15 Yoga Poses to Shed the Teacher Tension and Stretch Through Chronic Desk-Job Pain

15 Yoga Poses to Shed the Teacher Tension and Stretch Through Chronic Desk-Job Pain


Except for you year-rounders, most of us have been in school a few weeks now. The question is - did you follow the tips found in my last blog post, Put On Your Oxygen Mask First: Self-Care in the First Month of School (and the rest of the year, too!), or are you fueling your fire with the tears of your students, hanging by a thread? (Just kidding. If you are fueling with your students' tears, you should be thriving!)
Whether you're an active teacher who is constantly on her feet, moving around the room and interacting with her students, or a computer-based teacher who finds himself behind a desk for many hours a day, you may eventually discover joints that don't move as smoothly as they used to, muscles that strain after a busy day, and a brain that feels overworked and lethargic. By adding a few, quick, yoga poses to your quick between-bells breaks, you can target these areas of chronic pain and stress, and take a few minutes to replenish your batteries. #teacheryoga #yogaforteachers #teacherselfcare #selfcareforteachers #chairyoga #deskyoga #preventteacherburnout

Though the 5 Quick and Easy Self-Care Methods were designed to break down barriers to self-care, you may think they're so easy that you don't have to give them a second thought. But burnout is real, and retirement is probably pretty far away. Getting through the days, weeks, months, and years, requires constant effort and mindful attention. Preserving your sanity should be your number one focus, because foregoing your oxygen mask will only lessen your ability to help your students succeed.

The first, and perhaps the most vital, of the 5 Self-Care Methods is chair yoga. Dismiss any preconceptions you may have about yoga, chair yoga, or the Instagram models in handstands on the beach. Yoga is an ages-old practice that spans cultures, geographic locations, and religions. Yes, yoga is a type of exercise or workout, but it has the potential to be so much more!

Whether you're an active teacher who is constantly on her feet, moving around the room and interacting with her students, or a computer-based teacher who finds himself behind a desk for many hours a day, you may eventually discover joints that don't move as smoothly as they used to, muscles that strain after a busy day, and a brain that feels overworked and lethargic. By adding a few, quick, yoga poses to your quick between-bells breaks, you can target these areas of chronic pain and stress, and take a few minutes to replenish your batteries.

The yoga poses in this post can be done by beginners with absolutely zero yoga experience. They can also be done in your classroom without any props. Some may be done seated - your desk chair works great! Others may be standing.
Need burnout prevention? Try these 15 yoga poses for teachers to prevent burnout and encourage self-care! #yogaforteachers #teacheryoga #teacherburnout #burnoutisreal #newteachers #experiencedteachers

Yoga Poses for Tech Neck/Stiff Neck/Neck Pain

In this technology age, Tech Neck is a very common complaint. Whether or not you have tech neck, staring at a computer screen can definitely strain your neck!


1. Shoulder to Ear, seated or standing
Inhale to lengthen through the spine, sitting up tall. Exhale to drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. Inhale to bring head back to center. Exhale to the left. Repeat as many times as you'd like, or hold each ear-to-shoulder position for a few breaths longer.

2. Neck Circles, seated or standing
Beginning with small circles, drop chin toward chest and then rotate head in clockwise direction. Continue to breathe. When ready, switch direction to counterclockwise.

Yoga Poses for Low Back Pain
Low Back Pain is one of the most commonly diagnosed issues among adults. Improving your posture can help greatly with low back pain complaints, but even the best-postured individual can still encounter pain, especially if you're standing/sitting all day.


3. Seated Cat/Cow
On inhale, pull your belly button toward your spine and round the shoulders and back, dropping the neck slightly, like an angry cat. On exhale, expand the belly and arch the upper back slightly, raising your gaze to the top of your computer, like a cow. Bonus points if you hiss and moo with the movement!

4. Seated Twist
Inhale to lengthen through the spine, sitting up tall. On the exhale, twist slightly to the right, keeping your hands at heart's center or on your lap and not using them to pull you further. Inhale to come back to center, exhale to the left side.

