How to Calm a Silly ClassHey y'all. It's that time of year. We're in that "scrape the kids off the ceiling" part of teaching. Everyone's favorite! But there are ways you can keep the holiday crazies under control. Here's my top tips:
There are lots of high energy GoNoodle videos, but when your students have enough energy already, it's time to play the deep breathing ones. A few rounds of balloon breath and usually you can give instructions again.
There's something about having to listen and follow specific directions like this that makes them super excited to focus. And the coloring or watercolor that follows can be very therapeutic for a wound up kiddo. There are tons of printable options on Teachers Pay Teachers and videos on Youtube. Pick your favorite and go for it!
3. Breathe Like a Bear
Sit in a circle or at students desks and do some deep breathing/meditation activities. The book Breathe Like a Bear has some fantastic exercises for kids to help regulate their energy levels and focus. And once students are familiar with them, the activities can be done anywhere. We particularly like "blowing out the candle" or "cooling the hot chocolate" while we're in line before heading to lunch.
4. Turn on the music.
There are all kinds of music streaming websites. My current favorites are Amazon Music's Calm Down Kids station, nature sounds, and, closer to Christmas, holiday instrumental music. Play it just loud enough that students can hear it when talking in a low voice, but not so loud that it drowns out the noise. That just makes the noise worse.
5. Turn down the lights.
Using natural lights, lamps, or string lights brings the energy level down exponentially. We like to turn the lights off and set up a "roaring fire" from Youtube on our Smart Board. The ambience makes things feel cozy, and cozy usually helps with calm.
6. Do a little yoga.
Yoga for kids can be found on GoNoodle or Youtube. If you practice it yourself, you can lead your own session. The stretching and mindfulness that it takes to do some of the poses does amazing things to release some of the sillies and get students back to focusing.
7. Read aloud a chapter book.
We have a rule in my class: If it's a picture book, you have to sit up; if it's a chapter book, you can lay down if you choose. Letting them lay down does awesome things for settling them down. It's such a simple but powerful activity and much easier to get things done afterward.
How do you calm your class when they get a case of the sillies? Let me know in the comments. Have a wonderful week and stay cozy.