Using Essential Oils in the Classroom (Guest Post #2)

I’m sure you’ve heard about essential oils. I’ve wanted to learning about how they can be used in the classroom, so I reached out to a friend of mine who is very involved in the “oils community.” (If you’re familiar with Young Living Essential Oils, you’ll know my friend by the name, Lucy Libido. She’s written essential oils books for women and babies/kids) She connected me with a few teachers who use oils in the classroom. They have agreed to share their experiences with oils in a few guest posts. So here’s the second post about oils, written by preschool teacher, Nanette. Please note that she discussed the use of oils with the parents of her students. Click here to get started with your own oils kit!

As a preschool teacher of 19 years, I have always taken pride in looking for the best materials and items I can provide for my kids in the classroom.  When I discovered Young Living Essential Oils in 2016, I decided it was time to incorporate these oils in my classroom. Our director had already begun using Thieves Household Cleaner for our everyday cleaning needs throughout the preschool.  I communicated with the families in our classroom that we would like to introduce essential oils and asked if any of them had any questions or concerns.  Many of them had questions and concerns regarding the use of essential oils around their kids.  I was able to put their mine at ease that this would benefit their child’s preschool experience.  I began to introduce the oils that they were probably more familiar with, such as Peppermint, Lavender, Orange, and Lemon.  Once we had been diffusing oils for a while in the classroom, I introduced additional oils, such as Thieves, Cedarwood, Sleepyizes, Purification, and Lemongrass.  I may eventually add more oils, but these ones seem to be meeting our needs.

Daily, we use Thieves Household Cleaner to clean our tables, floors, bathrooms, windows, cots, and any other surface that needs cleaning.  We also diffuse oils on days that we feel it is needed.  This may be during moments when unique smells occur (which can be quite often in a preschool), when the class seems to need an energy boost (which usually occurs without help from oils), when nap time comes around, and the class needs to slow down, or just to add a nice smell to the classroom.

Our preschool will continue diffusing oils and cleaning with Thieves Household Cleaner.  We know that these oils are the best, and that using non-toxic products is the only way to ensure that our children grow up in a healthy environment.

 

Want to try essential oils? Click here to get started.

About the Guest Blogger

Nanette Arnold I have been a preschool teacher for 19 years, a mentor teacher for 5 years, and am currently acting as a director for my center while my director is on maternity leave.  I have worked with children ages 6 months – 5 years old.  I have been using Young Living Essential Oils since December of 2016.  In my spare time, I can be found reading, playing pool, trying new foods, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with my boyfriend, friends, and family.

 

Note: Content on this blog is not intended as medical advice.

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What to Give Teachers for Christmas

I was recently approached by a friend (who’s got lots of kids in school and her husband is currently deployed, so she’s flying solo right now) who asked me what teachers really want from their students for Christmas. As we talked, we identified what resources people might or might not have (time, energy, money, creativity) that would factor into what gift they would give a teacher for Christmas. Our discussion seemed to end on the idea that teachers are people too so they don’t necessarily need a huge “Teachers Are the Best” T-shirt or a giant package of stickers.

I then asked my Facebook readership (mostly teachers) about this and they confirmed what I had discussed with my friend.  This main theme emerged from teachers: Treat us like regular people rather than teachers! (So, skip the “world’s best teacher” mug. She’s probably got a few of them already.)

I’ve combined those two ideas (varying resources from gift-givers and teachers being treated like regular people) and I’ve come up with some gift-giving advice for you:

 

If the resource you have is MONEY…

Give gift cards! Teachers love going out to eat, seeing a movie, adding to their personal music/media collection or splurging on something fun at the store. If you still want to give something teaching-related, my readers suggested a gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers. Unfortunately, gift cards don’t come on sale very often, so you probably won’t get a deal on them. But you will probably check it off your list the fastest by grabbing a gift card while you’re at the grocery store.

 

If the resource you have is TIME…

Spend time in your teacher’s classroom! I think I would die of joy if parents in my class had “gifted” me 2 hours of help in my classroom. Before, during, after school, it wouldn’t matter. I would ask them to help me grade/record papers, redo a bulletin board, sort supplies or books, or about a million other things. I think this could also apply to school things the teacher would otherwise have to bring home. For example, you could volunteer to take home some laminated things, cut them out for the teacher and then send them back to school with your student. Heck, one teacher friend of mine had a parent take home her electric pencil sharpener and the parent sharpened a hundred pencils for her at home! Unconventional gift, I know, but it saved my teacher friend so much time and sanity! This kind of gift might not cost much (maybe the cost of a babysitter?), but it will speak volumes about your appreciation!

