As teachers, we know those special moments in the classroom in between activities when there is too much time to transition to the next activity, but not enough time to really teach a full lesson. These moments are the perfect time for the “sponge activities” that I remember learning about years ago when I first started teaching. Now that I am in my 35th year of teaching, these little sponges (fun, short and engaging) have become second nature to me.
Teaching children how to write is very different from teaching children how to think of themselves as writers. Teaching writing involves learning to hold the pencil properly, to slant the paper and to form the letters within the guidelines. While it is true that written language must be legible, learning to do this is very different from generating ideas worthy of being written down.
Establishing a classroom yoga practice can help to create an atmosphere of family, compassion and empathy. You don’t have to be a yoga expert, though a little experience is helpful. I started practicing yoga with my transitional kindergarten students after taking a class and getting certified by YOGAed, an organization that teaches teachers how to incorporate yoga into classroom routine.