Learning activities to help students engage this fall

It’s never easy to gauge the readiness of all students when it’s time to get back to school, but if you’re looking for new ways to kick-start learning this fall, the following list of cross-curricular learning activities and educational tools are the perfect way to boost engagement. And, don’t forget, you can use Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to purchase most of these items—especially those that support the academic and social-emotional needs of your students. Click here for more ESSER fund information and FAQs.

1. Art activities: Help students deal with anxiety and worries through creativity

Art learning activities: Help students deal with anxiety and worries through creativity

To help calm student anxiety and get them back in the groove, supply them with a personal art journal. They can doodle, draw their feelings, creatively express their worries, or anything else on their mind.

2. Adaptive learning activities: Help students find comfort, security, and an outlet for jitters

Adaptive learning activities: Help students find comfort, security, and an outlet for jitters

Giving students something to do with their hands can actually help improve their focus. Allow students to twist, turn, and squeeze fidget tools during class, or stock your calming corner with similar learning activities to help students destress whenever they need a break.

3. SEL/Literacy activities: Integrate social-emotional learning into the school day

SEL/Literacy activities: Integrate social-emotional learning into the school day

Social-emotional learning is more important than ever. Incorporate core SEL principles like observing, analyzing, and understanding within classroom learning activities to help students self-regulate emotions.

SEL Reflections Middle School Journal Kit

Journaling and sketching emotions are a good way to help students reduce anxiety. This set includes a sketch diary, set of five gel ink pens, and prompt sheet to help students get started.

SEL Reflections Middle School Journal Kit

48-Page Coloring Book, Colors of the World

Kickstart cultural awareness and self reflection with this multicultural coloring book. Students can color their way across the globe and visit more than 20 countries while learning about diverse cultures.

48-Page Coloring Book, Colors of the World

Action and Reaction: Historical Examples of Responsible Decision Making

Help students explore the importance of responsible decision making through the stories of seven ordinary people who made extraordinary decisions that changed the world.

Action and Reaction: Historical Examples of Responsible Decision Making

 E-Learning license: Elementary Programs Tier 1

You can cut down on discipline referrals and help students focus on character strengths with a school-wide SEL program. The online-accessible program features assessment tools, parent connections, and literacy skills development, as well as a full Spanish version.

E-Learning license: Elementary Programs Tier 1

4. STEM/STEAM activities: Create STEAM connections that make them say “wow!”

STEM/STEAM activities: Create STEAM connections that make them say “wow!”

Ignite student learning during the first few weeks of school with engaging STEM/STEAM activities that help students explore circuitry, building and engineering, robotics, and more! 

Sphero Bolt

This app-enabled robot provides endless opportunities for students to be creative while learning key STEM principles.

Sphero Bolt

Student Circuitry Kit

More than a week’s worth of lessons are packed into this intro to small circuitry kit, which can easily travel for at-home learning.  

Student Circuitry Kit

Architectural Modeling Sets – Rocket Ship

Integrate art, design, and open-ended creative play with STEM fundamentals in this architectural model set.

Architectural Modeling Sets - Rocket Ship

Bristlebot STEM Project Kit – Set of 10

With this economical kit, students can build a small robot from a toothbrush head and pipe cleaners that will scurry along a flat surface.

Bristlebot STEM Project Kit

5. Math activities: Help students visualize math concepts

Math learning activities: Help students visualize math concepts

Hands-on learning helps engage students in math and retain lessons longer. And with  individual student manipulative kits, you can minimize the spread of germs as well. These kits include various math activities that are ideal for in-class, at-home learning, or after-school and school-day interventions.

6. Science activities: Get a little gross—in the name of learning

Science learning activities: Get a little gross—in the name of learning

Let’s be honest, science can be fun and a little gross, but these activities are the perfect way to engage students in learning while teaching them important concepts at the same time.

This timely and relevant hands-on journey helps students develop a deeper understanding of the history-changing COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Structure 3D Model Kit

This timely and relevant hands-on journey helps students develop a deeper understanding of the history-changing COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Structure 3D Model Kit

Owl Pellet Class Kit

What could be more interesting than poop? This is a science lesson students won’t want to miss. With 100 owl pellets, you’ll be able to draw students in to learn about predator-prey relationships, energy transfer through food chains, and more.

Owl Pellet Class Kit

Innovating Science® Kidneys & Blood Functions Individual Student Science Kit

Help students create an artificial kidney model to explore the kidneys’ role in blood filtration and waste removal.

Innovating Science® Kidneys & Blood Functions Individual Student Science Kit

Welcome back and have a GREAT year!

Back to school is a hectic and exciting time of year for students and teachers alike. Though some students are innately ready to get back to the books, others are notably apprehensive—especially those who may be returning to in-person learning for the first time in 18 months or more.  As this new year begins, don’t forget to make mindfulness and self-care part of your regular routine because your health matters too.

Good luck, welcome back, and have a great year!

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