When we are at school, I am able to teach one lesson in each classroom every week.  These lessons are most often on social emotional topics, but also some career and academic topics.  I will include these lessons each week.

  • Scroll down below the websites sectionto see new grade level lessons each week. I have modified them to hopefully work at home for those of you who would like to participate. Previous lessons are still listed, in case you didn't have a chance to check them out yet.
  • Scroll down farther (and farther) to find coping skills, jokes, and conversation starters.

If you would like for me to work with your child through email or on the phone, contact me at:  jhansen2@esu2.org

Show and Tell: P.J. has been helping with the first grade videos (way)below.  Click the buttons below to see P.J. and Kool-Aid perform their tricks.  P.J. is a 5 year old Miniature Mediterranean Donkey.  He is so cute and a little naughty.  Kool-Aid is a 20 year old Miniature Mediterranean Donkey.  She is sweet, loves being around people, and loves treats.

Here are a few websites that may be of interest. 

This website is a good resource for online safety for adults and children.  It gives information on specific apps your kids may be using.  https://nationalonlinesafety.com/guides

Website for free online books:  https://www.wilbooks.com/free-resources-free-online-books

Ways to talk to kids about COVID19  https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/how-you-and-your-kids-can-de-stress-during-coronavirus

 Cosmic Kids Yoga       https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga

Journaling- This looks kinda cool.  All grade levels have worked on the concept of gratitude.      https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/gratitude

The Winning Class for the Summer Safety Challenge is Mrs. Braniff's class.   Thank you to those who participated, you rocked the challenge with really important safety tips.  Read below for a THS safety review!

Summer Safety

 Pool Safety/Water Safety

Don’t run at the pool - Shut your eyes in the water (if it irritates your eyes) - Don’t dive if it is too shallow - Wear a life jacket if you can’t swim - Wear a life jacket when swimming, boating, or playing at a lake, pond, or river - Make sure there are lifeguards or other adult supervision

 Sun Safety

Wear Sunscreen - Drink water on hot days - Wear sunglasses - Take breaks to cool down

 Bike Safety

Wear a helmet when you ride your bike - Wear shin guards - Follow traffic rules - Watch for cars

Walking places safety

Look both ways before you cross the street and hold a grown-ups hand if you are not old enough to cross the street alone yet.

 Playground Safety

Don’t jump out of swings - Follow playground rules 

Stranger Safety

Don’t talk to strangers -Don’t go with them -Don’t take anything from them -Do not go near strangers - Report to a trusted adult if someone makes you feel uncomfortable

 Fireworks Safety

Do not use fireworks without a grown-up - Do not use fireworks by cars - Stay back when they are going off - Light and run away - Have adult supervision

 Poison Safety

Do not go in places where there is poison - Keep poisons locked up - If you do not know what something is, leave it alone

 Home Alone Safety

Lock doors and don’t answer the doors - Have a fire plan - Call your parents and check in - Don’t let in strangers - Don’t use appliances unless you have adult permission - Don’t open the door

Sports Safety

Tie shoes - Wear a helmet - Stay hydrated - Drink lots of water - Don’t play when the weather is too hot

 Insect Safety

Wear bug spray - Wear long sleeves

Social Media Safety

Don’t give out your address - Don’t join sites without parent approval - Don’t share videos without permission - Have a private account

 General Safety

Wash your hands after leaving a store - Get permission before leaving the area or going somewhere new

Lessons from the Week of April 20th

Second Grade:  We are ready to learn our last of the 7 Habits. Habit #7 is called “Sharpen the Saw”.  Sharpen the Saw is about keeping yourself sharp.  It talks about keeping yourself healthy in body, mind, and in spirit.  What things do you do to keep your body healthy? Do you eat healthy foods and stay active?  What things do you do to keep your mind healthy?  Are you continuing to learn while you are home?  What things do you do to stay healthy emotionally?  Do you use coping skills to feel better, have relationships with others, do things you enjoy?  For this week, keep a list of things that you do to “Sharpen your Saw”.

 Preschool-6thGrade:  We have talked about coping skills at school.  Coping skills help us to handle our emotions in a helpful way.  What coping skills have you been using at home? Have you had conflicts with brothers or sisters?  Have you felt sad that you miss your friends from school?  Have you felt worried about covid-19?  Do you feel lonely or bored at home?  What coping skills have you used?  Look at the list of coping skills below.  Talk about the ones you have already tried.  How did they work?  Make a list of the coping skills you could try.  The next time you are dealing with emotions, choose a coping skill from your list. If it helped, keep that to use again some time.  If it didn’t work, try a different one next time.  Craft idea:  Make a coping skills collage.  Take a picture of it and send it to me, I 'd love to see it!