5. Lateral Side Stretch, seated or standing
Inhale to lengthen through the spine, raising arms overhead. Exhale to bend to the right, lengthening the left side waist and shortening the right. Keep your torso facing the same direction as your knees. Inhale back to upright, and exhale to the left.

Yoga Poses for Wrist Pain/Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
With as many grades as a teacher has to enter into the computer, it's no surprise that wrist pain is a common complaint!


6. Flex/Bend Prayer Hands, seated or standing
Press palms together near heart, shifting weight into wrist and then into fingers to stretch ligaments in wrist. Flip hands down, backs of hands against each other near heart. Again, shift weight between fingers and wrist.

7. Wrist Circles, seated or standing
Make fists or leave hands open, rotating wrists clockwise and then counterclockwise.

Yoga Poses for Ankle Pain/Tired Feet
On your feet all day? Then you definitely need to massage the joints in your ankles and stretch out your feet! No, not with more walking!


8. Flex/Point Foot, seated
While sitting, raise one foot off the ground. Alternate between flexing the foot (like you're standing) and pointing the toes. Repeat with the other foot.

9. Ankle Circles, seated
While sitting, raise one foot off the ground. Rotate the ankle joint clockwise and then counterclockwise. Repeat with the other foot.

10. Tennis Ball Stretch, standing
Keep a tennis ball in your desk drawer for an added foot stretch/mini-massage! Take off your shoe and place the tennis ball on the floor. Roll the tennis ball under one foot while grounding down through the other foot. Repeat on the other side.

11. Rock on Heels, standing
Standing tall, roll up onto your toes, then shift weight back onto your heels. Rock between toes and heels while continuing to breathe.
Barely making it through the school day? Just breathe! I know, easier said than done. But try these 15 yoga poses at your desk next time the stress bubbles up to the surface! #teacherbreaks #justbreathe #yogaforteachers #breathingforteachers

Yoga Poses for All the Other Stuff (the exhaustion, the stress, the anxiety...)
What if your pain isn't physical? What if you're fighting exhaustion or stress? Don't worry, there are yoga poses to help with those, too!


12. Seated Meditation/Breathing Awareness
Sit tall, with your sit bones grounded into the chair below you. Become aware of your breath, without changing the length of your inhales or exhales, but instead just noticing the movement of breath through the body. Rest your hands on your thighs or bring one hand to chest and one hand to stomach to feel the inhale and exhale. Close your eyes if you can steal a moment of quiet, and just be.

13. Standing Arms Flow
To help you gain awareness of your breath and slow your inhales and exhales, stand tall, grounding through your feet. Rest your arms at your sides. Inhale your arms overhead, exhale your arms back to your sides. Repeat with the breath.

14. Standing Hip Circles/Hula Hoops
Widen the feet a bit. Put your hands on your hips or out to a T. Soften the knees and pretend like you're hula hooping! Rotate the hips in a circle. Switch directions. Or, pretend like you're cross-country skiing by rotating the hips back and forth, moving your arms forward and backward with the motion. This one is extra great for mid-day stress relief because it usually incites a case of the giggles!

15. Seated Child's Pose
Child's pose is often deemed the resting pose for any yoga practice. If a practice is too challenging, too demanding, or too stressful, students are encouraged to find child's pose and reconnect with their breath. Unless you keep a mat at school or have unusually clean school floors (yuck!), you probably don't want to lay down. You can do child's pose from your chair. 

Sit back in your chair, slowly bring your upper body to meet the tops your thighs, and bring your arms toward the floor, resting them on your feet or letting them dangle. Breathe deeply, feeling the expansion through the back of your body. Think about letting the arms hang heavy and releasing any holding or tension in the neck or shoulders. 

Child's pose is a jack-of-all-trades for improving digestion, increasing flexibility, releasing head tension (headaches), awakening the nervous system, relieving fatigue or restlessness, and reducing back pain. For most of us, letting go isn't a strong suit, but regularly letting go in child's pose may be exactly what your body needs to get through the day, month, year, and until retirement!


