Making Time for Social-Emotional Learning

Making Time for Social-Emotional Learning
I'm Retta, from Rainbow City Learning, and I am so excited to be invited back as a guest blogger here on Minds in Bloom! I am happy to share with you the ways I've found to make social-emotional learning (SEL) a part of every school day.

I know that your teacher plate is already full with all of the standards that you have to meet, the tests you must prep for, and the giant blocks of time that must be accounted for as you plan for Reading, Writing, and Math. I also hope you know the cautionary tale about the rocks, pebbles, and sand in a glass jar.
Making Time for Social-Emotional Learning
Just in case: A professor shows his class an empty glass jar. He talks about the things we all leave out of our lives too often, such as time with friends, relaxation, and exercise. As he speaks, he dumps some sand into the jar. Then he reminds his students of all the small but necessary parts of each day, such as eating, sleeping, personal hygiene, and travel time to get to school/work. These activities are represented by the pebbles he adds next. Lastly, he adds large rocks to represent the important must-do things in our days: showing up to work, taking care of our families, etc. Of course, the rocks do not fit.

However, when the big rocks are placed in the jar first, followed by the pebbles (gently shaken into place), and then followed by the sand, we find that everything falls into place perfectly. The jar is not overfilled.

If you think of your school day as a glass jar, the large rocks could represent your curriculum, standards, testing, and data gathering that you are expected to cover each day. The pebbles could be the special subjects, recess, lunch, and meeting times. They can all be shaken into place. The sand is how I like to visualize social-emotional learning. It can be easily infused throughout your day, and it fills all the empty spaces. It also supports the larger rocks and pebbles in the mix.

Start with the standards. Map your curriculum. Those are the big rocks. Plan your basic schedule, making space for all the pebbles that fill out your day. Then, as effortlessly as the sand can now drift among the rocks and pebbles in your  teaching jar, add the SEL. Using the graphic below, start at the bottom and make SEL a part of what your classroom community experiences every day!

Making Time for Social-Emotional Learning

Start with a Song!

I'm not the most musically talented person, but I can sure play a boombox or call up a playlist! I have always used music in my classroom and observed first-hand the way it weaves a magic spell. Find a song to start with that has meaningful lyrics--lyrics that will convey a message that you want your students to hear. Start playing that song during transition times: entering and leaving the room, changing activities or subjects, and even as a "listen up" signal. For the past couple of years, I've loved using a tune called "Got Your Back"by Lessia Bonn. The powerful lyrics in this song really help to get that community feeling going with your kids, whether it's the first week of school or whenever you decide that it's time to join together as a learning community. I like to change up the music we use for these transitions every four to six weeks, just to keep things fresh. You'll probably find that your students will start requesting some of the older songs once you get the whole process in motion.

Build the Community!

If you already have a class meeting time, try opening the meeting with your special song. If you don't have a meeting time, finding one time each day or each week to get together as a learning community, as people who care about each other. This will be an important step toward giving your students the social-emotional development they need. Eventually, you will find that the meeting time just uses the same amount of time (or even less!) as the time you have previously spent managing inappropriate behaviors.

Use your song and your meeting time to continually reinforce the idea that "We are a team!", "We are a family!", and "We have each other's backs!" Point out positive examples of students showing care and concern for their classmates, both in and out of class. A true community of learners will be engaged in learning during class time, rather than in chaos, because each has a concern for the learning of others.

Post It!

Use colorful posters strategically placed around the room, which reinforce phrases you'd like to keep buzzing in kids' heads. Example: "I've Got Your Back." It's just as important to keep the reminders of great social behaviors visible as it is to keep the academic standards front and center throughout your day. Writing one positive thought for the day (which reinforces your SEL theme) on the board before students arrive will start them off thinking about that idea as they enter and prepare for the day ahead.

I love using a "Morning Tweets" board in my classroom where students write a thought (140 characters or less) as they enter. Why not try making that a theme-based thought, such as, "Tell how you had your friend's back in some way this week"? You also might try having an entrance slip on which students record their response to the thought you've written on the board.

Infuse It!

This is the step where the sand really fills in and blends beautifully with the pebbles and rocks. ELA is the best place for infusion of your SEL. Start with the curriculum you must cover. Look at the picture books, chapter books, poetry, and essays that you will be using as you address the curriculum. Good literature can have several themes. Can you find a theme within your literature choice that also addresses your SEL topic? If so, it is so natural to mention that SEL topic throughout your discussions of the literature and in your writing assignments. Are the characters you are studying behaving according to the values you are working on? Do they provide a negative example of your topic?