 

If you want to save your teacher some time…

Give the teacher a prepaid car wash. You probably know how good it feels to have a clean car. And you probably also know the nagging feeling that you should just wash and vacuum out your dang car yourself, but you don’t have time (or energy)! Well, be the teacher’s hero and grab him a certificate for a car wash. It’s probably something they’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Practical, simple and something they can actually use!!

 

If you’ve got a bunch of teachers on your list…

Give baked goods! Do I really need to say more? I mean, come on. Who doesn’t like a delicious goodie! Homemade or store-bought, it’ll be delicious. Just make sure you know if the teacher has any food allergies! (And don’t worry about making your presentation “Pinterest-worthy”. Most teachers don’t have time to make everything super fancy, so they don’t expect others to either.)

 

If you’re low on time and money…

Write a heartfelt note. Yes, you the parent. Kids give teacher notes all the time, but parents rarely do. Write down a note of appreciation telling them what you admire and appreciate about them as an individual and as a teacher. Consider telling them how your child has grown since they’ve been in the teacher’s classroom. Have your child draw a picture or make their own card to go with it.

 

Merry Christmas and happy gifting!!

Using Essential Oils in the Classroom (Guest Post #1)

I’ve heard a lot about essential oils lately. I’ve been interested in learning about their application in the classroom, so I reached out to a friend of mine who is very knowledgeable and experienced in using oils. (If you’re familiar with Young Living Essential Oils, you’ll know my friend by the name Lucy Libido. She’s written essential oils books for women and babies/kids) She connected me with a few teachers who use oils in the classroom. They have agreed to share their experiences with oils in a few guest posts. So here’s the first post about oils, written by high school teacher, Tamera. Click here to get started with your own oils kit!

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve likely heard the buzz about essential oils. What are they? How can I use them? Do they really work to support my health? For educators like me, I wanted to know how I could use oils to support my students’ learning and possibly alleviate toxic stress. This began my research into how essential oils support students who have experienced trauma. I spent a lot of time researching just a few single oils to use daily.

Morning: Lemon and Peppermint combined is a great “pick-me-up.” Many students reported that they felt more alert and they loved how good my classroom smelled. It wasn’t uncommon for my students come back to my classroom throughout the day just to sit and breathe, enjoying whatever was in the diffuser.

Afternoon: My students and I engaged in frequent guided meditation. During the 13 minute meditation, I used lavender in the diffuser and their mood and focus changed dramatically. There were weeks where sometimes I’d forget, but my students were quick to remind me, “Miyasato! Where’s our meditation?” They’d even remind me if I forgot to fill the diffuser.

Studying/Test-Taking: Another oil that I found useful in my classroom was rosemary. We diffused it when we were preparing for tests and because scent is tied to memory, I was sure to diffuse it on testing days, as well. While I didn’t collect data on whether it helped improve scores, it definitely supported my students’ focus and concentration.

Disinfecting: Finally, I was never without my bottle of Thieves Cleaner to clean desks and chalk boards. The day janitor used a popular brand of disinfectant down the halls, but we kept our door closed when she came around. Yuck! My students loved the smell of the Thieves and I felt confident letting them help me clean because I knew that it was safe for them to handle.

Administrative Support: I was grateful that I was able to integrate essential oils into my classroom routines to support my students. However, not all schools will allow teachers to use them. So I have to stress the importance of administration approval. I was lucky that my administration was already supportive and open to new ways to support our high-needs school. In fact, after observing the positive changes in my classroom, I provided our principal with information about using the right oils and how they are used to support many body functions. He was so intrigued that he hired an aromatherapist to come in and provide professional learning for our whole staff!

If you are interested in trying them, I strongly encourage you to look into existing policy to make sure that your school does not prohibit the use of essential oils. If no such policy exists, request a meeting and be armed with research! The important thing to note is the quality of the oils, because not all essential oils are created equal.

Happy oiling!

About the Guest Blogger

Tamera Miyasato is a Learning Specialist with Technology & Innovation in Education in South Dakota where her work is focused on cultural proficiency, Oceti Sakowin language and culture, and ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). She was formerly a secondary ELA teacher at Pine Ridge High School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where she grew up. She currently lives in Rapid City, SD with her husband, son and two cats.

Note: Content on this blog is not intended as medical advice.

TECH TIP: Get to Different G Suite Websites More Quickly

For quick access to the different google items, simply start typing in your browser the type of Google file you want to create or view. Google will pull up the rest of the website.

For example, if you want to see your Google drive, simply start typing: “drive“ into the browser, and Google drive will pull up. If you want to go to Google Classroom, start typing, “classroom” into the browser, and the page address will pull up.