Child's pose is a jack-of-all-trades for improving digestion, increasing flexibility, releasing head tension (headaches), awakening the nervous system, relieving fatigue or restlessness, and reducing back pain. For most of us, letting go isn't a strong suit, but regularly letting go in child's pose may be exactly what your body needs to get through the day, month, year, and until retirement! #childspose #yogaforteachers #chairchildspose #classroomchildspose #childsposeforteachers #teacheryoga

This list does not claim to make any claims to specific conditions or ailments. As always, consult a doctor if you have any specific health issues or question whether you should perform these postures.


You may not find time for all of these poses in each day, but peppering your busy day with one or two postures to target your problem areas may reduce your stress level, fatigue, and burnout! Challenge yourself to throw a pose or two in each between-bells break. Reward yourself for a clean email inbox or timely-entered grades with another posture or two or three. Relax into Child's Pose for 5 minutes on lunch. And at the end of the day, allow yourself a deep Savasana before bed. #shedteachertension #stretchitout #chronicpain #deskjobpain #teacherlife #yogasavestheday #yogaforteachers
You may not find time for all of these poses in each day, but peppering your busy day with one or two postures to target your problem areas may reduce your stress level, fatigue, and burnout! Challenge yourself to throw a pose or two in each between-bells break. Reward yourself for a clean email inbox or timely-entered grades with another posture or two or three. Relax into Child's Pose for 5 minutes on lunch. And at the end of the day, allow yourself a deep Savasana before bed.

Happy Teaching!


Read more »
Michele Luck
0 Comments
Put on Your Oxygen Mask First: Self-Care in the First Month of School (and the rest of the year, too!)

Put on Your Oxygen Mask First: Self-Care in the First Month of School (and the rest of the year, too!)


Are your batteries dead? No, I’m not talking about your laptop that died while you were writing a lesson plan, or your phone that died between refreshes of your work email or classroom app.
Whether you’re already running on empty or anticipating the madness of the first weeks of school, recognizing the importance for self-care in the classroom should be on your radar. Teacher burnout is real and it’s rampant, especially in a day and age where standards are constantly changing, techniques and methods are being renamed, modified, and reinstated, and the bell between first period and seventh seems longer and longer with each passing day.  Self-care may be the buzz word of 2019, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant or important for teachers to consider. #teacherburnout #burnout #selfcare #selfcareforteachers #selfcareinclassroom #teacherpreservation

Many districts went back to school this week, or last. Some may still have a week of summer freedom before the year begins. Whether you’re already running on empty or anticipating the madness of the first weeks of school, recognizing the importance for self-care in the classroom should be on your radar. Teacher burnout is real and it’s rampant, especially in a day and age where standards are constantly changing, techniques and methods are being renamed, modified, and reinstated, and the bell between first period and seventh seems longer and longer with each passing day.

Self-care may be the buzz word of 2019, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant or important for teachers to consider.

SELF-CARE MYTH #1: I can’t afford self-care.

Self-care doesn’t have to mean expensive massages, overpriced mani-pedis, or top-shelf wine in the cute, monogrammed cup you received from a student last Christmas. 

In fact, there are many ways you can bring self-care into your classroom and into your life without breaking the bank. Recharging your batteries doesn’t require a lightening cord or a micro-pin charger, but it does require a commitment to yourself and your wellbeing. How does the adage go? In case of emergency, put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others. If you haven’t taken care of yourself, how can you possibly be available to help your students?

SELF-CARE MYTH #2: I don’t have time for self-care.

Self-care doesn’t require huge blocks of free time, meticulous planning, or a people-free zone (though people-free can be great, too). 

Though that secluded, relaxing cabin-in-the-woods vibe can definitely quell the stresses of everyday life, many of us live lives that demand our presence everyday. We work our full time jobs, take care of our families, clean our houses, binge our favorite TV shows, cook dinner, and sleep. (Wait, when are we supposed to be sleeping?!) We certainly don’t have time to escape reality for an extended weekend of quiet and content. Instead, we can recognize that many less extravagant self-care activities exist that demand much less of our free time.