If you feel that infusion of the SEL theme is impossible within the literature choices you have, can you swap the current choice for another that will address your standards but with a different theme?

The themes that you infuse can be inspired by the Seven Habits, Life Skills, Habits of Mind, or your school's/district's approved behavior support system. You also might want to try working on the specific theme that your students seem to need at the time. I developed a list of themes based on the needs of my fourth graders, connected to songs and literature, and it worked so well for us.

My List
September: Loyalty
October: Positivity
November: Gratitude
December: Understanding
January: Emotional Control
February: Courage
March: Kindness
April: Appreciation
May: Optimism
June: Reflection

Notice It!

Keep an awareness of the culture you've built together going by referring to it often. As you are developing the concept of emotional control in January, for example, keep referring to all the daily examples of loyalty, positivity, gratitude, and understanding that you see in action every day. Add to your encouraging posters rather than swapping them out. Kids who are surrounded by positive affirmations will want to be noticed in positive ways. Misbehaviors are very often just a cry to be noticed. Kids who are part of a positive and encouraging environment and who see that as the culture of their classroom community will want to be noticed for positive behaviors.

For a year-long road map of building SEL learning in your classroom, including all of the elements covered in this post, you might be interested in taking a look at this bundle of units from Bullyproof Rainbow Resources. Those kids on the cover are my own fourth graders, just feeling the love in a classroom that found time for SEL!

Making Time for Social-Emotional Learning

Retta London is an award-winning Michigan teacher, curriculum designer, and consultant. Her blog and TpT shop are both named for Rainbow City, the classroom community she shared with her third, fourth, and fifth grade students for many magical years. Retta is currently directing enrichment programs in grades 4, 5, and 6 in her district using Bullyproof Rainbow Resources. You can connect with her at:

Sharing Our Blessings Giveaway and Blog Hop!

One of the many things I am grateful for this year is our new puppy, Luna! She is the black one on the left (we are also very grateful our sweet Dobby, on the right, but we've had him for a few years). She was rescued from the streets in Puerto Rico and brought all the way to Seattle where we adopted her. I would love to hear what you are thankful for and in fact, that is one of the ways that you can enter the Sharing Our Blessings Giveaway!

A bunch of teacher bloggers have come together for this giveaway! We are each giving away 2 $25 TpT gift cards, so that means you have over 30 chances to win. But that is not even the best part. The best part is that we are each making one of our for-purchase products free on Sunday and Monday, November 22-23. So, be sure to come back then, hop to everyone's blog and pick up your free products!

For now, you can enter the contests and see what everyone is giving away. I will be giving away this set of Reading Response Printables for Any Book!

I chose this product because I have recently revised it (along with set 1 and set 2) with all new fonts, borders, and clip art. I also added a couple new pages. These pages are a great way to keep kids accountable for their reading when they are reading independently. Perfect for small groups too - even close reading!

Be sure to enter the contest below. There are three ways to enter and you can do all of them!
Win one of two TpT Gift Cards!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Now be sure to check out my blogging friends in the link up below to enter for more chances to win and to see what products they will be giving away on Sunday and Monday!

5 Graphic Organizers for the Social Studies Classroom

5 Graphic Organizers for the Social Studies Classroom

Please welcome Kathy to the blog today! Kathy is sharing her knowledge about some of the best graphic organizers to use in a Social Studies classroom. Enjoy and gather some new ideas!

Graphic organizers are an effective tool to use in the Social Studies classroom. They organize and communicate information in a visual way. When applied to content areas, graphic organizers enhance the learning and comprehension of difficult concepts and ideas. Using graphic organizers in the Social Studies classroom helps to make content accessible to all levels of learners. Here are five essential graphic organizers to use in the Social Studies Classroom.

​ABC Chart

This is a great way to review content and vocabulary at the end of a unit. Begin by handing out an ABC Chart to the students. Ask students to individually brainstorm as many words and phrases as they can and record them on the chart. After five minutes, instruct students to get up and talk to as many classmates as they can. Tell them to record their classmates' words on the chart, as well. This is an essential step because it gets students actively engaged and talking about vocabulary. It also helps students remember words they may have missed. Usually, there are meaningful discussions around the vocabulary at this stage in the activity. After a few minutes, send the students back to their seats.

