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4 Tips for Teachers to Keep Students’ Minds Sharp During Winter

Four Tips for Teachers to Keep Students’ Minds Sharp During Winter

4 Tips for Teachers to Keep Students’ Minds Sharp
            During Winter

Teachers have an extremely difficult job, but winter carries with it a unique set of challenges. In many cases, students have trouble getting back into a routine after winter break, they are tired because of the lack of sunlight outside playtime, and they struggle with illnesses during the colder months. That’s why many teachers look for ways to keep their students’ minds sharp during winter. Our tips will help.

1. Introduce Educational Games During Inside Recess

For many teachers, the winter season means their students have inside recess instead of outside recess. The indoor free time not only gives kids an opportunity to get into some trouble due to boredom, but it also means they feel like they aren’t getting a break from their school work because they remain in their classroom during recess. Teachers can make inside recess more fun and exciting for kids while sharpening their minds at the same time if they introduce the right kinds of educational games.

One educational game that sharpens kids’ mind is bingo. Kids fully believe they are playing a game instead of learning when they have an opportunity to play bingo because it allows them to compete against their classmates. Teachers can tailor bingo games to nearly any unit of study, from math and science, to vocabulary and social studies.

Another educational game that will keep students’ minds sharp during winter is a card game. Young students can work on social skills like taking turns in addition to number recognition by playing games like Go Fish, and older students can work on mental math and problem solving by playing games like Solitaire.

2. Keep Their Hands and Minds Busy

Most teachers know that when kids’ hands are busy, their minds are busy. That’s why teachers use centers to gives kids opportunities to work on vocabulary, reading, and math with their hands. Kids may manipulate objects to count and make graphs, put puzzle shapes together to create words, or move clock hands to tell time.

Other teachers create classroom stores with objects available for kids to pretend to purchase with play money. The cashier has to make change without the aid of a cash register, and the mock customers have to be able to add their purchase amounts and ensure they have enough play money to cover it without the aid of a calculator.

Still other teachers make creative play spaces in their classrooms so that kids can use their imagination and various materials to make works of art, sculptures, or anything else their hearts desire. Magnets, paper clips, yarn, play dough, buttons, and other objects are perfect for these sorts of hands-on creative time in the classroom.

3. Bring on the Board Games

Research shows that board games boost several skills and help them perform better in school. Kids from preschool age to their teen years enjoy board games, and the games promote turn-taking, problem-solving, self-regulation, creative thinking, decision-making, and strategic thinking. Board games give students a chance to play with others they normally would not play with, and they give kids a chance to have fun in the classroom. For younger students, games such as Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders are ideal for the classroom; older students enjoy playing Monopoly and Battleship.

4. Introduce Students to Yoga

Yoga is a great way to sharpen kids’ minds during winter in the classroom. There are some established programs for bringing yoga into classrooms, but teachers who face budget crunches can stream yoga videos online or seek the help of a physical education teacher to get their kids into yoga.

Yoga improves students’ physical and mental well-being and gives them a chance to stretch and move, relieve their stress, and improve their focus. The benefits of yoga have been established by researchers who found that middle-school students who practice yoga had positive mood and attitude changes, increased energy levels, improved posture, and more ability to relax. Kids who practice yoga understand the power of mindfulness and are better able to manage their stress, all of which helps them focus and perform better in school.

With a little creativity and an open mind, teachers can keep students’ minds sharp even during the long winter months. Getting kids playing games and using their hands, minds, and bodies is a great way to start.

Image via Pixabay by Skitterphoto



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