SELF-CARE MYTH #3: Self-care is silly. I don’t need to take care of me. I do fine without.

Everyone needs self-care, whether they feel the pressure and stress yet or not.

If you’ve never felt the depths of burnout, that’s awesome! Maybe you’re a first year teacher who handles stress well, or maybe you’re even a tenured educator who separates work life from home life better than most. But the reality is that forgoing your oxygen mask will only lead to disaster. You may still be going strong, but what use is a car without an oil change and tire rotation? How does that wine taste, before it’s been fermented and meticulously aged and packaged with care? And the fragile package you send without ‘HANDLE WITH CARE’ scrawled on the side? Does it make it to the destination unscathed?

In reality, teaching is hard work!

Teaching is a demanding job. You are subject to many requirements and often face challenges with administration, students, parents, colleagues, the workload, technology, or changing expectations.

Teaching is a tireless job. You work non-stop throughout the school year, oftentimes well into the night, grading papers and tests, reviewing student work, planning lessons, collaborating with other teachers, participating in continuing education, but at least you get summers off! <eye roll>

And, teaching is often a thankless job. You may feel under-appreciated, overworked, and underpaid.

Being proactive with your self-care may delay that feeling of burnout, and preserve your sanity until retirement (or at least get you to summer break!).

5 Quick & Easy Self-Care Methods for the Classroom

1. Chair Yoga
Practice a few easy, seated yoga poses between bells. Yoga can be especially great for those who have carpal tunnel, wrist problems, or a stiff neck. Stretch out those kinks while tuning out the hallway noise for 60 seconds of peace.

2. Desk Drinks
No, not the alcoholic kind - that’s definitely frowned upon in the classroom! But keep a few of your favorite drinks stashed in your mini fridge or your desk drawer. A perfectly-timed iced frappe, Dr. Pepper 20 oz., or flavored water can really hit the spot.

3. Sneak-able Snacks
Whether salty or sweet, keep your favorite indulgent snack or candy in your desk. Skip the calorie counting and savor the flavor instead. Bonus points if you can sneak bites between bells or munch quietly during a test.

4. Hightail it to Narnia
You may not have a long planning period or student-free break, but even a few minutes of rejuvenation can get you through a stressful day! If you can carve out some space for a bean bag chair or ottoman to prop up your feet, you can take a few minutes at lunch to zone out the stress and get lost in the pages of whatever book tops your TBR. Just read fast so you’re not caught on a cliffhanger when lunch ends!

5. Ease the Environment
Harsh, fluorescent lighting and the drowning noise of paper shuffling and sneakers scuffling are not conducive to a stress-free environment. Turn off the overhead lighting and introduce some softer lights. Consider playing classical music in the background while students work quietly.

Are your batteries dead? No, I’m not talking about your laptop that died while you were writing a lesson plan, or your phone that died between refreshes of your work email or classroom app. You need self-care! #selfcare #classroomselfcare #teacherselfcare #newteachers #experiencedteachers #teacherburnoutisreal #fighttheburnout
Bonus tip! Sometimes the best self-care is a day to yourself. Don’t feel guilty if you need a mental health day. Leave some sub plans and sleep in! 

Happy teaching!


Read more »
Michele Luck
0 Comments
Teaching Inquiry and Primary Source Analysis at Any Grade Level

