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National Stress Awareness Day Falls During Testing Season: Use These Activities to Help Your Students De-Stress

National Stress Awareness Day Falls During Testing Season- Use These Activities to Help Your Students De-Stress

One of the major concerns in modern-day education is that kids are being exposed to too much stress to soon. High-stakes testing, lack of play in early grades, minimal resources to address complex trauma- all of these things concern educators and parents as being reasons why today’s students experience higher levels of stress.

In honor of National Stress Awareness Day this month, do your part in easing students’ nerves this testing season with these activity recommendations.

Yoga in the Classroom

Also this month was the first annual Kids’ Yoga Day, a day recognizing the growing trend of yoga in the classroom. Thanks to its simplicity and adaptability across grades, yoga has become a preferred technique of educators to use as a classroom stress-buster.

New research has also indicated that yoga may have more benefits than just de-stressing- some say that yoga could have positive effects like managing behavior, with several schools reporting reduced suspensions since implementing. 

Here are some resources for practicing yoga in the classroom:

Yoga for wellness, behavior management

Streaming service provides yoga activities for all grade levels 

Use Music for a Classroom Break

It’s so simple that it oftentimes gets forgotten about, but playing music in-between lessons and activities is a great way to set a positive tone and re-energize hard-working students.

Curriculum expert Chris Brewer says music in the classroom helps sustain student attention as well encourages memory retention because it provides an “appropriate emotional connection to the information and provide a trigger for recall.”

Here are some resources for integrating music into the classroom:

Five lessons for integrating music into the curriculum

Strategy of the week: teaching with music

Create a Calm Environment by Controlling Physical Surroundings

Working to integrate physical activity and music into classroom activities is only half the battle when working to help students de-stress. The other half is sound classroom management achieved by creating a calm classroom environment. This means organizing classroom clutter and minimizing distracting sounds.

This mean working extra-hard to make sure that you’re de-stressed as well.

"Can your students tell whether you are calm, upset, tired, or impatient? They read you like a book! They know even without you speaking, because they read your body language,” said Tools for Teaching’s Dr. Fred Jones.

"Most teachers think being on your toes just goes with the territory. Running on adrenaline all day, however, builds up an energy debt, just as athletes build up an energy debt when they compete.” Jones says.

Read about his advice on controlling stress and creating calm here.

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