating around ruining our daily life as we know it.  I talked to a few of my TpT author friends and found some March Freebies to share with all of you who are still in the classroom or parents who are helping your children grow with home learning.  Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

March Activities for use with Reading Celebrations    Women in History Scoot or Task Cards With QR Codes FREEBIE

Spring Writing Activities | Spring Writing Center Free     March Freebie: Butterfly Life Cycle

Leprechaun Math Game | St. Patrick's Day Math Game     Editable Calendar for Homework | March 2020 Calendar Printable

If you need more THIS LINK will take to to all the freebies in my store.  Stay Strong! – Cindy

Free Teacher Resources

 

Read Across America, Book Tastings and MARCH Lesson Plans

Hello Teacher Brains!

I hope you all have ready for some March fun with your students!  My dad would say, “Work hard and play hard.”  So, before you hit Spring Break, let’s talk about a lot of work that has gone into helping to ease your workload, but still makes you look like you have been laboring 24/7!

No More Seuss?

Next week is Read Across America Week.  Did you know that they are rebranding?  The week is no longer limited to Dr. Seuss for the celebration.  They even have a new logo that appeals to students of all ages, backgrounds and will celebrate a nation of diverse readers.  Of course, who doesn’t enjoy dressing up like Dr. Seuss characters and serving green eggs and ham, but now the new theme is opening ideas for more activities and resources to encourage reading!

This brings me to my NEW baby! Okay, it’s not a human baby, but I birthed it! Lol

Book Tasting Escape Room

I loved the idea of doing a Book Tasting for the celebration, but I also love doing Escape Rooms.  So, I made a resource to include both! Check it out!  You just add books, plates and tablecloths to the celebration while students discover a challenge and work to beat the clock by “tasting” different book genres.  The genres include non-fiction, fiction, biographies and poetry.  There is a fun video to use at the beginning to HOOK your students.  You can decorate your room simple with adding plates and table clothes or go all out making it a Harry Potter theme or Pizza restaurant.  The sky’s the limit!

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon too! This is one of my favorite weeks with leprechaun footprints, glitter and messy rooms.  Here are some of my favorite resources:

St. Patrick’s Day Escape the Room K-3

St. Patrick's Day Escape Room

Leprechaun Headband (hilarious!  The kids love this one!)

Rainbow Craft

How to Catch a Leprechaun Writing

The Paper Leprechaun Activity

Lucky Charms Sorting and Graphing

Leprechaun Unit with Writing and Crafts

Color by Sight Word St. Patrick’s Day Edition

NEW *****NEW****** NEW ******NEW ********NEW

If you Give a STEM Challenge!  This is my new series of STEM activities that relate to Laura Numberoff  books.  She is one of my favorite authors.  I was even LUCKY enough to meet her one time when I first began teaching.  She inspired me to be a writer.  I have two completed.

If you Give a Mouse a Cookie has students reading the story and building a mouse house!  This one is good for primary and intermediate students with different activities to differentiate in a SNAP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Give a Pig A Pancake has student reading the story and building a treehouse for the pig’s brother. So much fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you need editable word wall templates?  Well, I have you covered with this download.  Just type your words in the text boxes provided, pick your favorite fonts and colors to match your room!

Editable Word Wall Templates

FIRST GRADE TEACHERS,

Check out the 120th Day of School Mystery Escape Room!

I hope you all have a fantastic month! Make sure you are subscribe to my website newsletter so you can keep up with new releases, teacher-author courses and giveaways.

Sprinkling Lucky Fairy Dust on YOU so you can have a great month!

-Cindy

Read Across America Week Activities with a BOOK TASTING

Dr. Seuss Week

Have you all heard that Read Across America has rebranded?  There will always be a special place in my heart for Dr. Seuss books.  I grew up with his books and used them to teach rhyming words to students for 20 years.  The staff would dress up like Thing 1 and Thing 2, The Cat in the Hat and we even had the Lorax one year.  His books make it easy to have fun while learning like eating green eggs and ham and growing truffula trees. I even created lots of resources for teachers to use during the Dr. Seuss week. (Resources to use with Seuss HERE) But, “things” change.  So when I heard they are changing to celebrate by encouraging a nation of diverse readers with resources that represent lots of experiences and cultures for students, I thought how can I have fun with this new direction?

THIS IS THE MOMENT I HAD BIRTHED AN IDEA!

Have you ever heard of a “Book Tasting?” A book tasting is where students choose from books they might not normally read and skim or just read the first few pages of a book. Then they write a review in a “Book Tasting” menu.  Teachers and librarians decorate the room to look like a restaurant by using table cloths, paper plates (or real, if you dare), books on silver platters and really get the kids to feel excited about the books they are about to get a “taste” of during the activity.  You could have a medieval theme, Harry Potter, pizza themed, StarBOOKS Cafe… the possibilities are endless!

I also thought about how much I love creating escape rooms, so I decided to combine the two! Students watch a video (2 min.) to hook them by seeing a restaurant owner who needs their help with book tastings to earn money (Federal Funding) to open his doors.  They do 4 book tastings to beat the clock.  Completing the tastings will grant them keys or codes to a box that the owner left something special in for those who accept the challenge.  Opening the box lets them escape the room to recess or to the library. This would be a great activity for Read Across America because you can use any books.  What student doesn’t love to help someone and receive a reward? Check out he Book Tasting Escape Room to see what all the buzz is about this year! 

 

Book Tasting Escape Room