I teach in a wonderful school in Southern California! Our students are creative, kind, hard working and devoted to their school. Even with these great attributes they still come to school with challenges that interfere with their ability to access the curriculum in the most productive manner.
Our students are also 40% second language, 75% free and reduced lunch, and 83% socioeconomically disadvantaged.
With all of this they still have great aspirations for the future. We, as teachers, are here to support them in their endeavors and give them the tools to succeed.
Our school uses Trauma Informed Practices, which supports students who have had early life traumatic experiences. Students may not have enough food to eat at home, come from unique living circumstances, or are trying to overcome various challenges outside of school. All of these, and more, interfere with their ability to come to school calm and focused and they can have a low frustration tolerance. We want to have Calm Bags in each classroom with Theraputty and stress balls for kneading, Glitter Wands for visual distractions, Pinwheels for controlling their breathing, coloring pages and pencils for drawing, and sand timers to keep their time out of learning to only 5 minutes. Having a Calm Bag in each classroom gives the teacher a tool to use to interrupt the escalation of a problem and help reinforce the child's ability to self regulate.
Our social worker has had great success with using her Calm Bag with students on an individual basis.
We want to offer a Calm Bag to all of our teachers to have in their class. One example our social worker had, using her bag, was when she was called to a class with a disruptive student. She let him use her Theraputty to pull and knead while she talked to him and within 5 minutes he was calm and ready to join the class again. This project will make 30 bags for all of our teachers TK-5th grade to have. Our school will be donating the bags and colored pencils to use with the coloring pages.
All of our students have the ability to be successful and we want to give them the tools to do that.
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