Tips and Tools

Tips and Tools

Tips and Tools2023-05-17T20:40:13+00:00

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 kids about their favorite summer memories, and create some artwork together illustrating their standout summer moments. You can also co-create some hopes and dreams for[...]

September 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 break can be hard, and creating reliable routines in our personal life can help set the stage for a successful school day. Here are some[...]

September 21, 2023|

Ideas for Parents & Caregivers to Celebrate the End of the School Year with Their Kids

Ten months of packing lunches, checking homework, and ensuring your kids get out the door before the school bus or carpool leaves! It’s time to celebrate! In our fast-paced culture, it can be easy to forget to commemorate big moments and transitions, such as the transition from the end of the school year to summer break. After all the hard work students, parents, and educators do  to make the school year successful, it’s important to take a moment and recognize all the growth and effort this school year. Here are a few easy ways to celebrate.   Make a Top 10 List With so much packed into the school year, sometimes we forget all that we’ve done. Have your child reflect on their top ten[...]

June 15, 2023|

Celebrating and Reflecting on the End of the School Year

You made it! Closing the school year out with some rituals and appreciations helps us reflect on all the growth and memories you and your students have made this year. There is so much anticipatory energy present at the end of the school year, and it’s important to look back at your classroom and school community so you can be fully present for the transition to summer break. Here are a few ideas to celebrate the end of the year!   Celebrate and Acknowledge Each Student Create a word cloud for every student by asking each of their peers to submit one word they would use to describe the student. This could also be done verbally during a class meeting, or with old-fashioned pen and[...]

June 8, 2023|

Easy Ways to Appreciate & Celebrate Yourself and Your Coworkers

In our opinion, educators have one of the hardest jobs in the country. For educators who have been navigating challenging behaviors all year and still showing up day after day, we see you. For educators that are tired and frustrated, we appreciate you. For the educators that find hope in the small wins with students, we celebrate you. We’d like to offer some easy ways to celebrate yourself and your fellow educators for Teacher Appreciation Week and all year long! Reflect On All You’ve Been Through With all the changes in the experience of being an educator over the last three years, we invite you to take this time to reflect on what has helped you stay grounded in this hectic, challenging work. As educators,[...]

May 11, 2023|

Parents & Families Can Show Appreciation for Educators All Year Long

We appreciate educators year-round for all their hard work, and in May, Teacher Appreciation Week gives us a chance to celebrate them and show educators how much we value them! Through COVID-19 scares, virtual teaching, and returning to in-person school, educators have remained nimble and dedicated in serving our students and families. Here are a few ways to celebrate educators: Write A Card (and Have Your Child Write One, Too!) A heartfelt card can go a long way toward making educators feel cared for and appreciative. Start your kids off with some sentence stems if they are having a difficult time getting started. Here are a few examples: “Teacher, I love it when you..., You make learning about _____ really fun!, It is really funny[...]

May 11, 2023|

Teaching boundary setting and repair conversations

As educators, we teach so much more than algebra and spelling to our students. Crucial life skills, such as self-regulation, repairing harm, and setting healthy boundaries to prevent harm, are just a few of the life lessons we can provide for our students. Teaching the importance of boundaries, how to communicate your needs, and how to receive boundary setting are all foundational building blocks for healthy interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately, many of us did not have a blueprint in our childhood about boundary setting and repair conversations. Here are some tips for integrating preventative interpersonal relationship skills into your classroom culture.    Model Boundary Setting  Children learn from what we do, not from what we say. Modeling setting healthy boundaries in the classroom can be an[...]

April 11, 2023|

Relationship Tools You Can Use to Repair Mistakes and Maintain Connection with Your Child

Conflict is an inevitable part of life, and we often are not taught how to repair harm once it occurs, especially not with our children. It is vital for parents and caregivers to remain in healthy connection with their child after conflict occurs, and to model what an effective repair conversation looks like. This not only strengthens the bond with your child, but it also teaches children the importance of apologizing and repairing harm when conflict occurs. This article from The Peaceful Parent Institute details the ways the parent-child relationship heavily influences how your child engages in future relationships. Navigating conflict is a crucial aspect of healthy relationships. Here are a few relationship tools to explore and practice:   Regulate, regulate, regulate Before attempting to[...]

April 7, 2023|

Create an Inclusive Classroom Community by Learning Neurodiversity and Brain Science

March includes both Neurodiversity Celebration Week and Brain Science Awareness Week. Helping students learn about neurodiversity and brain science helps to create an inclusive classroom community while building empathy and self-awareness. Here are a few ways you and your students can explore brain science and neurodiversity.   Learn About Neurodiversity According to this Harvard Medical School article, neurodiversity “describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many ways; there is no one "right" way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits.” Approximately 15-20% of the population has a neurological difference, and oftentimes the public education system is not designed to meet the needs of neurodivergent students. Unlearning myths about neurodivergent students is helpful for all[...]

March 22, 2023|

How Learning Brain Science is Helpful for Parents, Caregivers, and Kids

Brain science is not just for neuroscientists! How can it help parents and caregivers? Educating yourself and your kids about brain science helps deepen your understanding of behavior and emotions. Everything—from the way humans learn, to the way we engage with each other, to our capacity for thinking, feeling, learning, and problem-solving — all functions through billions of neurons and connections in our brains. Understanding the basics of how the brain works helps demystify human emotions and behavior and gives us some agency in self-regulation and problem-solving. Kids love learning about their brains! They can become scientists of their own mind, expanding their understanding of their own behaviors and emotions. Here are a few resources to get started.   Help Your Kids Learn Brain Basics[...]

March 21, 2023|


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