Focusing on Connection and Belonging this New School Year

Focusing on Connection and Belonging this New School Year

Take the time to root down in your purpose and ground yourself before students come into your classroom, and you will be set up for a regulated and connected new school year.

We are all feeling a variety of emotions, from anxiety to fear to joy, as we gear up for the start of this new school year. Transitions are always challenging. But we may be feeling it even more given that the last three years were extremely unpredictable for school communities.

We invite educators to focus on connection and belonging as you are getting ready to welcome students back …

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7 Ways to Start the New School Year on a Positive Note

7 Ways to Start the New School Year on a Positive Note

To start the new school year on a positive note, focus on connection, routines, and helping your kids make their own choices.

September is approaching, and whether this summer was relaxing or stressful (or a combination of both!), it is slowly coming to an end. It’s normal for kids and their parents and caregivers to feel a mix of anticipation, curiosity, and maybe even dread about what the new school year might bring.

Here are seven creative ideas and activities to do with your kids, to prepare for the transition from summer days to structured school days. To start this …

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Ideas for Celebrating the Season!

Ideas for Celebrating the Season!

It was far from normal, and this school year marked the first time since 2018-2019 that most kids were in real classrooms, in person, together. So, when they leave their classrooms and say goodbye to their teachers this month, it will be truly transitional.

Celebrating all that they accomplished this school year can help with the transition. And there is a great deal to celebrate! Celebrations during childhood help our kids apply structure to the world and create memories that will stay with them into adulthood. Here are some suggestions and ideas for how to mark these end-of-the-school year days …

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Student-centered Ideas for Wrapping Up the School Year

Student-centered Ideas for Wrapping Up the School Year

As this school year comes to an end, you are probably feeling a range of emotions! Your students are certainly also feeling a range of emotions, from excitement to anxiety. You and your students worked hard all year building community, getting to know one another’s strengths and areas of growth, and centering student voice and agency. The end of the school year provides a meaningful opportunity to celebrate the community you have co-created with students.

 

So, as we transition to summer break, here are a few student-centered ideas to celebrate your classroom community to wrap up the year.

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It’s Teacher Appreciation Month and We See You

Teacher Appreciation messages from Sound Discipline Facilitators!

What a school year this has been! By many accounts, this year proved even more challenging than the previous two years, leaving many educators exhausted and discouraged. And yet, you keep showing up. You continue to be present and attentive to the needs of your students. Even though you may feel depleted, you keep dipping into a deep well of patience and commitment.

At Sound Discipline, we see you! We are grateful for all that you do. For Teacher Appreciation Month, we celebrate you for the heroes that you are! 

 

Hopefully, your …

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5 Simple Ways to Show Appreciation for Teachers (Anytime, Not Just the First Week of May!)

The first week of May is Teacher Appreciation week. It’s a great reminder to take a moment and show support for educators. They have such a profound impact on our kids and our world!

Ask any teacher and they will tell you that simple, heartfelt gestures go a long way. Here are several ways to show your appreciation, during Teacher Appreciation Week, or anytime:

1) Give them a handwritten a letter. In this difficult year, put your heart-felt thoughts in writing. What about your child’s teacher stands out? What does their work mean to your child and your family? Ask …

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An Easy Way to Reduce Stress and Strengthen Relationships in Your Family

An Easy Way to Reduce Stress and Strengthen Relationships in Your Family

Want to play? What? Too busy doing important things to play? It turns out (check out this research), play is extremely important – for just about everyone and everything, but especially for learning and developing children. But why?

Stress: It turns out play reduces stress (and therefore) facilitates learning. We know stress lowers the amount of our brain available for real learning. Play is really the work that kids need to be doing.  And not just kids. Adults benefit in the same ways!

Relationship: The National Institute of Play reports that playful communications and interactions, when …

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The Surprising Benefits of Play in the Classroom

Play is a strategy for learning at any age. While older students and their teachers might have more curricular demands than younger students, playful learning still has an important role to play…”

– Project Zero Researcher Mara Krechevsky, Harvard Graduate School of Education

After years of pandemic disruption, are we feeling pressure to catch students up? Are you wrestling with the gap between what you feel you must do, and what you know is best for your students?

Here are some ideas to hopefully lighten that load and remind you of something you probably already know. Learning is …

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Developing Firmness Tools for Educators

When we can respond to students in ways that are both connected and firm, both adults and students benefit. But how do we do that?

Children need compassion and boundaries, connection and high expectations – at the same time. But most of us did not grow up with this model or learn it in our teacher training. The good news is that this is something we can learn, practice, and get better at until it’s second nature.

During COVID, we have been refining our course on this topic — our new online workshop Reimagining Resilience 2: Developing Firmness Tools offers …

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Developing Firmness Tools for Parents

Kind compassion and grounded firmness are critical to effective parenting. If we can do both, our parenting takes on a strong even keel, so that in stormy times or calm, we know we are getting where we want to go with our children in a way that has direction and purpose. Both parents and kids feel the stability. We call this parenting with connected firmness. How do we do this, when many of us were not brought up with this modeled in our own families?

Ask More Questions: Instead of telling kids what to do all of the …

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