From here there are many possibilities: Guide a class discussion on the various words, have students categorize the words into groups and explain why they are grouped together, use five to ten words in sentences, or use words in a writing assignment, just to name a few.


Grapes stands for Geography, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economics, and Social Structure.

This is a great way to preview a unit with students by creating a synopsis with them on the upcoming civilization. The GRAPES graphic organizer can also be used as a summative assessment. Students can bullet the information they have learned and then turn it into a summary writing assignment. You can get a free copy at my TpT store, The Resourceful Social Studies Teacher.
5 Graphic Organizers for the Social Studies Classroom

Venn Diagram

Venn diagrams are a tried-and-true graphic organizer to compare and contrast items in Social Studies. A new twist on an old trick is using Hula Hoops and sticky notes to create large Venn diagrams. This allows small groups of students to work together to compare and contrast two concepts. Once again, students can engage in meaningful conversations, further solidifying their understanding of the concepts.

5 Graphic Organizers for the Social Studies Classroom

Five W's and an H

Recording information about an event in history can be as easy as the Five W's and an H. It is a great graphic organizer to be using to summarize historical information. Who was involved? What happened? Where did the event happen? When did it happen? Why did it happen? And, of course, How did it happen? This chart is can be found on several educational sites for free or for a small fee on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Document Analysis Sheet

One important skill in a history class is to be able to understand and analyze primary source documents. To do this, a Document Analysis sheet is needed. When looking at a primary source to analyze, there are several things to consider. Begin with looking at the source. Who wrote it? When was it written? Where? What kind of primary source is it? After that, you should look at the context. What was happening at the time that the document was written? What is the main idea of the document? Who was the document's intended audience? You can find my Document Analysis Sheet here.


I am a soon to be empty-nester with two boys, a husband, and a passion for writing, creating, and teaching. I teach 7th and 8th grade Social Studies in Massachusetts. I am a self -proclaimed history geek and proud of it! In my spare time (spare time, ha ha--that's a joke! ), I enjoy photography, reading, and hanging out with my family. Please follow my blog The Resourceful Social Studies Teacher or visit my TpT store.

Make Thinking Visible

Hey there! I'm Kathie from Tried and True Teaching Tools, and I am beyond excited to be guest blogging today at Rachel Lynette's Minds in Bloom! I was asked to write about making thinking clear to students, a topic near and dear to my heart! A fantastic resource is Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison.
With so much focus these days on memorizing facts and learning information for tests, our kids have been lacking in learning how to actually think. Teaching effectiveness is often based on student absorption of material, and teaching becomes defined as the delivery of that material. But we are producing effective test takers, rather than successful learners who think!
When thinking is visible, it provides us with the information we as teachers need to plan and help our students go deeper. Making thinking visible should be an ongoing aspect of effective teaching. Our kids need to see and hear us (teachers) as thinkers and learners. They need to hear each other's questions, insights, and perspectives.

HOW to Make the Invisible Visible?

The most important criteria is that WE, ourselves, must be clear about what thinking is!


  • Ask questions that model our own interest in the ideas being explored (goals as teachers)
  • Ask questions that help students to construct understanding (model intellectual engagement)
  • Ask questions that facilitate the illumination of students' own thinking to themselves (support & help students clarify their own thinking)

Facilitating and Clarifying Thinking

Make Thinking Visible
In comes. . .

Thinking Moves!

Make Thinking Visible
Zoom In is a thinking strategy that slowly reveals only portions of an image over time. Students observe a bit of an image closely and develop a hypothesis. Then, as more and more of the image is exposed, students reassess their initial interpretation in light of the new information. This routine teaches learners flexibility and how sometimes conflicting information may change one's original hypothesis. Istvan Banyai has authored several picture books that are PERFECT to use for this thinking routine!! One of them is called Zoom (sounds appropriate, right?). The book begins with a large image:

Make Thinking Visible
Then the next page pulls back to reveal more:

