This was our first week back from Winter Break!
I came in prepared to wipe lots of tears and to go home covered in snot. But as a whole, our children were having a very easy time readjusting to our routine. The class was noticeably more calm than usual. I believe that was due to 8 children not being in attendance! That makes quite a difference, considering we have 26 children enrolled. With a third of our class not yet back from break, Lily and I were able to give more individual attention to the children who were there. She was even able to give a lesson on the addition bank game for about 40 minutes without being interrupted.
It is also possible that the classroom was calmer due to a new addition.
Before we departed for Winter Break, our guide Lily set up a tent in the corner of our classroom. We already have a designated calm down comfy chair; but since that has become more of a rest-your-body comfy chair, we will go with the flow and make this tent our new calm down area. We purchased it with a small grant from our SHA (School-Home Association), which was provided to each classroom to design a calm down space.
As the children trickled into the room most overlooked the tent, a few asked about it. I told them this is called a tent, we will use it to help us feel calm, but you can not use it until Mrs. Lily gives you a lesson on it. Those who noticed the tent were very excited it about but engaged their self- control and did not touch it or climb inside. Some even reminded their friends,
“You can’t touch because you hadn’t had a lesson on it’
Once most of the children arrived, Lily gathered them into our nap area, around the tent and she explained how it feels to be sad and mad and that it is important to calm down so we can make good choices. Then she explored some calm down items placed inside the tent. We have a few water timers, a stress ball, and picture books about recognizing one’s feelings. We have a lot of ‘big emotions’ in our classroom and I think this calm down tent will be a wonderful addition.
What else has been going on this week?
- Prior to Winter Break, one of our PK-3’s was taking food from other people’s cubbies. We decided that separating their cubby from other students would help them have a clear definition of which items are theirs and which belong to other people. This week they resumed stealing other people’s lunches. This child may be readjusting to the expectations of our classroom, but Lily and I are still thinking of new ways to help them understand that taking people’s things can make them feel sad or angry.
How do your students readjust to school after a long break?