 Take deep breaths         Think of something funny         Take a quick walk        Yoga           stretch        Listen to music              Spend some time alone

Slowly count to ten         Use positive self-talk      Talk to a friend      Talk to an adult     Close your eyes and relax       Visualize your favorite place

Think of something happy        Think of a pet you love   Think about someone you love          Get enough sleep         

Eat a healthy snack        Read a good book         Set a goal   Jog in place       Write in a journal            Hum your favorite song           Doodle on paper

Draw a picture      Color a coloring page     Clean something        Meditate       Use a stress ball            Dance        Write a letter        

Look at pictures you’ve taken   Make a gratitude list       List your positive qualities        Do something kind         Give someone a hug

Put a puzzle together     Build something             Play with clay      Hug a stuffed animal               Rip paper into pieces               Play an instrument

Watch a good movie      Take pictures        Garden       Write a list          Blow bubbles        Chew gum            Write a story                  Write a poem

Drink cold water             Read a magazine           Write a thank you note        Count to 100                  Make a list for the future

Read inspirational quotes        Visualize a stop sign      Do schoolwork.       Look at animal pictures            Notice 5 things you can see              Paint

Watch a funny video       Cook or bake        Use an I-statement          Identify your emotions             Express your feelings to someone

Write down your thoughts                 Make your day’s schedule         List 10 positives about you                Tell someone you are thankful for them

Pet an animal       Organize something                Play a card game          Listen to nature sounds       Sit and relax all your muscles     Ask for a break


 Lessons from the Week of April 13th

Preschool: Click on the "Manners Song" for a quick review of manners 

Kindergarten: Watch by clicking on the button "Flippy and Bubbles" for the lesson with Bubbles and Flippy. 

First Grade: Watch A Little Spot of Kindness, then make yourself a “kindness spot” and see how much kindness you can spread.

Second Grade: We will continue to explore Habit #6 with the book Sophie and the Perfect Poem.

Third Grade: Watch the book My Fantastic Elastic Brain at https://vimeo.com/160036161  Answer the following questions.  1.  What is something that you know a lot about?  2.  The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain.  It helps you think and speak.  What is something you learned to do while in the 3rd grade?  3.  What is something you would like to learn more about?  4. The cerebellum is a small part at the back of the brain that helps your muscles to coordinate your movement and balance.  What do you like to do for exercise?  5. Your prefrontal cortex lets you make plans and decisions.  What is something that you plan to do at home this week?  6. The hippocampus is at the center of your brain. It helps you store and find memories. What is one of your best memories?  7. The amygdala controls your emotions.  When is a time when you felt a strong emotion?  8. How can you stretch your brain?

Fourth Grade: Our topic this week is to think before we act.  Why might it be important to stop and think before we act?  Sometimes we need to think and respond quickly, like if you are participating in a math flashcard game.  Fast answers are important.  Sometimes though when we are making a decision, we need to stop and think before we decide.  One way to stop and think is to consider what the problem is, and then brainstorm a list of ideas that could solve the problem.  Brainstorm means to think of as many things as you can (even if some of them aren’t really good ideas) and list them.  Once you have a list you can think about each one and consider how each solution might work.  You can then choose the best solution.

Click on the Stop and Think button for a stop and think activity.

Fifth and Sixth Grades: Review Habit #6 and learn Habit #7

What does Habit #6, Synergize, mean?  Habit #7 is called Sharpen the Saw.  Think about what happens to a saw that is used a lot with no maintenance.  What would need to be done to get that saw in good shape again?  Yes, it needs to be sharpened.  We could think about the example of a pencil as well.  When it isn’t useful anymore, we need to sharpen it.  Sharpen the Saw also refers to people.  Habit #7 teaches us that there are 4 parts to keeping yourself in top condition.  The first part is keeping your body healthy.  Ways to keep your body healthy are getting enough exercise, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and taking some time out for relaxation.  The second part is keeping your mind healthy.  Examples of keeping your mind healthy are reading, schoolwork, writing, and learning new skills.  The third part is keeping your heart healthy.  This is a little confusing because Habit #7 isn’t referring to your heart that is an organ.  That would be covered in the first part (body).  When it says heart, it is referring to your feelings and social emotional health.  Examples of keeping your “heart” or feelings healthy is building relationships with people, giving to others, doing things for others, laughing and loving others.  The fourth part is having a healthy soul.  This one is abstract.  It is similar to heart, but heart focuses more on relationships and others.  Soul focuses more on if you are fulfilled, if you feel good about yourself and peaceful with yourself.  Examples are meditation, keeping a journal, or listening to music.

