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3 Reasons to Use Calm Cards in Your Classroom

No matter how strong our classroom management is, there will always be moments when kids just need to take a break. Instead of viewing this as a negative thing I've tried to look at these moments as teachable moments. When my kids "take a break" they go to our classroom's Calm Corner, a cozy little spot filled with pillows, peaceful coloring books, stuffed animals, stress balls, and Calm Cards. Calm Cards are positive affirmation cards that help kids feel better about themselves. Usually when my kids need to take a break, it's because they're either sad, angry, worried, or embarrassed. Calm Cards are an easy way to change a kid's mindset by filling their mind with positive thoughts to replace negative thoughts. Check out my top 3 reasons to add Calm Cards to your classroom and grab a free set of Calm Cards below!

Inspire Your Students with Dream Boards



Hi friends,

Happy New Year! I always look forward to doing New Year's activities with my students and today I'm excited to share my favorite--Dream Boards. A dream board is a kid-friendly version of a vision board. It's the perfect way for kids to create an inspirational vision board of their dreams or goals, including positive words, quotes, images and colors that make them feel good. When they're finished we hang their dream boards up in the classroom for inspiration. Dream Boards can be created at the beginning or end of the school year or to celebrate a new calendar year.

In the past, dream boards have been challenging because many magazines (that I'm willing to let students cut up) aren't kid-friendly. They have trouble finding inspiring words and quotes. That's why I created the Dream Board Design Kit to make dream-boarding easier for you and your students. Here's how it works:



Why We Must Support Girls' Education Around the World

Last week at the UNC Asheville Girls' Education Summit I had the chance to share why we--as students, educators, parents--must be aware of the global education emergency facing our world. Among all the heartbreaking things happening in our world today, I truly believe that education is the greatest solution. As humanity, we cannot make progress if half the population is left behind. That is why girls' education must be a top priority.


You may be surprised by the heart-wrenching facts surrounding girls' education inequality; like how there are 31 million girls of primary school age out of school and of these, 17 million are expected never to enter school. And there are 4 million fewer girls than boys out of school. And two-thirds of the 774 million illiterate people in the world are female.


A Letter to My Second Graders

The following was originally posted on Huffington Post
To my sweet, second-grade students, 
I have some very important things to tell you. I mean, super important. Turn on your best listening ears because what I’m about to tell you is something that I hope you’ll always remember. 
In fact, if you leave my class at the end of this year and forget some of what I’ve taught you except for this, that’s okay. I know you won’t remember everything
But always remember this: You matter. You are loved. And you are a gift to this world.

4 Simple Ways to Teach Mindfulness in your Classroom



The power of mindfulness in schools + an awesome giveaway you won't want to miss! 

It was the last day of school. I was putting my kids on the bus and giving them one last hug when one of my boys looked up at me and said "Miss W, if I get angry this summer I'm just gonna' focus on my breathing and it'll all be good." Wait, what? Did he really say that? I was so excited and proud and happy and #alltheemotions but instead of saying anything, all I could think was: first bump!

We'd practiced Morning Mindfulness all year and focused a lot on breath awareness, but I was worried that it wouldn't stick with some of them over the summer. For this kid, it stuck. [#proudteachermoment] In that moment, I remembered the power of teaching mindfulness to kids.

5 Books to Teach Mindfulness in Elementary Classrooms

mindful.org


"You cannot transmit wisdom and insight to another person. The seed is already there. A good teacher touches the seed, allowing it to wake up, to sprout, and to grow...We all have a seed of mindfulness in us. If we keep practicing, the seed will grow strong, and anytime we need it, the energy of mindfulness will be there for us." -Thich Nhat Hanh

In my post--4 Simple Ways to Teach Mindfulness in Your Classroom--I discussed the science of mindfulness and why it's so beneficial to students. Introducing a concept like mindfulness can be very complicated, but it can also be simple. One of the best ways to introduce mindfulness to your students is through books! I'm sharing my top picks that all teachers should add to their Amazon Wish List. (Disclaimer: These are in no particular order and are all so awesome in their own unique way that I can't rank them or pick a fav!)


1. A Handful of Quiet by Thich Nhat Hanh
In this book you'll find a simple pebble meditation that can be practiced with your students. Each pebble represents a different human quality and helps kids form social-emotional skills through the practice of awareness, breathing, and positive affirmations.



5 Yoga Poses to Calm Your Students’ First Day Jitters



Calm classroom yoga poses are the perfect solution to students’ (and teachers’) inevitable first day jitters.
My students are definitely not the only ones with “First Day Jitters”. I have that classic book memorized and can whip up some delicious jitter-juice to [attempt to] calm our nerves. But let’s be honest: the first day of school is far from easy and breezy. Between teaching the never-ending list of procedures, making it through the lunch with [hopefully] no spilled milk, and doing everything in my power to make sure that no one misses the bus, I’ve often wished there was some magical answer to keeping my cool throughout the day. As teachers, we may not have a magic wand, but we do have yoga! Check out just a few of the many magical benefits of yoga for kids (and teachers) and be sure to grab my Night-Before-School Yoga freebie down below. 

Bring the World Into Your Classroom with Virtual Field Trips

Today I'm sharing my top tips and resources for getting started with virtual field trips and showing how I use passports, boarding passes, and travel journals to make the experience come to life. I've also included a great freebie down below (#welovefreebies), so keep reading to download yours. This is the first part of my Virtual Field Trip Blog Series, so be sure to subscribe to get more tips, resources and freebies sent to your inbox!



Why virtual field trips?
I think it's pretty amazing that my 2nd graders and I manage to fly all over the world without ever leaving the walls of our classroom. Of course, none of this is possible without a little a lot of help from Google Earth, Skype in the Classroom, and other awesome tech tools. With little prep, students are able to experience other cultures, learn important geography skills, and build their natural love for learning and inquiry. I love that there are so many incredible free resources and tools to make traveling across the globe super easy and most importantly, super engaging.

Welcome to The Teacher's Passport

Bon Voyage! 

Welcome to The Teacher's Passport (formerly know in the social media realm as Little Leaders). I'm so excited you're here. In case you haven't browsed the site yet, my name is Becca Wertheim and I'm a 2nd grade teacher in Asheville, NC. I'm beginning year four of my career and I couldn't be more excited to document my journey at The Teacher's Passport.