Teaching Inquiry and Primary Source Analysis at Any Grade Level


Daycare, preschool, and kindergarten teachers may be familiar with the doe-eyed look staring back at them as they present their class with new, intriguing information. Parents have likely experienced the never-ending stream of consciousness that mounts in frustration as their toddler asks a hundred and one questions and continually prods, never satisfied. Unfortunately, teachers and parents of older children may see that spark of curiosity less often. They may experience a child's intrigue as it dwindles. Sometimes, they don't even notice that the intensity of inquiry has slipped away.
Daycare, preschool, and kindergarten teachers may be familiar with the doe-eyed look staring back at them as they present their class with new, intriguing information. Parents have likely experienced the never-ending stream of consciousness that mounts in frustration as their toddler asks a hundred and one questions and continually prods, never satisfied. Unfortunately, teachers and parents of older children may see that spark of curiosity less often. They may experience a child's intrigue as it dwindles. Sometimes, they don't even notice that the intensity of inquiry has slipped away. #teachinginquiry #criticalthinking #teachingmethods #elementaryteachers #lessonplanning
As adults in today's world, we are continuously busy, immersed in work or technology, and we often forget about the sense of intrigue, the amazement of discovery, the engagement that we once felt as we learned a new skill or fact. Unfortunately, our children lose this desire to inquire earlier and earlier with each passing generation. Though our common classroom challenges, like incorporating common core, preparing for standardized testing, squeezing in assemblies and school-wide events and award ceremonies, take up a lot of our class time, finding time to encourage inquiry at an early age, and throughout elementary school (and middle school... oh, and high school, too!) is so critical for student development and growth.

Teaching inquiry and primary source analysis doesn't have to be disingenuous or inconsistent with the rest of your lesson plans. Instead, focusing on content while practicing the skills of inquiry, primary source analysis, and critical thinking, can be a natural way to integrate inquiry into your classroom, no matter the grade level.

Strategies of Inquiry

Spiral questioning: Use an easy-to-hard questioning format to build confidence, encourage the path of inquiry, and learn foundational information that can be strengthened and expanded upon with more complex questions.

Student collaboration: Encourage discussion and inquiry by pairing students together or in groups, presenting them with opportunities to experience different viewpoints and perspectives and expand their innate knowledge with this change in perspectives.

Open-ended questions: Use short answer (or short essay) questions to ensure deeper student processing and critical thinking.

Increased student choice: Create greater engagement and deeper inquiry by providing students multiple choices to decide their method or activity of learning.

Teacher Perk! By encouraging inquiry in the classroom, teachers spend LESS TIME grading for accuracy and instead encourage students to think critically and support their opinions with evidence.

Allowing a "wrong" answer in analysis and inquiry activities provides students the opportunity to answer without the fear or anxiety of getting it wrong. This opens the door for greater discussion and more inquiry, analysis, and critical thinking, and students are more likely to get to the "right" answer because they're searching for and dissecting information to support their answer.
Elementary school teachers, Explore Early America with your students while analyzing primary sources, using task cards to encourage inquiry, and facilitating group collaboration. #elementaryteachers #teachinginquiry #criticalthinking #primarysourceanalysis
Elementary school teachers, Explore Early America with your students while analyzing primary sources, using task cards to encourage inquiry, and facilitating group collaboration.
Middle school teachers, Excavate Ancient Civilizations with your class as students explore images and analyze text to spark inquiry. #middleschoolteachers #teachinginquiry #criticalthinking #primarysourceanalysis
Middle school teachers, Excavate Ancient Civilizations with your class as students explore images and analyze text to spark inquiry.
High school teachers, Dissect WWI Propaganda in your classroom by studying and analyzing propaganda of wartime, using inquiry tools and encouraging deeper analysis. #highschoolteachers #teachinginquiry #criticalthinking #primarysourceanalysis
High school teachers, Dissect WWI Propaganda in your classroom by studying and analyzing propaganda of wartime, using inquiry tools and encouraging deeper analysis.

As adults in today's world, we are continuously busy, immersed in work or technology, and we often forget about the sense of intrigue, the amazement of discovery, the engagement that we once felt as we learned a new skill or fact. Unfortunately, our children lose this desire to inquire earlier and earlier with each passing generation. Though our common classroom challenges, like incorporating common core, preparing for standardized testing, squeezing in assemblies and school-wide events and award ceremonies, take up a lot of our class time, finding time to encourage inquiry at an early age, and throughout elementary school (and middle school... oh, and high school, too!) is so critical for student development and growth. #studentdevelopment #teachinginquiry #inquiryskills #detectiveskills #primaryandsecondaryWelcome your students (of all ages) to introduce their inner Sherlock Holmes and embrace their Elementary-my-dear curiosity, no matter what their age or grade level. While the child-like sense of wonder often dwindles as children grow older and face the 'real world,' teaching them to foster this interest will lead them to seek out these skills later in life, and in future classes, too.