Make Thinking Visible
And finally the rooster is only a tiny part of a whole farm scene. My kids never tire of looking through these books! Zoom In is a terrific routine to teach perspective!
Think-Puzzle-Explore is similar to KWL (Know-Want to know-Learned) charts that we were all taught in our credential classes. However, the problem I always had was the "K:" Students would volunteer all sorts of responses to what they thought they knew but that were not necessarily accurate information. This routine connects learning to their prior knowledge, yet sets the stage for deeper inquiry. (This routine should certainly be revisited throughout a unit!) The key to Think-Puzzle-Explore is the Explore section: After asking, "What questions or puzzles do you have?" then ask, "HOW can we explore these puzzles?" It's not enough to just have questions, but these puzzlements should truly be what learners want to find out about.
Make Thinking Visible
I Used to Think..., Now I Think... is a reflective routine that focuses students on their thinking rather than just having students summarize what they learned during a unit. It redirects students to how their thinking has changed. It may be helpful to connect this with Think-Puzzle-Explore so that students have recorded what they initially thought at the beginning of a unit or even during a unit.
Red Light, Yellow Light teaches students not to read unaware or not to accept all that is read as truth. This thinking routine is helping students to become more aware of specific moments that hold signs of possible "puzzles of truth." (Don't you love that term?!) Select materials such as opinion articles, unsolved mysteries or other sources with possible conflicts. I was thinking as the upcoming 2016 Presidential election draws closer, there will be many Red Light, Yellow Light moments from candidate speeches, ads, and platforms. Introduce the selected material to your class; you may not want to disclose the source or say anything that will prejudice the reading. Students work individually, in pairs, or in small groups to search for and identify possible "puzzles of truth." Red lights are parts of the reading that make you definitely stop to question. Yellow lights are places to proceed with caution. This routine will cause students to actually think about their reading rather than read just to complete an assignment. THEN, have students provide reasons as to why they categorized their red and yellow lights. After sharing ask the class, "What have we learned about particular signs that indicate there could be a problem or puzzles of truth?" This thinking routine works well with the signposts in Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst. (Another fantastic book that changed the way I teach reading!) The authors also note the importance of helping students identify places where the claims are solid (green lights) and what makes them solid.

I've created a recording sheet to use as I'm teaching my students this thinking routine; you can grab your copy here or clicking on the image below.

Make Thinking Visible
Who doesn't like a competitive game of Tug-of-War? This thinking routine identifies two opposing sides of a problem or situation. As in the physical game of Tug-of-War (and I may actually introduce this routine with a real rope & students on sides outside!), the strongest kids work best as anchors at the end of the ropes, while the "weaker tugs" in the center are easily pulled over the center line. (Although I won't initially tell this to my class; it will by trial and error so they can discover this.) Often children blurt out an opinion without carefully thinking about the issue. Tug-of-War encourages students to initially suspend a side and think about multiple pulls or reasons in support of both sides of the issue. The generation and exploring of multiple supporting ideas is the key to developing deeper thinking.

Make Thinking Visible
Identify a dilemma for students (this can be in the form of a picture, text, video). Ask, "What seems to be the issue there?" Then, draw a line with a small central intersection to represent the rope and sides. Have students name the two sides of the rope (opposing viewpoints). For each side, ask the class for the tugs, or reasons, that support that particular viewpoint. Kids record reasons/tugs on sticky notes. In small groups or as a whole class, discuss where to place the tugs (remember to emphasize the stronger tugs are further at the ends of the rope.) Focus on how the tugs compare with one another in strength.

Discussions on a tug may ensue with, "That depends..." Those reasons may be moved closer to the center with a different colored sticky note labeled, "It depends." I myself have always had (still have) difficulty with multiple choice tests because I can justify my answers with "it depends." (And this is NOT what test makers intend!) This routine could be followed up after the unit with the "I Used to Think... Now I Think..." routine. What a visual way to demonstrate growth in thinking!

You can read more about thinking routines for each stage of the learning process here. I created a "cheat sheet" of Thinking Routines and to which skills they relate. You can grab your copy hereHow do you get your students to understand their thinking?

Tried and True Teaching Tools
Kathie is still just as passionate about teaching after 29 years! She loves creating "tried and true" materials to use with her students and to share with other teachers. Visit Kathie at Tried and True Teaching Tools.

Tried and True Teaching Tools Image Map

Using Task Cards in the Classroom

Using Task Cards in the Classroom
Hi!  I'm Lyndsey from Lit with Lyns, and I'm thrilled to be doing a guest post on Minds in Bloom.  Over the past couple of years, I have become somewhat (ok, extremely) obsessed with using task cards in my classroom.  It started when I purchased Julie Faulkner's Cite Textual Evidence Teaching Pack that included task cards.  Once I saw how engaged my students were, I was sold!

The amazing thing about task cards (and there are many) is that they can be used for virtually any activity and with any subject area.  For those of you who aren't familiar with task cards, they're basically a modernized version of index cards.  Each card has a specific task on it.  For example, the card may have a short passage where students are required to identify the main idea, or it could include a math problem for them to solve.

