When it is too cold to take the kids outside for recess, the air in the classroom seems almost electrically charged for most of the day. Everyone talks a little louder. Everyone play a little more roughly. Everybody makes you repeat what you said just one time more than usual.
As crazy as everything is, the school day must go on. Cold temperatures may last for days, and the class can’t go long without getting back to the work that needs to be done. How do you keep little minds focused on work and make the room a calming environment?
First, get some energy out. Find out if the gym is open for your class to do some running. Spend a few minutes playing games that involve jumping jacks and It may be a good idea to collaborate with teachers in nearby classrooms so that the excessive noise doesn’t bother their classrooms or interrupt them taking a test.
Second, try a few yoga poses or quiet stretches with the students. Also, try playing soothing music during quiet times. Soothing music not only quiets the class, but it relaxes them as well. Not only does this work while you are getting kids acclimated, but it also works throughout the day to help you keep them focused.
A snack can be a great bribe for good behavior, but it can also be disruptive as well. If you are making a snack for your class, try something natural and healthy, like half an apple. The less additives and sugar that are in the better you students will act afterwards.
Most importantly, be flexible. If your class is obviously not getting anything out of a lesson, take a break and come back to it later. Turn the spelling lesson into a spelling game. Change the math lesson into a game of whispering “Around the World” where the winner only gets to move on if they whispered the answer.
When you feel you are at your wit’s end, remember that spring comes every year! So does the warmer weather. Hang in there!