Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Essential Oils in the Classroom

I was introduced to Doterra essential oils last fall when a friend made me a roller bottle blend of oils. I noticed a positive change in mood, attitude, and  well-being at home.
My daughters use an oil blend to calm down from a preschool-age meltdown. We use a confidence blend to calm our fears when we have to do something new or different. In addition to using oils for moods, we use oil blends to help relieve discomfort from headaches and allergies.  As a Doterra consultant, it is important for me to stay compliant. Oils can't prevent, cure, or treat diseases, but combined with a healthy lifestyle, they can soothe tense feelings, lift moods, and support healthy body functions. 

Our little roller bottles had such a positive effect on my family! I ordered diffusers for our bedrooms to use oils aromatically. 
Greenair Spa Vapor+, Oil Diffuser Advanced Wellnss Instant Healthful Mist Therapy
I ordered my diffusers from Amazon.

Shortly after starting using oils aromatically in the home, I ordered another diffuser for my classroom. I started using a protective oil blend called OnGuard in my room during the months of running noses, absences, and the flu going around.  Maybe it was a strange coincidence, but I never missed a day of school last year from being sick!  Students commented on how good the room smelled- a blend of cinnamon, orange, and clove. 

Although the protective oil blend smelled good and promoted immunity, I felt that I wanted to experiment with oils to create an atmosphere of focus, motivation, and calming. Last year's class had the largest number of students with alternate behavior plans due to hyperactivity and inattention that I have ever had.

I started diffusing a mix of wild orange, cedarwood, and a Doterra balance blend. Within a week, I noticed a decrease of talking out of turn, increased focus during independent practice, and an overall happier mood.  Some mornings I would forget to start the diffuser. Those mornings were usually a little noisier and less focused. Wow!  I am not claiming that the diffuser with the oils was a cure-all for misbehavior and inattention, but I definitely noticed a positive change in my class. I plan on using my diffuser again in the classroom when school starts!

I recently came across this article on the Doterra blog. A student did her own study on the effects of essential oils in the classroom. It's a good read!

Monday, July 4, 2016

First Grade Homework Packets

Last year I had the privilege of having my daughter in my kindergarten class! At first, I was asked if it would be weird, difficult to balance being mom and the teacher, and how my principal would allow it. I heard from other teachers who have taught their own children that it can be hard to balance not being too tough on your child while also not being to lenient. I found that having my daughter in my class was a great experience!  She was a great helper before and after school in my classroom. My husband was the main homework helper since I knew what she was doing during the school day; normally I would be the parent to help with homework, but it was a positive learning experience for my husband to sit down with her during homework time so he could see what we were doing in the classroom. The other day she was reading a book and my heart swelled with pride that she can read so well- and it was her teacher (ME!) who taught I her!  :)

Between the hectic summer schedule of riding and swimming lessons, weddings, and just allowing time for my kids to be kids on summer vacation, I put together a First Grade Monthly Homework Packet for her to practice the skills she'll learn NEXT MONTH in first grade. (4th of July always seems like the beginning of the end of summer.)
 First Grade Homework Packets by the Month- Common Core Aligned
 My Kindergarten Monthly Homework Packet was a big success in my classroom last year. Parents appreciated how the activities reinforced what their child was learning in school.  The weekly homework activities are standards-based skills in reading and math. Each week includes a reading activity that gets parents to talk about the book with their child while practicing comprehension skills and strategies.

The First Grade Monthly Homework Packet follows the same layout with weekly activities to reinforce the skills taught in first grade. I am planning on using the First Grade homework in kindergarten during the 2016-17 school year for differentiating homework. On the other hand, first grade teachers can use the kindergarten homework for differentiating in their classrooms! 

Friday, January 15, 2016

8 days away!

We have been in kindergarten for 92 days. That means 8 more days until 100th Day! My class is very excited to make it to this major milestone! We will dress like we're 100 years old and do lots of fun 100th Day activities.

In the past, a favorite activity was making cupcakes with 100 sprinkles. Click here for the freebie.


To keep the day moving and organized, I make 100th Day booklets with lots of fun activities.  Check it out in my TPT store! 
100 Days Smarter! 100th Day Activities