Welcome to the new year! A time for new beginnings and upgrades to the status quo. Maybe you don’t believe in resolutions in your personal life – and that’s fine! – but the beginning of a new calendar year is a great time to make some changes in your classroom. You’re in the middle of the school year, and you’ve had half a year to experiment with what works with your students and what doesn’t. Here are some of our top suggestions for the remainder of a great year!
Organize your classroom into a more mindful space. Create different sections of the room for different activities. Include quiet areas where students can go during free times to read or be with their thoughts. These areas can feature comfortable furniture, like a rocking chair or cushions, and reduced lighting. See our blog post from early last year about how to create a mindful classroom
Delegate tasks to your students. You are busy enough as it is, so make a list of the daily tasks you can delegate to students. Keep activities age appropriate to your students. Simple tasks, such as watering plants and organizing books can be given to younger students, while older kids can be responsible for making copies and organizing supplies. Your daily burden will be slightly alleviated and the responsibility will help your students feel more engaged and confident.
Mix up your classroom activities. If you feel like you and your class may be stuck in a rut, or are deeply loyal to the same daily routine, shake up your day a little. If you have the same class for most subjects of the day, switch up the order in which you usually follow lessons (for example, move your Math lesson to after lunch instead of before; read together from a book as the last activity instead of the first). Or change up your own teaching style. If you find that you are most comfortable giving lectures, try putting together a diagram to illustrate your point as well.
Encourage activity in your students. Kids will most often follow the examples set by the adults in their life. As their teacher, you are with them for a significant portion of each day, and thus can have an enormous influence on your students’ daily habits. Start making fitness and physical activity a priority of your school day. Try a different 10-minute activity each day. For example, Mondays can be walk outside days; Tuesdays can be “strength” days (be creative – use textbooks as “weights”!), etc. Try our ZENworks Yoga Online yoga and mindfulness videos for yoga days. You’re not only encouraging physical fitness but also giving your students a much needed brain boost from which they’ll come back much sharper and better able to concentrate.
Happy New Year!
For more yoga and mindfulness activities for your home and classroom, visit ZENworks Yoga Online. Subscriptions start at just $9/month.