Using Task Cards in the Classroom
In my classroom, I started by using task cards that I purchased from TPT, and then I began to create my own, based on the needs of students.  In middle school, the Common Core requires students to understand and use compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.  This can be a hard skill to grasp.  It's also a concept that students aren't too excited about learning.  In order to increase engagement, while also helping students master this topic, I decided to create task cards in hopes that they would do just that!  After students had the opportunity to learn about each type of sentence, independent and dependent clauses, and conjunctions, I was able to see which students were "getting it" and which students weren't.  Based on this knowledge, I created task cards depending on my students' needs and grouped them accordingly.  For those who were beginning to show mastery, they used task cards that required them to add a clause in order to make the sentence compound-complex.  For those who were still working towards mastery, they used task cards requiring them to identify the type of sentence on the card, whether it be compound, complex, or compound-complex.  I also made sure to give every group a task card that explains and gives examples of each type of sentence, like the one above. Download this FREEBIE that includes the example task card above, as well as 8 practice task cards: Compound, Complex, Compound-Complex Task Cards!

Take a look at more ways task cards can be implemented into any classroom, grade, and/or subject level below:

1.  Alternative Instruction: Use task cards as an alternative to worksheets.  Not only will this prevent the groans you hear from your students as you're passing out the dreaded worksheet, but you'll also find that your students are MUCH more focused on the topic at hand. 
2.  Review: Task cards are great to reinforce/review a specific skill.
3.  Routines/Expectations: They are a fantastic way for your students to review classroom procedures, routines, and expectations at the beginning of the school year (or any time they need a refresher).
Using Task Cards in the Classroom

4.  Virtual task cards: Post them on a website, such as Edmodo (any website that allows you to upload documents that your students can also access).  This is great for class projects, homework, etc.  The best part...the cards can include links to websites that students can use in order to complete the task.  Above is one of the task cards I uploaded to Edmodo for a project we were doing in class.
5.  Differentiation: Divide your class into groups based on students' levels, and then assign task cards that will best meet each group's needs.
6.  Games: Task cards are a great way to incorporate games into your lessons.  For example, give each student, pair, group, etc. task cards to complete within a set amount of time.  The one that completes the tasks first, while also getting the answers correct, wins!
7.  Interventions: Task cards are fantastic to use for interventions or RTI.  They can be used to focus on the skills upon which you want these students to improve.
8.  Jigsaw Method: Assign each "home" group a specific task card with the task that you want them to master.  Then, have the students move into their "expert" groups, in order to share the information they have learned, based on the task that they were to complete.
9.  Close Reading: Provide close reading questions on task cards for students to answer while reading.  This is a great way to encourage students to incorporate this strategy every time they read.
10.  Centers/Stations: This is a good way to get your students moving, while also practicing the skills the class is working on.

For more ways to keep your students engaged, check out my blog, Lit with Lyns, and my TPT store!

About Me:
Lit with LynsI have been teaching middle school English/Language as well as English college courses for over 12 years.  I have a Masters in Reading: Curriculum & Instruction and absolutely love what I do.  My husband and I have 2 extremely active boys, ages 9 and 6, that keep us on the go constantly. When I'm not in the classroom, you can almost always find me at the baseball field.