Happy Teaching!

Read more »
Michele Luck
0 Comments
Creating an Interest in History in the Elementary Classroom

Creating an Interest in History in the Elementary Classroom


In today’s technology-centered society, sparking an interest in anything that isn’t the latest app or gadget is difficult. Further, with Social Studies programs being cut around the country and History departments consistently underfunded and understaffed, many of our children are growing up without an interest in History. Cultivating an interest in History at the elementary level can inspire young students to pursue further Social Studies education, delve deeper into the history that influenced their past and present, and encourage them to broaden this pursuit beyond the classroom and into their everyday lives.
In today’s technology-centered society, sparking an interest in anything that isn’t the latest app or gadget is difficult. Further, with Social Studies programs being cut around the country and History departments consistently underfunded and understaffed, many of our children are growing up without an interest in History. Cultivating an interest in History at the elementary level can inspire young students to pursue further Social Studies education, delve deeper into the history that influenced their past and present, and encourage them to broaden this pursuit beyond the classroom and into their everyday lives. #elementaryhistory #elementaryclassroom #historyteacher

Simply implementing a few more History lessons into your elementary curriculum won’t cut it. Instead, using the right strategic lesson that address many necessary skills and standards engages students and creates an interest in History.  By implementing techniques to read informational text, think historically, examine cause and effect, explore change over time, categorize, read for context and main idea, inference, and identify who, what, when, where, and why, students will be engaged in their History lesson and will be inspired to further develop their historical understanding of the world around them.
By implementing techniques to read informational text, think historically, examine cause and effect, explore change over time, categorize, read for context and main idea, inference, and identify who, what, when, where, and why, students will be engaged in their History lesson and will be inspired to further develop their historical understanding of the world around them. #learningstrategies #learningskills #commoncore #teachingskills
Though the art of the early-morning delivery of a meticulously-folded, black and white newsprint may be dead, people still rely on the news media for reporting of current events, upcoming activities, and important information and announcements. Whether utilizing digital news through social media, email, or other avenues, individuals need and want to know what’s happening around them. Use the History Headline News Daily Informational Readings to spark that same interest in your students.
Though the art of the early-morning delivery of a meticulously-folded, black and white newsprint may be dead, people still rely on the news media for reporting of current events, upcoming activities, and important information and announcements. Whether utilizing digital news through social media, email, or other avenues, individuals need and want to know what’s happening around them. Use the History Headline News Daily Informational Readings to spark that same interest in your students. #newspaper #newsmedia #digitalnews #newsforlearning
Why use History Headline News Daily Informational Readings to create an interest in History in your elementary classroom? These daily readings address many skills and standards to mesh with common core.


Reading informational text

Historical thinking

Cause and Effect

Change over time

Categorization

Reading for context

Reading for main idea

Inferencing

Identifying who, what, when, where, and why

Download the FULL YEAR of History Headline News at a special bundled price. Use these quick readings for daily activities, bellringers, or topic reviews. Or, try the FREE Summer Bundle set! Introduce these beneficial skills to your students by using History Headline News to create an interest in History in your elementary classroom this year!


Happy Teaching!

