Monday, May 19, 2014

Let it Go!

This is the year of the song Let it Go in my classroom.  Thank you, Frozen.  Thank you, Disney.  
Because I sort of love it.  I know some teachers have had about enough... case in point-

But seriously, the first time my class sang along and did the motions, I had tears in my eyes. They are so sincere. Here is a little clip of some of my girls singing today. I had another video when all my girls were singing together, but it would NOT sad, because they are all so precious together, but I took this on my phone, and some of my sweeties weren't here today. 

My boys were hesitant to let themselves enjoy the song. (Even though they all knew the words and even requested the song...) But at the same time, they didn't DARE snicker or giggle because the girls loved it so much, I loved watching the girls love every minute of the song, and the boys knew that I would not let them take away the joy the girls had for the song by giggling through it. (Don't worry- we do LOTS of songs the boys especially love like that Everything is Awesome Lego movie song... so they can hang in there for this one!)

Luckily, the marines came to my rescue.  They probably didn't know when they signed up to help people, they would be helping a kindergarten teacher make a point, but they sure did. We had a long talk about marines- who they were, and how strong and brave they were. Then I showed them this video of these Marines watching Let it Go! (I stopped it before they started screaming (about 2:20) I just showed them enough to let them know it was 'cool' to sing along.)

You should have seen the participation (and hand motions!) the next time we sang. Priceless and even more  precious.

Finally, if you have had enough of this song, you'll like this dad!
I love the whole idea behind the words in  this song, and thought it would make a great lesson for the children.  The very day I decided to turn this into a lesson, was the final day of state testing for my friend who teaches 5th grade.  She came down to my room and said, "I listened to Let it Go, and just decided that that is exactly what I have to do with these tests. They are over, and I need to let it go." That was a sign.  We all need  to remember to let it go, sometimes.  
Then, when this was in my devotional this morning, I knew I had to write about -

Especially, look for areas where you need to let go, leaving your cares in My able hands.  Do you trust Me to orchestrate your life events as I choose, or are you still trying to make things go according to your will? 
~Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

I can always use reminders about that. 

For our lesson, we read Today I Feel Silly.  There are a lot of great books about emotions and feelings. This book has a lot of different ones in it, so it gave us a lot to talk about. 

We talked about the many moods that we each have throughout the day, and how sometimes grouchy, grumpy, frustrated, worried, upset moods will sneak into our day. They will. Yes, they will. And that is normal, and happens to 100% of people. But, what can we do to let it go? What can we do to change that mood and make it better?

Boy oh boy- if you want ideas about letting it go, just ask a five year old.  I got some great responses. I had the children write and illustrate how they would let it go.  Here are some of my sweet answers:

I'm with her!
I want the children to always remember that those moods are just temporary. They won't last.  I also want them to remember that there are ways to make those moods better.  I thought that if we talked about some ways to help, they may remember them some day.

Go Noodle has some wonderful stress relieving videos- yoga, stretching, meditating type videos- that can help calm the class down if you need it.  They are under the Maximo and Flow sections.   We love the Willow, Willow one. Here is a sample stretch with Maximo.  The kids don't think he's silly- they know that if they try their best they get points to make their class champ grow!  (By the way, Let it Go is also one of the videos on Go Noodle.  We know that because we get points every time we sing or listen to it. POINTS!)  One of my little guys said to me, "WOW- You are SO good at yoga!" So I now love doing "yoga" with 5 and 6 year olds.  A class of adults would not see it quite the same way... not at all.

Here are some other ideas to help your children let it go.

I found this video at Conscious Discipline and thought it had some great relaxation ideas to remember for some brain breaks in the classroom for me the kids!

I have my little "Think about it" friends ready to go-  I have 2 precious, softer than soft elephants who will listen with their great big ears to anything a child has to say, and never, ever forget it.  I also have a great squishy ball to squeeze (but the child must be really thinking quietly about squeezing it and how it feels to squeeze), and some "My Favorite Things" lotion to rub, rub, rub into hands and make frustrations go away while the child thinks about his/her favorite, happy things. I got this idea from Dr. Jean's "Self-Control" lotion.  Love it. 

These are some pictures from last year's class.  Chair push-ups help the children release some energy or frustration, and  remain calm and more focused.

We do like a good "Chair Push-Up" break now and then!  My whole class does this together. I have a couple children who benefit from this the most, but it is fun and helpful for everyone- as well as a challenge! They love to see who can stay up for a long time.

We also have a ball with the Wall Push.   I don't have much wall space, but we all line up quietly and walk around the corner in our hall, where there are no classrooms.  We try to push the wall as hard as we can.  I tell them we are trying to make Miss Quick's classroom smaller by pushing in the wall!   They really think we have moved that concrete wall over.  Sorry, Miss Quick, for your shrinking room.

Again,  this is a great "brain break" for everyone in the class.  Who doesn't feel like pushing a wall every now and then? One good thing about doing this in the hall is that I tell them we have push really hard, but be quiet, so they aren't screaming- but putting the effort into the physical exertion. You can also have the children push the wall, then turn around, and push it again, for something different.

Have a wonderful day!


  1. NO other blog post... not one... has made me laugh and cry at the same time. I am in l.o.v.e. with how relevant and hilarious this entire post is... the sweetness and innocence of the girls, the Marines singing and "oohrah's." It only got better (like an aged wine) when the dad sang the parody. Thank you for the kiddo inspiration. I'm touched, inspired, and moved. Thank you!

  2. Hi Carolyn,

    I'd love to hear more about the lotion idea. How is that managed in your classroom? Do the children get to choose when they use it or do you send those who are getting frustrated?

    Lauren :)
    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

  3. Oh Carolyn, this is just great - particularly because my family just watched this movie this weekend! I love your "Let It Go" writing - what a terrific idea! And the movement breaks - I haven't made time to try go noodle yet. Thanks for sharing your great idea! Sara.

  4. Your "let it go" writing is precious!!!!! Love all your movement breaks! :) Happy Tuesday!

  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the writing activity! Your kids are SO LUCKY to have you! xoxo

  6. Hi Carolyn,
    So of course I had to go to Amazon and order "The Jolly Postman" after reading your post. It arrived today and it is adorable. I realized I've seen it before so I am thrilled to own it now. I'm looking forward to seeing what my students will come up with.

    I also enjoyed the Marines and the dad versions of "Let It Go". Thanks for sharing!


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