Lit with Lyns

Classroom Management: Finding the Right Fit

Hi everyone! My name is Laura, and I'm the blogger behind Discovering Hidden Potential. I'm excited to share some different classroom management ideas with you today. Thank you so much Rachel for this opportunity. With different personalities and needs that teachers encounter in the classroom, sometimes it can be hard to find the "right fit" when it comes to classroom management. The typical one-size-fits-all management system might not work for ALL the students in the classroom, especially when you have students coming to you from all different backgrounds. Over the years, I have worked with students with some of the backgrounds in the below graphic and have found teachers really need a repertoire of behavior strategies.
I'm here today to share some unique and different classroom management strategies in order to help you meet the needs of the different learners in your classroom!
It does not get much easier than this strategy. Most teachers have their expectations or rules visually displayed within the classroom; however, they do not refer to them or use them when correcting student behavior. When a student is not following a classroom expectation, simply point to the rule. Constantly referring back to the classroom expectations, especially during the first few months of school, gives students gentle reminders. Refer to the rule number instead of the actual rule, such as "You are not following rule number 3; please stop." This way it is very clear, and the teacher and student typically become less likely to become entangled in a power struggle.
Visual reinforcement can be especially helpful for younger children. A Behavior Lanyard is a visual for the students to wear all day so they will constantly be aware of their behavioral goals. On the back of the tag are tokens that the student earns when exhibiting the chosen behavior. When the tag is filled up, the student gets to pick a larger prize from a reward menu. This could also be used for the entire class, and the behavioral goal could change depending on the class needs. For example, if the class if having difficulty transitioning, then they could earn tokens for each appropriate transition time.
Many inappropriate behaviors occur because the student is trying to get attention or avoid a task. Appointment Cards help give students the attention they want but at a more appropriate time that is designated by you. As the teacher you need to give them the message that they are not in control of your classroom and that there is a more appropriate time to address the issue. If you do not want to stop instruction, then you can use appointment cards to formalize the process. Let students know that you want to talk about the issue but not at that moment, and they can make an appointment to talk with you at a designated time. You can also use the appointment cards when YOU want to make an appointment with a student to discuss their behavior. This can be especially helpful for students who are on an individual behavior point system. Assign a point value for completing the card, and they will be reinforced for completing the appointment card instead of continuing the disruptive behavior. It is important to continue to give students different strategies that they can use, and when students use one of these strategies, you should reward or reinforce that choice.
Self-Monitoring Charts are a great tool that are not used very frequently. Typically, teachers will opt for a standard behavior chart where the day is broken down into subject areas and the teacher gives points, smiley faces, checks, etc. when the student is meeting the target behavior. A self-monitoring chart can be developed in a very similar fashion, but with the added bonus of starting to put more responsibility on the student for “checking” their behavior. While older students may be able to complete a chart without having a “teacher rating” system attached, I have found that creating charts that have both a teacher and a student rating scale are more effective. An example of a very simple chart that does not divide the day into individual time frames is below. In this chart two behaviors are identified as target behaviors: I will stay in my assigned area, and I will complete my classwork. The teacher and student review the target behaviors at the beginning of the day. At the end of the day, both the teacher and the student rate how successful the student was at meeting the goals. A reward menu or some type of system for positive reinforcement should be attached to the chart when the teacher and the student ratings match and are positive.
Inconspicuous corrections to student behavior are generally more effective than public displays for all students to see and hear. Public reprimands increase the chance of escalating the problem and can take away some of the student’s dignity. Statement Cards are a great alternative strategy to use. The purpose of statement cards is to allow the teacher to redirect the student without stopping instruction and possibly becoming entangled in a power struggle. The teacher simply places the card on the student’s desk and continues with the lesson. It is just as important to reinforce positive behavior, especially in students who typically have behavioral issues. Generally, in order to change negative behaviors, positive behavior must be reinforced at a more frequent rate than correcting negative behaviors, so you should also have cards with positive statements.
These cards can also be used in conjunction with an individual behavior plan that incorporates a point system. Teachers can give students chances to earn more points if they receive a positive card or use the corrective cards as warnings before points are taken away.
Some children need a spot in the classroom to go and "cool down." As teachers it is important to teach students productive and healthy ways to deal with emotions such as anger, sadness, or frustration. By teaching students different tools they can use to deal with these emotions in a healthy way, we are helping the individual student and eliminating a potential disruption to the learning environment. The first step in doing this is being proactive and ready for a child who needs some additional help calming down within the classroom. The cool down cushion is the perfect place to “house” these tools and strategies. The purpose of the cool down cushion is preventative, as a place where a student can voluntarily go when they identify signs of frustration before hitting the point of no return. Of course, you could call it something else. I just liked defining an actual place in the room and giving it a label. Next to the cushion, there should be a variety of tools students can use to cool down.

Classroom Management: Finding the Right Fit
Instead of just a one FREEBIE, I have THREE for you! Just click the link below and it will take you to my TPT store, where you can find Statement Cards, Appointment Cards, and the Cool Down Cushion Sign. You can also head on over to my blog, Discovering Hidden Potential, to find more behavior tips, special education resources, and early learning tools.
Discovering Hidden Potential
Laura has worked as a School Psychologist for the past 10 years and is currently a Special Education Coordinator in South Carolina. She is married with two sweet daughters and loves sailing, running, and spending time with her family. Check out her blog for more behavior resources and classroom management techniques, as well as early learning resources she has created for her own children.

Teaching Resources

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover