The Chalk Blog

The Power of Brain Breaks

It’s important to remember how powerful brain breaks for students can be! The main benefit of a brain break is that it can improve a child’s overall well-being and positive mental space. Studies have shown that physical activity reduces stress, increases energy levels, and improves mood.  When students are given opportunities to take breaks and engage in physical activity, they are better able to manage their emotions and cope with the demands of the school day. In “Research-Tested Benefits of Breaks” author Youki Terada explains some benefits of implementing these regular breaks throughout the day.

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Games & Downloadables

Creating a Gratitude Habit With Your Students [+ Free Downloadable Calendar]

If you’ve led a gratitude exercise with your students before, you know that the typical gratitude list consists of family, friends and maybe a favorite possession. While these responses can be developmentally appropriate, it’s beneficial to stretch students’ thinking about all of the wonderful things they are grateful for. Brain research tells us that the practice of gratitude releases “feel good” chemicals in the brain that reduce stress and build empathy. Scientists have even suggested that the practice of gratitude changes the brain, making us feel happier and more content. 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, mindfulness, Student Engagement, Digital Resources, Games & Downloadables, Just For Fun

Empower Meaningful Action With Environmental Science

Looking for ways to make a difference in the world? Do you recognize an increase in student anxiety when discussing climate change? Curious how to explain environmental justice to young people? These are some of the questions new course 5231: Empowering Action with Environmental Science will answer.

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Topics: Courses, Digital Resources, science, Games & Downloadables

25 Free Downloadable Activities for Back to School

As the back-to-school season gets underway, teachers are always looking for new ideas to help liven up those first days back in the classroom. Sure, the same old lessons and activities will do, but why not add some fun get-to-know-you activities and engaging community building lessons to your toolbox? Below we’ve rounded up some of our favorite FREE downloadable activities, perfectly suited for those first 20 days (and beyond). And as a bonus, there’s very little prep needed. Just grab the template and go!

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology, Student Engagement, Digital Resources, teacher resources, Games & Downloadables

Beyond Extra Recess—Educational Activities for "Al Fresco" Learning

As the school year draws to a close and the weather warms up, special assemblies, performances for families, and other fun activities lead to changes in classroom schedules and routines. When you return to a stuffy classroom after an exciting event, it can be difficult to engage students in a sit-down lesson. Kids look longingly towards the playground, but you still have important content to teach before they move on to the next grade. That’s when outdoor learning activities can save the day! Read on for 10 easy ways to bring the learning outside for any grade level or content area.

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Student Engagement, teacher resources, Games & Downloadables

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