Just think, now you don’t need to go to your email page, and pull down google options anymore!

These are the websites that your computer will be pulling up!

Google Drive: Drive.google.com

 

Google Docs: Docs.google.com

 

Google Sheets: Sheets.google.com

 

Google Forms: forms.google.com

 

Google Sites: Sites.google.com

 

Google Classroom: Classroom.google.com

Halloween Stresses Teachers Out!

Accurate.

I couldn’t find who this picture belongs to, so if it’s yours, please email me so I can credit you! (square head teachers at gmail dot com)

“Snapshot of Fall Break” Graphic Organizer

Thank heavens for fall break! It can’t come soon enough and it never lasts long enough! At least you can have an easy way for everyone to share their fall break adventures with this easy printable! Have your students write or draw something to answer each prompt.

Click here to download the PDF: Snapshots of Fall Break

 

Tech Tuesday: Free Resource for English Learners in Your Classroom

Lauralee is now a technology coach in her district. Here is a helpful resource for English Learners (and every student!) in your classroom!

If you have students who are struggling with your tier one (whole class) instruction because they don’t understand the challenging English vocabulary, then Quizlet is a great FREE website for you. It is a wonderful resources that will help your student learn some of the important vocabulary words before you use them in class. By front-loading your EL students with the vocabulary prior to a lesson, they will better be able to follow along during the lesson and understand the content discussed. It’s so easy to access, requires VERY little prep, and the students don’t even need accounts!

 Just follow these simple steps:
2. In Upper left corner, use search bar to type in content area. (For example: I typed in Space Spanish terms. See image below.)

3. Look through the results to find a set that fits your student’s vocabulary needs
4. Copy the link for future access
(You can get a free teacher account and create your own vocab sets also. Don’t have students get accounts until you look into your district’s student privacy policy to see if Quizlet follows the proper privacy!)

 

Here is an example of how I use Quizlet in my classroom: Let’s pretend that I am about to start my space unit in science. I have a student who doesn’t speak much English. Naturally, I am thinking about how to help this student get something out of my lesson. So, I go to Quizlet, and find a vocab set that has the words that she will be hearing. Then, I have her do the activities that go with that set of words before I start actually teaching the unit. When I do start the space unit with the whole class, that student has heard the words and is WAY more familiar with their meanings.
#ELhelp #EveryKidCounts #SetUpForSuccess #TechTuesday
P.S. I know it isn’t Tuesday yet, but I wanted to share this resource with you because there are so many helpful things on Quizlet!!

Teacher Chat! (Rachel, 6th Grade Teacher)

Note: I was blessed to be able to teach 6th grade with Rachel. She always had great ideas and such a fun energy that made her a successful teacher!

What grade(s) do you teach/have you taught?

10 years of teaching 6th grade!

What’s one thing you do to prepare for/get through parent-teacher conferences?

I make sure I am prepared and organized. I have a folder for each student with their report card, a progress report that shows all of the assignments, test scores, and often a note with upcoming important dates. It’s good to have water close by since I do a lot of talking. Mentally, I remind myself that both I and the parents want what is best for the student, so we need to work to be a team.

What’s one of your favorite end-of-the-year activities to do with your class?

Kindergarten Day. We have one day where we do a lot of kindergarten-type activities (play doh, coloring, calendar, story time, centers, etc). Anything that involves writing or coloring is to be done with their non-dominant hand. I teach small groups how to use a combination lock in one of the centers so they will be able to (hopefully) open their lockers once they hit middle school in a few months.

What’s one thing you do to encourage good behavior in your class?

I have my students help create a list of desired rewards, then print them in a series of boxes, and cover them with scratch-off stickers (found on Amazon). If there is a certain behavior I’m trying to encourage (working quietly, turning in assignments, etc.), each time they do what is desired I give my students a letter to spell a word, or an initial in a set of boxes on the board that they have to complete to earn a reward. When they finish the word or fill the boxes, then I draw a name for who gets to scratch off one of the stickers to see what reward they get.

Tell us about one thing you wish you’d known when you first started teaching.

Do not grade every single little thing that is turned in. So much of it is practice, and it doesn’t need more than a glance and a mark that it was completed. I made myself crazy spending countless hours grading stuff that wasn’t necessary.

 

What gets you through a hard day?

A chat with someone who gets it, and sometimes a good hug. Teaching is hard, and it often seems to be getting harder with each younger group of kids. I just try to remember that I am doing my very best, I’m human, and if there is one kid (or parent) that is really hard to handle, I only have to deal with them for one school year.