Decorate Trees in Any Season to Catch Kids’ Attention and Help Them Learn!

Welcome to a World of Learning is an attention-getting theme for the start of a new school year.

A World of Learning includes helping students become good stewards of the environment in any season of the year.

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Arbor Day, 2018, at least in the US, was celebrated at the end of last month, on Friday, April 27.

For teachers who want to help students become good stewards of our environment…

every day can be Arbor Day and…

we can decorate trees, not just to celebrate Arbor Day or a holiday, but in any season of the year…

to catch kids’ attention and help them learn!

Trim an Attentionology Tree – Draw attention to the importance of paying attention in class by decorating an Attentionology Tree!

Invite students to cut and color ornaments with Attentionology Tips on them to hang of the Attentionology Tree.

Trim an Attentionology Tree! Invite students to cut and color ornaments with tips on paying attention to hang on the tree.

Make this a class project.

Follow the guidelines below.

Bring in a tree – artificial or real or turn a bulletin board into a giant tree using colored construction paper for the trunk and leaves.

Ask students if they feel more distracted than usual as the school year nears the end of term.

Discuss the importance of staying focused and on task in class, especially during exciting times of the year when distractions increase.

Talk about the impact of distractions, how they can get in the way of getting basic, good work done.

Make a list on the board of your own and students’ ideas about HOW to make ourselves pay attention when we need to do so.

Ask students to help decorate the class’ Attentionology Tree.

Here’s how to keep kids involved…

Distribute pre-cut paper shapes or invite students to cut and color paper shapes from colored construction paper to make ornaments to hang on the tree.

Instruct the kids to write ONE way on each ornament to stay focused in class. Call the strategies Attentionology Tips.

Help students punch holes at the top of the ornaments.

Tie ribbons to make loops for hanging the ornaments.

For as long as you want to run this project, invite a different student each day to hang one ornament at a time on the Attentionology Tree.

Catch kids' dreams of outdoor adventures.

Invite students to trim a tree with pictures of trees and pre-cut leaf shapes with facts about trees.

Trim a Tree with Facts About Trees – Bring in real tree branches and anchor them in a large container full of rocks or pebbles.

Engage children in hanging small pictures of trees on the branches…

photos you and they have brought to school and/or pictures of trees that the children have drawn and colored.

Use this activity to lead into a lesson about trees as part of your science curriculum.

Countdown to the holidays with an Attentionology Tree that includes numbers and symbols of staying focused and on task in class.

Trim a Math Tree with numbers and geometric shapes, especially to engage reluctant math learners.

Invite older elementary students to take the lesson a step further and research more facts about trees.

After the lesson and research related to trees, distribute pre-cut leaf shapes to the class.

Ask kids to write one fact about a tree on each leaf shape.

Help students punch holes at the tops of the leaves.

Tie ribbons to make loops for hanging the tree-fact leaves.

Trim a Math Tree – Engage reluctant math learners by inviting them to hang numbers and geometric shapes on a Math Tree.

Designate a bulletin board or part of a classroom wall “to grow” your Math Tree.

Involve students in cutting out the trunk, leaves, numbers and shapes from colored construction paper.

Tack or tape these elements to the board or wall.

“Grow” the Math Tree by adding new leaves, etc. as your students master new math skills.

Decorate trees in any season of the year to catch and keep kids’ attention and help them learn.

Please send comments about how you incorporate trees into your lesson plans.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara The Lovable Poet

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Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Students are acting sluggish in class.

Solution: Show "The BIG E," for ENERGY, an enlarged letter E (or other first letter for the word energy in your alphabet), available in craft stores. Remind the class that energy is a must-have item to get good work done. Tell the class to show you "The BIG E!"

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