7 Ways to Create a Relaxed Classroom Enviroinment

In today"s Pandemic filled life, it is harder than ever to keep our home life calm. and "normal"...so just imagine how teachers must feel with all the uncertainty surrounding getting kids back in school. Can you imagine teaching in school with some of your students while others are synchronously learning at home and then switching so that other half is in your classroom or maybe you are teaching virtually and don't have that scenario ,but rather other difficulties and a bit of anxiety to face... I am feeling stressed just thinking about it and I am a retired teacher!

Now...just imagine that these students have not been in a classroom environment for about 6 months!!!  Now...well...let's just say many students may have forgotten many or ALL of the classroom routines and have been away from the classroom structure for a long time...longer than anyone expected!. 


So where am I going with this?  Well, as teachers, we must realize what our families and little ones are up against in this fast-paced world so that when they come to school or even if you are teaching virtually, they feel safe, calm and can feel like they are in a world that is nurturing and relaxed. A world were they do not have to feel stressed or overwhelmed, but can be their best selves.

So here are a few tips that you can put into place immediately that will give your kiddos a relaxed haven. 



So, try some of these tips...oh and did I mention that these are tried and true...I have used these for over 25+ years in my classroom. 



    As Students come into the classroom, greet them at the door to make them feel special and 
     relaxed. If children feel good about themselves, they will be calmer and ready to learn.



2.  Play soft classical music.  You will be surprised at the calmness it brings and how parents
     notice this calming music, which they always had a positive comment to share about the music
     playing as the children entered the classroom. I always enjoyed hearing children humming the
     music as they unpacked and got ready for the day! They were relaxed and learning about music
     and what feelings it evoked.Some classical musicians who have calming genres are:
     Brahms, Wagner, Pachelbel, Handel, Chopin and Bach to name a few, but I would suggest
     listening to the works before just hitting "play." Here is a site that has some calming classical
     pieces you can check out!  Relaxing Music for your Classroom This is a sample of music that
     promotes calm. It plays a medley of different classical composers and can be set on your
     computer.
  


3.  Many teachers give their students morning work to complete, which is fine.  However what I have
     done over the years is given students a "soft landing" time. During this time, the kiddos can chat
     calmly, buddy read, read to self, work on an activity that needs to be finished, pick a morning
     work sheet to complete, buddy write or complete their classroom job, which are jobs that helped
     our classroom be organized (attendance, calendar, lunch count etc.).




4.  Our schedule was not very conducive to calmness as within 15 minutes of arrival time,
     our special teachers were in our classrooms ready to start their lesson. 
     As a result, we had to have our Morning Meeting after special time. In order to address this issue      and create a calmness before the kiddos jumped into working with the special teachers, we would        gather on the rug and "Pass a Smile." This only took a few minutes and supported a calm feeling
     before the children got to work.


5.  Add a daily "Quiet Time" to your schedule. Schedule 5-10 minutes after your recess or at a time
     you notice your class seems to need a break. During this time the children listen to calm music
     and can do any activity within your rule expectations independently and alone.  Some ideas are:          Relax and listen to the music, read, color, draw, write, catch up on work, anything that is quiet
      and can be completed alone.  This time is a time to relax and refocus for the rest of the day


6.  Add brain breaks into your day to support children to refocus and be relaxed and ready to move        on with their day. Some ideas for Brain Breaks can be found at:

Brain Breaks TpT .The ideas in this resource are ones I have used through the years before the buzzword Brain Breaks was popular!


Here is another Brain Break Idea that can be used virtually and is created for Google Slides™


Here are a few Brain Break Quickies that are not in the above link and can be found below:

1. Come to circle and share what you liked about the day so far.

2. Share which station or center you felt was the hardest easiest and why.(these can be done whole group or turn and share etc).

3. Share your plan for tomorrow when you are working: what would you do differently, what worked, what didn’t work, what will you change? etc.

4. Who did you work with today and what did you do?

5. What is your high point of the day so far. Do you have any low points? Explain your thinking.

6. Sky writing words in the sky is always a good break.

7. Snack and a drink will work, too.

8. Partner write or draw on your partners back and see if you can guess what your partner drew.

9. Run, skip, hop in place.

10. Turn and talk to your partner about the day in a silly voice or the teacher can dictate the voice…mouse voice, baby voice, monster voice etc.

11. Dance Party to favorite music…everybody dance!



Just had to add one more... Kids Yoga: ABC's of Yoga with Theresa Power This video is great because Theresa introduces yoga through easy standing poses which can easily be completed at home or school. She has a soothing voice and it is only a 5 minute video!




I hope you find these ideas helpful They are ALL tried and true and have helped hundreds of children stay calm in our hectic world. 

I will leave you with this one thought: During those calm and quiet moments we give ourselves time to think and understand; come up with ideas to inspire others; become our best selves and are ready to learn what the world has to offer.

Enjoy the rest of your year!





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