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

September is half over, and whether this summer was relaxing or stressful (or a combination of both!), it is time to accept that it is coming to an end. Your kids (and you) are probably feeling a mix of anticipation, curiosity, and maybe even dread as the new school year gets underway. For the transition from summer days to structured school days, here are eight creative ideas and activities to do with your kids. We suggest a focus on connection, routines, and helping your child make their own choices. Reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going. Ask your [...]

2023-09-21T03:52:43+00:00September 21, 2023|

Focus on Routines this New School Year

Are you feeling a variety of emotions, from anxiety to fear to joy, as the school gets underway? Transitions are always challenging. But we may be feeling it even more given that the last four years were extremely unpredictable for school communities. We invite educators to focus on building routines as young people get settled into school buildings. Setting expectations for routines early on sets us up for a regulated, connected new school year. Here are some resources and ideas to support educators and school staff for this upcoming school year: Start building routines for yourself first. Coming off of summer [...]

2023-09-21T00:13:24+00:00September 21, 2023|

Campbell Hill Classified Staff use Data and SEL Strategies to Help with Transitions and Recess

The classified staff of Campbell Hill Elementary, in Renton, WA, works hard every day to be sure that students know they are safe, belong, and matter in the unstructured spaces like the school playground and cafeteria. This team of educators meet monthly to align their practice, continue their learning about social emotional learning and trauma-responsive strategies, and to support building equitable classrooms and communities. One of their best tools is using patterns in discipline data - which helps them to identify system improvements and opportunities to build lagging skills for the adults and/or the kids.   Supporting Transitions from Classroom [...]

2023-04-28T19:58:31+00:00March 21, 2023|

Classroom Routines Help Everyone

The start of the school year is a perfect time to co-create routines with your students! Routines help everyone get back into the swing of a structured school day. Investing thought, time, and energy into establishing routines creates a less stressful classroom for educators and students. Involve students in developing, practicing, and improving classroom routines. When you involve students in developing, practicing, and improving classroom routines, it helps ensure they feel a sense of belonging and contribution to their class community. Classroom routines and procedures also help increase engagement and minimize opportunities for misbehavior. This article from Head [...]

2023-05-17T18:26:50+00:00September 15, 2022|

Back-to-School Tips – Setting Up Family Routines

Back-to-School time! How do you help young people get back into the swing of a structured school day as summer fades away? No one likes to nag their kids to wake up, and just getting out the door on time can result in power struggles. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone! Here are a few tips to ease the transition back to school.   Reintroducing Routines Family routines and structure help parents and young people alike. Kids feel safe and secure because they know what to expect, and parents feel confident because they know how to [...]

2023-05-17T18:26:50+00:00September 15, 2022|

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 [...]

2023-05-17T18:26:50+00:00August 10, 2022|

Teachers Can Harness the Power of Ritual and Routine

At this time of year, with heightened excitement and a looming break from school, the agreements you co-created with your class at the beginning of the school year and the everyday routines you have been establishing are things to lean on. Depend on that structure now, because it comforts them and helps them feel safe. Refrain from adding too much extra. Avoid the temptation to add more excitement to the days: Assemblies, special activities, half-days and holidays can be stressful. Especially for those who have been exposed to adverse experiences.  Keep the school-day flow as close to normal as possible [...]

2023-05-17T18:26:27+00:00December 13, 2021|

Lunch time! How Bryn Mawr Elementary Creates Community in the Lunchroom

We all have distant memories of a loud, chaotic lunchroom, where students often had their heads down for being too loud and left lunch a bit dysregulated and less ready to learn. At Bryn Mawr Elementary, the staff has creatively addressed one of the key sources of stress for all schools this year – how to manage the lunchroom in the wake of a pandemic. Lunch time at Bryn Mawr Elementary   Hopes for the lunchroom They wanted to create opportunities for students to learn and be part of community throughout the day, and that included lunch time. [...]

2021-10-12T13:42:05+00:00October 12, 2021|

A Strong Start for Teachers

Teachers: we sincerely hope you were able to take some well-deserved time off this summer. The past two school years have asked too much of you. And right around the corner is the beginning of something new…a new classroom of kids, new challenges, new successes.  Although we continue to face many unknowns this school year, here are a few ideas help craft a smooth transition and a strong start for your students and yourself. Welcome your students: Just like us adults, they will be feeling a rollercoaster of emotions this new school year. Explicitly validate their feelings of both nervousness [...]

2023-05-17T18:26:25+00:00August 20, 2021|

A Smooth Transition to the School Year

The new school year is fast approaching, and the sunlit days are growing a little shorter. It’s time to transition from summer to the more structured schedule of fall.  There are still a lot of unknowns this school year, so it will helpful for kids to feel as ready as they can. When we leave this shift until the last minute, the change can be difficult for both kids and adults and anticipatory excitement can become overwhelming stress.  In order to create as smooth a  transition as possible to this new school year, consider some of the following: Fully experience [...]

2023-05-17T18:25:25+00:00August 20, 2021|


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