exercises that can be done with students? I've done breathing to help kids focus and get their work done. However, I'd be interested in any other exercises or things I can do to help kids relax and stay focused on their work.
Try to lower the lighting in your room. Bring in lamps, or even cover the lights with tissue paper (make sure your lights aren't too hot!) I also use a candle crock in my room so it smells nice. My students say they really like how it seems more relaxed.
During seatwork/classwork, I sometimes put on classical music. The students seem to like it, and it makes me more relaxed. Some schools have "Kagan" CD's, which offer a range of background music choices for different activities. The music works well with the age groups I've seen(1st, 2nd, and 4th). Kagan also has ideas for "Brain Breaks", active movement as a break from intensive thinking.
Check the internet for relaxing music. There are several sites that offer free (about 45 minutes) time of relaxation sounds. One advantage is is your school has a tv in your room you can listen to the sounds on the tv with a nice realaxing background on the tv. It does miracles- especially during writing and any seatwork assigned... Good luck.
Hi! I like to give my kids bubble breaks. We either blow bubbles or pop bubble wrap. I have also taken a few minutes to teach them simple yoga poses. All of these have been helpful to relax both the students and me.