Read more »
Michele Luck
3 Comments
Wrapping up the School Year: End of the Year Review and Test Prep

Wrapping up the School Year: End of the Year Review and Test Prep


Searching for the perfect end-of-the-year wrap-up activity? A comprehensive lesson to review the content, prepare for standardized exams, study for final exams, and bring another successful school year to a close? Look no further! The perfect activity doesn't require loads of planning or preparation, and it certainly doesn't demand more than you may be willing to give during these last few weeks of school. Using a complete analysis, annotation, and timeline activity is the ideal way to bring the school year full circle.
Searching for the perfect end-of-the-year wrap-up activity? A comprehensive lesson to review the content, prepare for standardized exams, study for final exams, and bring another successful school year to a close? Look no further! The perfect activity doesn't require loads of planning or preparation, and it certainly doesn't demand more than you may be willing to give during these last few weeks of school. Using a complete analysis, annotation, and timeline activity is the ideal way to bring the school year full circle. #endoftheyear #review #wrapup #endofyearlesson
Middle school and high school students will appreciate the different aspects of this lesson, including analysis, annotation, timeline study, skills review, chronology study, and more. Not only does this activity offer 70+ topic cards, but it also has options for individual student and whole class implementation, a SPRITE organizer and key, and teaching suggestions and implementation directions. Squeezing this wrap-up activity in at the end of the year is easy and beneficial.

Implementation Strategies


Create an Archaeological Dig

Have students dig deep into the well of knowledge they've filled over the past year. This activity will get students out of their seats and on their feet! Divide students into groups or have them work individually with these task cards and then present information to the class.

Line up through History

Have students create a human timeline with these task cards. By engaging in the lesson hands-on, students are likely to retain more information and can really embrace their event to represent and present to their peers.

Final SPRITE Analysis

In pairs or groups, have students complete the SPRITE organizer one last time. SPRITE analysis is a skill that will benefit your students for many years (and many more classes!) to come. Ingraining these skills throughout the year will prepare them for future coursework by reminding them how to analyze and compare Social, Political, Religious, Intellectual, Technological, and Economic attributes.
First year teacher dreading the end-of-the-year wrap-up? Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content you need to cover for standardized testing? Using this easy review activity, you can easily prep for standardized testing and final exams! #newteacher #firstyearteacher #endoftheyear #endofyearwrapup

Missed the window for end-of-the-year planning? No worries! This activity is great as an introductory lesson for a unit, at the beginning of the year, or even as a daily bellringer throughout the year! 

The Early World History End of the Year Review Timeline Activity will adequately prepare your World History class for even the hardest of standardized tests or final exams! Or, browse the Modern World History End of the Year Review Analysis, Annotation & Timeline Activity to use with your Modern World History students. Teaching US History? Download the US History End of the Year Review Analysis, Annotation & Timeline Activity instead!

Bonus! Pair with the Social Studies Academic Vocabulary Graphic Organizer for Social Studies fluency!

Looking for a surefire activity to kick-off a new unit? Want to engage your students in a review activity to help retain knowledge? Archaeological digs and task cards can help to bridge the gap between content and retention! #knowledgecheck #teachershelpingstudents #classroomreview #ushistory #worldhistory
The compilation of the previous year's content can seem daunting for even your most advanced students. However, using engaging techniques like human timelines, task cards, archaeological digs, and graphic organizers, you can breeze through a whole year's review with little stress! Embrace the chaos at the end of the school year with some activities to get students moving and learning.

Happy teaching!

Read more »
Michele Luck
0 Comments
5 Reasons You Should Use Scavenger Hunts to Teach Your Next Social Studies Lesson

5 Reasons You Should Use Scavenger Hunts to Teach Your Next Social Studies Lesson


In the world of education today, there are many different teaching styles, learning styles, and the "next big thing" is always being recommended to fulfill the ever-changing needs of our students. Keeping up with the trends in teaching can be overwhelming and time-consuming. What if you were able to find a resource that caters to all learning styles, incorporates experiential lessons, provides hands-on engagement, and offers your students an engaging opportunity to build a lasting knowledge base?
In the world of education today, there are many different teaching styles, learning styles, and the "next big thing" is always being recommended to fulfill the ever-changing needs of our students. Keeping up with the trends in teaching can be overwhelming and time-consuming. What if you were able to find a resource that caters to all learning styles, incorporates experiential lessons, provides hands-on engagement, and offers your students an engaging opportunity to build a lasting knowledge base? Read further for 5 reasons you should use Scavenger Hunts to teach Social Students lessons! #socialstudieslessons #scavengerhunts #socialstudiesfun #learnsocialstudies

