Elementary ESOL in the Classroom
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WeAreTeachers: 5 Fun Alternatives to Think-Pair-Share

WeAreTeachers: 5 Fun Alternatives to Think-Pair-Share | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
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How to Help Your Daughter Cope With Mean Girls

How to Help Your Daughter Cope With Mean Girls | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Bullies, frenemies, gossips. Few girls make it through adolescence without an encounter with a mean girl. These strategies and talking points will help you set your daughter up for success.
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Why our children are so bored at school, cannot wait, get easily frustrated and have no real friends?

Why our children are so bored at school, cannot wait, get easily frustrated and have no real friends? | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
I am an occupational therapist with 10 years of experience working with
children, parents, and teachers. I completely agree with this teacher’s
message that our children getting worse and worse in many aspects. I hear
the same consistent message from every teacher I meet. Clearly, throughout
my ten years as an Occupational Therapist, I have seen and continue to see
a decline in kids’ social, emotional, academic functioning, as well as a
sharp increase in learning disabilities and other diagnoses.  

Today’s children come to school emotionally unavailable for learning and
there are many factors in our modern lifestyle that contribute to this. As
we know, the brain is malleable. Through environment we can make the brain
“stronger” or make it “weaker”. I truly believe that with all our greatest
intentions, we unfortunately remold our children’s brains in the wrong
direction. Here is why…

1. Technology

“Free babysitting service… the payment is waiting for you just around the
corner”.  We pay with our kids’ nervous system, with their attention, and
ability for delayed gratification. Compared to virtual reality, everyday
life is boring. When kids come to the classroom, they are exposed to human
voices and adequate visual stimulation as opposed to being bombarded with
graphic explosions and special effects that they are used to seeing on the
screens. After hours of virtual reality, processing information in a
classroom becomes increasingly challenging for our kids because their
brains are getting used to the high levels of stimulation that video games
provide. The inability to process lower levels of stimulation leaves kids
vulnerable to academic challenges. Technology also disconnects us
emotionally from our children and our families. Parental emotional
availability is the main nutrient for child’s brain. Unfortunately, we are
gradually depriving our children from that nutrient.

2. Kids get everything they want the moment they want

“I am Hungry!!” “In a sec I will stop at drive thru” “I am Thirsty!” “Here
is a vending machine”. “I am bored!” “Use my phone!”   The ability to delay
gratification is one of the key factors for future success. We have all the
greatest intention in mind to make our children happy, but unfortunately,
we make them happy at the moment but miserable in a long term.  To be able
to delay gratification means to be able to function under stress. Our
children are gradually becoming less equipped to deal with even minor
stressors which eventually become huge obstacles to their success in life.
The inability to delay gratification is often seen in classrooms, malls,
restaurants, and toy stores the moment the child hears “No” because parents
have taught their“child’s brain” to get what it wants right away

3. Kids rule the world

 “My son doesn’t like vegetables” “She doesn’t like going to bed early” “He
doesn’t like to eat breakfast” “She doesn’t like toys, but she is very good
at her IPAD” “He doesn’t want to get dressed on his own” “She is too lazy
to eat on her own”. This is what I hear from parents all the time. Since
when do children dictate to us how to parent them? If we leave it all up to
them , all they are going to do is eat macaroni and cheese, bagel with
cream cheese, watch TV, play on their tablets, and never go to bed. What
good are we doing them by giving them what they WANT when we know that it
is not GOOD for them? Without proper nutrition and a good night’s sleep,
our kids come to school irritable, anxious, and inattentive.  In addition,
we send them the wrong message.  They learn they can do what they want and
not do what they don’t want. The concept of “need to do’ is absent.
Unfortunately, in order to achieve our goals in our lives, we have to do
what’s necessary which may not always be what we want to do.  For example,
if a child wants to be an A student, he needs to study hard. If he wants to
be a successful soccer player, he needs to practice every day. Our children
know very well what they want but have very hard time to do what is
necessary to achieve that goal. This results in unattainable goals and
leaves the kids disappointed.

