social emotional skills

  • Eclipse Social Story

    Understanding an Eclipse for Preschoolers

    I’m on vacation – but I had to pop in and share this incredible resource before next week’s big eclipse! This social story is a simple way to explain to the very youngest students what an eclipse is, and what it might be light to experience one. Toddlers and preschoolers are so observant, they notice absolutely everything. This means that they know adults in their lives are talking about something pretty major, but they don’t necessarily understand the words that they’re using, because vocabulary words like “eclipse” and “path of totality” aren’t something that they have a frame of reference for. A social story like this one can open up…

  • diversity for preschool

    Activities for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

    I’m re-sharing a post today that is full of amazing ideas for exploring diversity in the classroom – hopefully these will fill in your lesson plans for next week! We’re working on social studies standards, and the timing worked out particularly well because today’s standard lends itself to Martin Luther King Day. Remember, the Standards that I use every day, and am most comfortable with are Ohio’s Early Learning Development Standards – you can review them here, however I’ve found that even if your State’s standards differ, many of these activities can still be aligned similarly. I’ve rounded up some great ideas today! Domain: Social StudiesStrand: GeographyTopic: Human Systems Preschool standards are…

  • Positive Mindset

    Building a Positive Mindset

    I consider myself a naturally positive person, but the classroom can be a hard place to keep that going. Someone is always upset with someone else, there is always a mess somewhere, and I’m constantly having to change my plans. It takes a toll! When positivity doesn’t come naturally, there are some things that help me keep that positive mindset in the classroom. First and foremost, when I recognize that I’m struggling I make a conscious effort to find something (anything) positive that I can acknowledge. Sometimes this is as small as a child nicely walking across the classroom, or offering to share with another child. I’ll spend the next…

  • Finding Joy

    I’ve been sharing my experience with burnout, and today I wanted to revisit a product that I created while feeling ALL of these feelings.  A common suggestion for staying present and building a little more positivity is to practice finding something to be grateful for each day.  If this works for adults, then it can certainly work for kids too – and it’s never too early to teach these kinds of coping skills.  That’s where “Joy in Everyday: Building Positive Thinking” comes from.  In practicing identifying those things each day that brought me more joy, I realized that I needed a way to keep all of these thoughts organized so…

  • Love Tree

    There are a ton of ways that you could create a love tree.  The basic idea is to take some kind of tree branch – or you could even decorate a small Christmas tree – and hang paper hearts from the branches, similar to a thankful tree that you might do for Thanksgiving, but in this case ask parents, family members and your students to write down the things or people that they love.  It’s an easy enough way to create a visual of all the things and people that are important to us. I’ve got a little twist for you.  Instead of just writing down the names of things…

  • Friday Freebie – Character Education Parent Letters

    Happy Friday! This week I’ve reflected on my resolution to choose joy and how the idea can be used in the classroom.  Today’s freebie will be super helpful as you consider other character traits and emotions that you want to explore in the classroom.  My favorite thing about these Character Trait Parent Letters is that they offer simple activities that families can do to work on these traits at home.  Go download your set from Counselor Chelsey and have a great weekend!

  • Joy in Everyday – Standards

    This week’s posts (here and here) have been all about my experience focusing on joy, and how that can be incorporated in the classroom. Here are some of the standards that are being explored when you help your students focus on joy: Social Emotional Awareness and Expression of Emotions Self-Regulation Attachment Approaches Toward Learning Planning, Action, and Reflection Attention Cognition and General Knowledge Memory Reasoning and Problem Solving Historical Thinking Language and Literacy Receptive Language and Comprehension  Expressive Language Social Communication Writing For more information about the Early Learning Development standards check out this document.  

  • Joy in Everyday – For the Classroom

    In Monday’s post I promised to share some ideas to incorporate my Joy in Everyday routine into the classroom.  Well, here they are! When I started putting this together I had a couple of ideas, but as I worked I came up with a few more.  I’m really excited about what I have to share with you! So check this out – you can find this entire set in my TPT store! This set includes monthly calendars, weekly calendars, and list sheets so that you and your students can track your everyday joys in whichever way works best for you. It also has a simple mini book that is designed…

  • Friday Freebie – Random Acts of Kindness Calendar

    Happy Friday! Yesterday I shared some random acts of kindness for the holiday season.  Today I’m sharing a freebie that makes it nearly impossible to NOT do some random acts of kindness this month! This Random Acts of Kindness Calendar is an amazing way to plan for, and keep track of the activities you want to complete.  Go download your copy from Herding Kats in Kindergarten, and have a great weekend!

  • Holiday-Themed Random Acts of Kindness

    The holiday spirit is a powerful thing, and I love to take advantage of this time of year to encourage my students to do nice things for others.  Here are some random acts of kindness that work perfect for the holiday season: Tape a sweet note to a candy cane and leave these throughout the building  Go Caroling Write special Christmas cards to people who have been especially helpful Collect toys for children in need Share baked goods with local first responders Hang Christmas lights around the school for everyone to enjoy Make the janitor’s job easier by cleaning the classroom really well Put together a special gift for support…