For Elementary Teachers: Additional Activities

Overview

These four activities are great options to occassionaly replace a prompt. They can also be used to help calm the class down after recess or lunch, or gain focus when it’s lacking.

Glitter Bottles

Activity
Introduction

Introduction

Have all students find a partner.

Today we’re going to use our glitter bottles for a shared activity.  You just need one to share between you.  We’re going to do this more than once, so you’ll all get a chance to turn the bottle.

Note: Decide how you’ll have them know who goes first or let them choose.

prompt

Prompt

Shake your glitter bottle or swirl it all around and then set it down on your desk.  Both of you watch it very carefully, and raise your hand when you think it stops moving and everything inside the jar is still.

Note: Repeat so both students have the chance to turn the bottle.

Connecting

Connecting

What did you do that helped you know when everything stopped moving?

Note: Keep asking questions that help students identify that paying attention was important.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today let’s think about what we need to do to learn… we need to listen, we need to try, we need to ask for help when we’re stuck. Today we are going to learn so many things!

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who worked hard to listen today? Who remembered to ask for help? Who learned something interesting today?

High fives…

Rain-Making

Activity
Introduction

Introduction

This activity is done as a group, not in pairs. Here’s a great video on what this might sound like in your classroom!

Today we’re going to do an activity where we have our eyes open almost all of the time, but right at the end, we’re going to close our eyes for a moment. I’ll let you know when that time comes. With this activity it will be really important for us to only do as I instruct. The most important thing is that we have to be super quiet as we do this so you can always hear both the sound we’re making and the sound someone across the room is making. If you can’t hear both of them, quiet down and listen!

prompt

Prompt

Today we’re going to make the sounds of a very gentle rain shower using only our hands. It will come slowly, then be right overhead, then fade away.

  • Begin by rubbing the palms of your hands together very gently.  (You might demonstrate as you speak.) 
  • As the rain comes closer, it makes just a little more sound, so you can rub your hands together a little faster.
  • It’s closer, so we’ll snap if you can. (If not, it’s okay. Keep rubbing your hands quickly.)
  • And now the rain is right overhead and it is louder, so we can gently pat our legs with our open hand… gently so we can still hear the people aroun dus!
  • Now the rain is passing by and it is getting quieter, so now we can snap.
  • Farther, rub our palms together again… and now it is moving even further away… so rub our hands really quietly…
  • And now, at the very end of the rain, there is a very gentle breeze.  We can take a really deep breath into our bellies and then make our lips into a little circle and very very slowly let the air come out making the quietest sound of a breeze….  This is when we can close our eyes, just to listen to the gentle breeze. When you close your eyes, let yourself imagine you can see a gentle breeze in the trees.  (You might instruct them to take several deep breaths and breathe out of their pursed lips very slowly, which is helpful for calming down.)
Connecting

Connecting

What did we all have to do so we could hear both our own hands and the people around us?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today let’s remember that sometimes we have to quiet ourselves to make something really cool with other people. Teamwork can be a powerful thing!

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who remembered to quiet themselves today? Who heard what someone else had to say because you decided to be quiet?

High fives…

Palming

Activity
tip

Prepare

This one works very well with relaxing music.

Introduction

Introduction

“Palming” is another activity that teaches students to quiet down.  It is easiest if you can describe it to them and show them how it will go.  There are many videos by kindergarten teachers who demonstrate this activity, so you might watch one of these:

How to Calm Young Children Down in Minutes

Adventures of Super Stretch

 

Either video could be played for the students, but the second one doesn’t really reinforce being very quiet, so the first one might be best, and then use it as a model for instructing the students yourself.  Another technique is to have them rub their hands together, then have them rest their elbows on their desks, look at the palms of their hands, touch their little fingers together, and then slowly cover their eyes and lean their heads forward.

Today we’re going to learn a new way of quieting our insides and calming down. It is called palming.

Before we begin, notice how much noise is in our classroom, and how much noise is inside our bodies.

prompt

Prompt

Walk students through the activity.

Connecting

Connecting

How do you feel after our palming exercise? Does the classroom feel any different than it did before we practiced palming? How about inside your body? Do things feel a little more quiet?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today let’s remember that sometimes we have to quiet ourselves to help us get ready to learn. Sometimes we need to quiet ourselves so we can listen to our friends better! Today, let’s remember to quiet ourselves when it’s time to listen or learn.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

What was a time when you remembered to quiet yourself today? What was a time you heard what someone else had to say because you decided to be quiet?

High fives…

Birthday Candle Fingers

Activity
tip

Prepare

This is an activity that works well with very quiet music in the background.  Remind students that they should be able to hear the music all of the time.

Introduction

Introduction

Today we’re going to learn a new way of quieting ourselves down. The way we’ll do this will be to do it the first time with our eyes open, and then we’ll try it a few times with our eyes closed.

Note: This activity works well any time during the day that you need to calm things down. You might call for a 4 candle moment, or a 6 candle moment, etc. Put it in your toolbox to use throughout the year!

prompt

Prompt

Today we’re going to imagine that each of our ten fingers are birthday candles, and we’re going to blow them out, very slowly, one at a time.  Let’s all practice together and you can watch me  while we do this.

Hold your hands out with your fingers spread out wide like this:

Very slowly, let’s all breathe in …. In… in… and now, choose your little finger on one hand, imagine that it is a birthday candle that is lit, and very slowly blow it out, like this.

Demonstrate and encourage them to do the same.

Now, let’s do one more finger…

Continue on to do all ten fingers, instructing students to “do the next one.” 

After you’ve all done all ten fingers, repeat the process, suggesting to students that this time, they do it with their eyes closed. They’ll need you to give the instructions…  “now blow out the next one…  (pause) … and the next one…”paus…”

Demonstrate and encourage them to do the same.

Connecting

Connecting

Now, let’s talk about what it feels like inside when we take time to slow down. How might help us be ready to learn?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today let’s remember that sometimes we have to quiet ourselves to get ready to learn. Sometimes it helps to take a deep breath and let it out. Let’s remember to do that today!

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who remembered to quiet themselves today? Who wants to share about taking a deep breath before they did something today?

High fives…