4. Endless Fun

We created an artificial fun world for our children. There are no dull
moments. The moment it becomes quiet, we run to entertain them again
because otherwise we feel that we are not doing our parenting duty. We live
in two separate worlds. They have their “fun “world and we have our “work”
world. Why aren’t children helping us in the kitchen or with laundry? Why
don’t they tidy up their toys? This is basic monotonous work that trains
the brain to be workable and function under “boredom” which is the same
“muscle” that is required to be eventually teachable at school.  When they
come to school and it is time for printing, their answer is “I can’t. It is
too hard. Too boring” Why? Because the workable “muscle” is not getting
trained through endless fun. It gets trained through work.

5. Limited social interaction

We are all busy, so we give our kids digital gadgets and make them “busy”
too. Kids used to play outside, where in unstructured natural environments,
they learned and practiced their social skills.  Unfortunately, technology
replaced the outdoor time.  Also, technology made the parents less
available to socially interact with their kids. Obviously, our kids fall
behind…the babysitting gadget is not equipped for social skill development.
Most successful people are the ones who have great social skills. This is
the priority!

The brain is just like a muscle that is trainable and re-trainable. If you
want your child to be able to bike, you teach him biking skills. If you
want your child to be able to wait, you need to teach him patience.  If you
want your child to be able to socialize, you need to teach him social
skills. The same applies to all the other skills. There is no difference!!

You can make a difference though in your child’s life by training your
child’s brain so that your child will successfully function on social,
emotional, and academic levels. Here is how:

1. Limit technology, and instead re-connect with your kids emotionally

* Surprise them with flowers, share a smile, tickle them, put a love
note in backpack or under their pillow, surprise them by taking them
out for lunch on a school day, dance together, crawl together, have
pillow fights
* Have family dinners,  board game nights (see the list of my favourite
board games in my previous blog post), go biking, go to outdoor walks
with flashlight in the evening

2. Train delay gratification

* Make them wait!!! It is ok to have “I am bored “ time – this is the
first step to creativity
* Gradually increase the waiting time between “I want” and “I get”
* Avoid technology use in cars and restaurants, and instead teach them
waiting while talking and playing games
* Limit constant snacking

3. Don’t be afraid to set the limits. Kids need limits to grow happy and
healthy!!

* Make a schedule for meal times, sleep times, technology time
* Think of what is GOOD for them- not what they WANT/DON’T WANT. They
are going to thank you for that later on in life. Parenting is a hard
job. You need to be creative to make them do what is good for them
because most of the time that is the exact opposite of what they want
* Kids need breakfast and nutritious food. They need to spend time
outdoor and go to bed at consistent time in order to come to school
available for learning the next day!
* Convert things that they don’t like doing/trying into fun,
emotionally stimulating games

4. Teach your child to do monotonous work from early years as it is the
foundation for future “workability”

* Folding laundry, tidying up toys, hanging clothes, unpacking
groceries, setting the table, making lunch, unpacking their lunch
box, making their bed
* Be creative. Initially make it stimulating and fun so that their
brain associates it with something positive.

5. Teach social skills

*  Teach them turn taking, sharing, losing/winning, compromising,
complimenting others ,using “please and thank you”

From my experience as an occupational therapist, children change the moment
parents change their perspective on parenting.  Help your kids succeed in
life by training and strengthening their brain sooner than later!!!

Victoria Prooday

Click here for my next article

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The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies

The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Here they are: 15 formats for structuring a class discussion to make it more engaging, more organized, more equitable, and more academically challenging.
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20 Tips to Help De-escalate Interactions With Anxious or Defiant Students

20 Tips to Help De-escalate Interactions With Anxious or Defiant Students | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Interventions and strategic behaviors can help teachers manage students who are acting out or missing out on learning because of behavioral issues.
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How to Stop Other People's Emotions from Bringing You Down