Scavenger Hunts may make you reminiscent of Easter egg hunts circa early childhood, or remind you of the wave of geocaching events that populated the latter half of the 2000s. On the surface, you may even recognize Scavenger Hunts as a fun and engaging way to kick off the new school year or pass time before a break, but Scavenger Hunts can offer so much more to your middle school and high school students and can take your basic Social Studies lesson plans from "blah" to "Ta-da!" Scavenger Hunts can be modified and implemented in any lesson. Read further for 5 reasons you should use Scavenger Hunts to teach Social Students lessons!

1. Scavenger Hunts are substantial. 

Do you often scour the web for ready-made lesson plans, only to find half-baked ideas that may take up about 20 minutes of your class time, leaving you to scramble to fill the remainder of the block? Do your activities teach but not test, discuss but not develop deep understanding, encourage but not engage? Scavenger Hunts are easily modifiable and can be cut down or fleshed out to fit your needs, and they're comprehensive in that they offer introductory concepts to begin a lesson and also review and check for understanding as you wrap-up.

2. Scavenger Hunts are easy to implement. 

Gone are the days where you spend the whole weekend prepping for Monday's lesson. Scavenger Hunts are a simple cut and display process, and you can really modify the lesson to fit your classroom needs. Display the scavenger hunt cards around the room, read the instructions, and let your students get to work! View the Scavenger Hunt How-To for more tips and tricks.

3. Scavenger Hunts cater to all learning styles. 

Scavenger Hunts are great in large classrooms because you can really cater to different learning styles and provide a unique learning experience for each of your students. Visual learners can view pictures and historical documents. Those that learn by reading can delve into summaries and text-based slides. And your students who need to get up from their seats and engage in the lesson will stay on task, excited about learning, and focused.

4. Scavenger Hunts encourage teamwork. 

Students can pair up or join groups to cover all of the content. Assign one team to a certain center and then allow for a larger-group exchange of information at the end. Allow students to become Subject Matter Experts on one area and then trade with their peers. Performing the Scavenger Hunt in groups will encourage your students to consider different perspectives, forge bonds with classmates and work together peacefully, and work collaboratively toward a common goal. This leads to a successful and happy classroom environment!

5. There's a Scavenger Hunt for EVERYTHING! 

Looking to introduce the geography of a certain country, region, or continent? Browse the geographical scavenger hunts! Searching for an engaging lesson to wrap up a holiday study or lead into a break? Choose a Holiday/Event themed scavenger hunt! Or, use Scavenger Hunts to welcome students on the first day of school or dive into a new unit! Browse the Scavenger Hunt category on Michele Luck's Social Students for even more Scavenger Hunts!
Overwhelmed by all this talk of differential learning? Too many learning styles and modifications to keep them all straight? Use ready-to-implement scavenger hunts to teach your next Social Studies lesson and address al learning styles at once! #learningstyles #scavengeforknowledge #socialstudiesscavengers

Geography Scavenger Hunts:


Holiday/Event Scavenger Hunts:


Other Great Scavenger Hunts:


For a seamless unit plan, use the continent bundles for
multiple Scavenger Hunts at a discounted price!

Did you procrastinate this upcoming week's lesson plans? Stuck on the same boring activities, and frustrated with students snoozing during your Social Studies lecture? Get students on their feet with these Social Studies lesson plans! Students are sure to develop an interest in the content at hand and engage in this experiential lesson! #experientiallearning #scavengerhunts #scavengerhuntsarefun
Your students learn leaps and bounds faster when they are able to engage one-on-one with the content you're teaching. Push the desks to the side, encourage your students to get on their feet, and let them explore hands-on. They're more likely to learn quicker and retain more if they're engaged in an exciting, experiential lesson! Try a Scavenger Hunt for your next big lesson.


Happy Teaching!


Read more »
Michele Luck
0 Comments