Edcamp day 1

Today’s class was an amazing class. I really, really enjoyed the Edcamp today. I chose to be in the break out room that was disguising mental health in the classroom. It was so great to talk things out and get ideas and opinions from others.

What we talked about

We talked about:

  1. Experiences we had with seeing mental health being addressed in the classroom, and mental health of ourselves and what we wish we had in classrooms. Some things we came up with include, doing a check in every morning and after every break (recess, lunch etc…) We talked about the TEDx Talk I watched that was of a teacher who did a check in with her students using the topic “I wish my teacher knew that…” the kids then anonymously put in slips of paper into a box, and the teacher could read them and connect on a further level with her students. It was so surprising to see what some of the things were that the teacher recieved. I won’t get into to detail as I could go on forever. You should watch the video if you are interested.
  2. Send questionnaires home weekly or monthly to parents. So people in my group noticed their mentor teacher on Wednesday’s doing this activity. Their mentor teacher also mentioned that you should do one (that is a bit more in-depth) at the very beginning of the year sometime within the first week, just to get more detailed information about children so surprises don’t come your way.
  3. We noticed that mental health education falls under the category of Physical education meaning it is expected to be taught during PE class. We found that mental health should NOT fall under this category as it takes away from physical activities and doesn’t focus enough on mental health.
  4. SEL –> Social, Emotional Learning. We didn’t get a chance to get more information on this but it is a great way of learning and could really benefit applying mental health aspects into the classroom.

We also touched on resources such as:

  1. Teacher store for stop signs and colour indicating emotions.
  2. Musical outlets
  3. Surveys with guardians and students
  4. Having spaces like a calming corner, a stuffed animal, just a space that makes kids feel comfortable and can allow them a space to relax and be safe.
  5. Have a sharing game (2 truths and a lie) –> a way for kids to verbally check in in a non time consuming matter.
  6. Have a quiet time after recess –> allows for kids to calm down (heads on desks, soft calming music while doing a calming activity).
  7. Pay attention to the IEP plans
  8. Tell your students comforting things (we are safe, we are okay etc…) in regards to todays situation with COVID.

Things we can that can help the kids to communicate their emotions and personal lives:

  1. Have students draw a picture of how they are feeling (for younger grades).
  2. Play music (get kids to choose what songs represent how they are feeling) –> again for younger grades.
  3. Stickers with sad, medium, happy feelings (younger grades)
  4. Using Inside Out character colours to represent feelings –> kids can put on their desk what they are feeling each day.
  5. have a traffic light set of colours for each child that they can use and can put the colour that represents how they are feeling on their desk. (green- I am great, Yellow – I could be better, red – I am NOT okay).

We also came up with questions that I am going to try to do more research on to get answers:

  1. Should we do anonymous check-ins or non-anonymous?
  2. Can we integrate mental health into community based physical education?
  3. How do you make it so that they pay attention and get the activity they need when learning about mental health in a physical Ed class?
  4. How much information should they be learning at certain ages?
  5. How can we make the classroom still feel comforting and warm for students during COVID times?
  6. How can we comfort younger kids without physical touch?