How to Stop Other People's Emotions from Bringing You Down | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Empathy is a terrific skill to have, but too much of it can leave you overwhelmed by others’ negative emotions. Here’s how to stop absorbing what others around you are feeling while still being an understanding fellow human being.
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Find Your Marigold: The One Essential Rule for New Teachers

Find Your Marigold: The One Essential Rule for New Teachers | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Advice is available everywhere you look, and some of it is very good. Still, with everything you have to do right now, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer
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Minimal Pairs /l/ and /r/ | English Club

Useful minimal pairs practice of /l/ and /r/ as in alive and arrive, useful practice for speakers of many languages. Minimal pairs are words that vary by only a single sound. Pronunciation for learners of English.
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Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab - For English as a Second Language

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab - For English as a Second Language | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
This ESL listening Web site created by Randall Davis helps ESL/EFL students improve their listening comprehension skills through practice with self-grading quiz pages.
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Free science flashcards, bingo cards, game cards and other science printables

MES Flashcards - free printable flashcards with matching game cards, worksheets, vocabulary handouts, classroom activities, and games.
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Free Educational Songs for Circle Time

Free Educational Songs for Circle Time | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Here are songs for any season that I’ve found online for preschool (and some for kindergarten and early elementary) teachers, whether you’re a Montessori teacher, homeschooler, or any other style of teacher or childcare provider.
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Using Creativity to Boost Young Children’s Mathematical Thinking

Using Creativity to Boost Young Children’s Mathematical Thinking | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
By approaching math as a creative endeavor in young children, parents and educators can cultivate some of the skills that are valued in advanced mathematics.
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Messy people are tapping into a kind of genius the tidy don’t understand

Messy people are tapping into a kind of genius the tidy don’t understand | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
For busy people, life can sometimes feel like a battle to stave off chaos. The desk overflowing with scraps of paper, coffee cups, plants, and photographs. The kids' room strewn with toys and drawings. If we could only get everything organized, we think, everything would work so much better. Tim Harford, a British economist, autho
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Slowing Down to Learn: Mindful Pauses That Can Help Student Engagement

Slowing Down to Learn: Mindful Pauses That Can Help Student Engagement | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Inserting longer pauses throughout classroom instruction time can help students and educators open up to greater possibilities.
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What does an inquiry-based, first week of school look like?

What does an inquiry-based, first week of school look like? | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
During this year's staff orientation, we used inspiration from two blog posts (sowing the seeds of inquiry & 10 things to do on the first day of school) to move towards a more inquiry-based, first week with students. Here is a glimpse into what it looked like in classrooms from KG to Grade 5... Students helped set up…
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This Teacher Used Apples To Explain The Horrible Truth About Bullying

This Teacher Used Apples To Explain The Horrible Truth About Bullying | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
If I asked you to use a prop to try to explain the damaging effects that bullying can have on children, chances are you probably wouldn’t think of reaching for
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Staying Well: 10 Tips for Expats Who are Left Behind

Staying Well:  10 Tips for Expats Who are Left Behind | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Leaving is hard. Being left is harder.   Transition is a huge part of life for an expat. That's understood. By the time you sign on you've wrapped
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Here's What Getting Spanked as a Kid Did to Your Personality, According to Science

And yet somehow, spanking is still legal.
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20 Tips to Help De-escalate Interactions With Anxious or Defiant Students

20 Tips to Help De-escalate Interactions With Anxious or Defiant Students | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Interventions and strategic behaviors can help teachers manage students who are acting out or missing out on learning because of behavioral issues.
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English Sentences with Audio (Study While Listening to MP3 Files)

Thousands of English sentences, grouped in order of word frequency.
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Used To - English Lesson

In this lesson, we will look at the differences between the formulation and usage of "used to do" and "be used to doing". To learn more English Grammar
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Scientist Flashcards for ESL

Scientist Flashcards for ESL | Elementary ESOL in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Flashcards for scientists and relative clauses to ESL students
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FREE ESL Songs

These FREE songs and song sheets are for children learning English, whether ESL EFL EAL. Some songs include teacher's notes, flashcards, and instructions.
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