School Social Work Monthly

411 from your friendly neighborhood social worker!

Almost there!

We're in the home stretch! There are less than 30 days of school, but the last 30 are the hardest for both teachers and students. Below you'll find a few tools (that you may or may not already be using!) for your toolbox that might help with surviving the last few weeks of school.
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Self Care

Just as we're always telling students to calm down and pay attention, we as adults, need to demonstrate the need for, and take advantage of a genuine break. If you are feeling overwhelmed, explaining those feelings to your students helps them develop empathy and gain an understanding for how their behavior affects others. Seeing their teacher take a break (i.e. lights off/heads down, a walk around the building, listening to a visualization story (there are plenty on YouTube) stretching, etc.) in a healthy way demonstrates for your students an appropriate and safe way to handle stress.
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Youtube is your friend!

Brain breaks are great- but YouTube has some great educational resources that are fun and engaging ways to introduce or supplement one of your lessons! Here are a few.

  1. Jack Hartmann
  2. Buckalope Elementary
  3. The Learning Station
  4. Have Fun Teaching
  5. The GrammarHeads
  6. Kids Educ
  7. Appuseries
  8. David Lee EdTech (Using minecraft in education!)

Minecraft in Education: Finding Volume by Adding Layers (5th Grade Technology Integration) #kispride

The First Law of Thermodynamics

"Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms."

Challenge your students and yourself to look on the brightside. Be aware of positive and negative statements and find ways to turn a negative thought into a positive one.

i.e. "Aw man, it's raining again!? I am SO sick of this rain!" VS. "At least I'm getting a free carwash!"

A good mood definitely makes the day go by faster :)

Graphic Organizers

I'm sure all of you are aware of the benefits of graphic organizers. Using tactile methods (especially for your kiddos that have shorter attention spans) can be helpful and fun!

Check out this link filled with a variety of options for your students to use!


Lower your voice. Your students will be more likely to lower theirs if they can hardly hear you.

Music for transitions

Using music for transition time (especially for younger students) is a great way to signal expectations and give students a good idea of how long they have to complete the activity.

i.e. "Mission Impossible" for cleaning up the classroom at the end of the day

You can also download the "Class Cues" App for FREE! This app helps you identify transition times and specify songs you'd like to play for each, with the touch of a button!

mission impossible theme song


This website is an excellent way to make learning fun and to also measure your students' understanding of the material in a way that leaves them anonymous to their peers.

Kahoot Tutorial

Answer questions with questions

For the attention seeking or anxious student that asks questions over and over, asking that student for their own answer may reduce these interruptions.

i.e. Student: "What do we do next?"

Teacher: "What do you think you do next?"

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Safe Space

Designating an area in your room that you can non-verbally signal a student to visit if they are upset or need a break to calm down can be really helpful so you can continue teaching without having to stop your lesson.


"I myself am comprised entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions."

-- Augusten Burroughs

Sometimes kids say the darndest things. And sometimes adults stick their foot in their mouth. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one expects you to be anything other than human.

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Too Noisy App

Too Noisy Pro

Tattle phone

Using an old rotary phone from the salvation army or an old cell phone as the classroom "tattle phone" is a great way to cut down on tattling. When students interrupt you, asking them to go leave you a message will usually satisfy the need to tattle.

Sensory issues

Look for the following when you think a student might have an attention and/or hyperactive/impulsivity issue. A lot of these behaviors are really sensory needs and can be met with simple sensory-input tools (bumpy seat, weighted vest/blanket, rubber band on chair legs, etc).
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"I'm done!" Jar

Sick of hearing your students saying "I'm done! What can I do now?" and interrupt other students' learning? Having a few activities written on popsicle sticks in a jar that a student can choose from that are quiet and require minimal adult support can foster independence and responsibility.

Call me, maybe.

If you ever need any additional support in your classroom or with a student in particular, please do not hesitate to contact me. My job is to assist you and your students in having a successful school year.



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