When I was a classroom teacher, I often felt conflicted about time management. It seemed there was never enough time to incorporate the creative spontaneity of children. It was always difficult
to align the students’ excitement for learning new things with instructional goals and responsibilities. The following classroom practices helped me shift from a time-pressured adult to a
nurturing motivator. Parents can use them at home too.
I often use humor to reduce stress. It’s good to share laughs together in the classroom because students remember things that make them laugh. A classroom filled with laughter is a classroom with positive energy.
2. Take a quick movement break.
Like children, I have trouble sitting still, so movement helps me focus. We all need movement to perform at our very best. Simple stretches, dancing to music, and tossing a ball while asking and answering questions are easy ways to integrate movement with learning.
3. Read aloud.
Reading aloud improves the classroom climate. Children love being read to, and research shows that reading aloud is the most important thing a parent can do to help a child prepare for learning.
4. Play a warm-up game.
In addition to fostering creativity and learning, play makes a child's life more fun. I created plenty of quick game-based warm-ups that were fun for me too. A warm-up is a short activity at the start of a lesson to jump-start students' thinking. They have many purposes including:
- to introduce a new topic
- to reinforce skills
- to motivate students
- to prepare students to learn
- to assess how much students know
5. Sing a song.
Music inspires. It also enriches our brains and helps children control emotions.