Taking care of a class full of children (no matter what their ages) will keep you on your toes during normal times of the year, but trying to keep kids calm and focused at exciting times of the year can be exhausting for even the most energetic of educators. Whether it's right before summer break or right before Thanksgiving and Christmas, children seem to gain endless amounts of energy at those times of the year. Here are a few effective strategies you can implement to ensure that the children in your class are calm, focused, and ready to learn at all times of the year:
- Ask Children to Do a Physical Activity – When children are fidgety or have lots of energy, take a few minutes to do a physical activity with them. Taking a short walk or stretching and doing a few yoga moves in the classroom can help expend children's energy while also helping them calm down and focus on learning.
- Give Them Time to Write in a Journal – If children are excited about an upcoming holiday or vacation, give them an opportunity to write about why they're excited. You can then ask for volunteers to share what they wrote with the class. Providing children with opportunities to record and share their thoughts and excitement with you and their peers can cut down on disruptions and challenging behaviors throughout the day.
- Play Calming Music – Whether it's while young children take a nap or while older children work on an assignment, playing calming music can help children calm down enough to go to sleep or finish an activity. Soothing classical music, lullabies, and white noise are great options to play in the classroom when you need children to settle down.
- Dim Classroom Lights – Try dimming your classroom lights when children are having a difficult time calming down after a fun activity. On sunny days, another option would be to turn off your classroom lights and let natural light come in through the windows.
- Have Children Read Quietly – Redirecting children's attention by having them read quietly is a great way to keep control of your classroom during exciting times of the year. If you teach younger children, try reading or telling them a story.
- Establish a Warning System – Come up with a warning system that lets children know when they're becoming too loud or disruptive. For example, you could dim or turn off the lights to get children's attention. Other options include ringing a bell, clapping your hands, whispering, or doing something silly to get children's attention. How you warn children or get their attention is up to you, but make sure you establish consequences for when children ignore the warning or are repeatedly disruptive.
Be sure to browse our related products for materials you can use in your classroom to help keep children calm and focused on learning.