Published on September 16, 2014
always hard for me to hear what every child wants to share with me if it is during a lesson, but there is a voice in the back of my head that reminds me that they just want to be heard. The two strategies that I learned and have used in my classroom are using personal experiences to make emotional connections in my lessons and using brain breaks or movement songs in my lessons. Last week, my students and I started Writer’s workshop. For the first lesson, I modeled how to think of a topic using my personal experiences and how to tell my story through a drawing. I used the aquarium as my setting for writing and had to talk with my students about my family. This was very exciting for my students, to hear about me outside of school and to learn about my family. They also enjoyed helping me complete my picture by telling me what they have seen through their experiences of going to the aquarium. The next day, the students had to think of a personal experience and fill in their first writing journal entry. By my surprise, this was the first task that the whole class completed in time and everyone wanted to share. They were so involved, excited, and motivated about their writing. I cannot wait to see what else they can accomplish using personal connections in their learning. I feel like I have a good understanding of the benefits of break breaks nd movement songs in kindergartners. If they children sit too long on the carpet or at their desk, they begin to wiggle. Their minds begin to wonder off and you can see their body language change. For most of my planning, I try to use music, movement, or even a fun read aloud as a transition to get students ready for the next activity or subject. I want them to have that break, so they can get the muscles moving and blood flowing through the whole body. There are even times when I do not plan a brain break, but if I am near the end of a lesson and I can tell they need one, I will do my best to through a silly movement song in to get them laughing and energized for the rest of the day. I give them their moment, and then they know it is time to come back down and move on. It works. Some concerns I have is I cannot get 100% involvement in my class when we do brain breaks or movement songs. Some kindergartners just do not like to be goofy, dance, or sing. It makes me sad, because at that moment I am with the rest of the class but do not know how to focus all my attention on one or two students who need more encouragement. It is something I am constantly working on, but I do not think I will get that lucky for every song or brain break.