Assignment:  Divide a piece of paper into four sections: Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul.

Record the things that you do to “Sharpen the Saw” for one week.  Try to do at least 3 things in each category during the week.  Habit #7 helps us to remember that too much of anything isn’t good.  We need to have balance and take care of all of our parts.

Lessons from the Week of April 6th

Preschool and Kindergarten Lesson

 For Parents:  Once upon a time, when I was taking a class, the professor told us that tattling is part of mastering rules.  Like a toddler will open and close a draw over and over until they have the skill perfected, preschool/kindergarten age children are perfecting their understanding of rules and may tattle over and over and over (and over and over) again when working on their understanding of rules.  This helped me to understand tattling better, or at least to expect tattling as part of normal development in the early grades.

 The lesson:     I found a cute story about tattling on youtube .        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D00lVmoIQYw.       After the story, discuss with your child what they now know about tattling.  One way students can determine if it is tattling is by answering, “Are you telling because someone is hurt or in danger?” or “Are you telling because you want to get them in trouble?”

First Grade

Our lesson for first grade this week, is about being bossy.  I found the story, Franklin is Bossy at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj_BWip6nZU

 Discussion: What is the difference between being a leader and being bossy?  Have your first grader sort the following words and phrases into if it goes in the bossy category or if it goes into the being a leader category.  Easiest method: randomly read the phrases and have them orally answer if it is bossy or being a leader.

 Bossy                                                  Leader

I know everything                               I am always learning

I know how it is done                         I can show how it is done

Give orders                                         Earn respect

Give answers                                      Look for solutions

Say “I”                                                Say “us” or “we”

Blame others                                       Take responsibility.

Talk first                                             Listen first

Take credit                                          Give credit

Criticize                                              Coach.

 Second Grade:  After watching the Habit #6 lesson by clicking the button below, ask your 2ndgrader to explain the first 6 habits to you.  (Taken from The 7 Habits for Happy Kids by Sean Covey.).  #1 Be Proactive #2 Begin with the End in Mind #3 Put First Things First #4 Think Win-Win                                                       #5 Seek First to understand, then to be understood #6 Synergize

Third and Fourth Grades: Watch the video by clicking the button belowfor an abbreviated lesson on handling anger.

Fifth and Sixth Grades: This week we are learning habit #6.  First, to review the first 5 habits, explain to a family member what each habit means and why it is helpful. #1 Be Proactive #2 Begin with the End in Mind #3 Put First Things First #4 Think Win-Win #5 Seek First to understand, then to be understood

 Habit #6 is Synergize. If we were in class, we would be exploring everyone’s different strengths and how it is an advantage when people have different strengths.  Picture a baseball or softball team with all catchers, or a whole team of first base players.  Picture a pizza that is only a pile of pepperoni. If you are working on a group project and everyone in the group is good at the same thing, how will your project compare to a group whose members have a variety of strengths they can put together?  See how many situations you can think of when “together is better”.  Examples: a rainbow, a pizza, the Avengers, a baseball team

Lessons from the week of March 30th

Preschool: The topic this week is problem solving..  Real life presents lots of opportunities to ask children, "How will you solve this problem?"  In addition to the short activities that I will include, when things pop up, see if your child can figure out how to solve the problem.  Practicing to  figure out small problems is great practice for when they are older and face bigger problems.  For a problem solving activity, you could line up any objects  (lids, Legos, crayons, little toys) with mixed colors and put them in rows.  Tell your preschooler that you want them in rows by color (or type or size), but you don't want to mess up the rows.  See if they can figure out to move piece by piece until they are in like rows, without having picked them all up at once.   You could also draw a partial picture that has a problem, such as an extra line somewhere or an object that isn't complete.  Ask them how they can solve the problem.  Maybe they will choose to make the extra line into another object in the picture.  Maybe they will think of using the white out.  Sometimes it is hard to be patient and let children work through things on their own, but in this time of lessened commitments, it is a perfect time to let them take their time and figure out how to solve problems.

Kindergarten: Click the link for the story of The Cow that Went Oink.  Once the video is over, have your kindergartner talk about the good choices they have been making.

First Grade:  Click on the link for my first ever video lesson!  (Cringe!!) Once the video (Mule School Lesson) is over, ask your first grader about things that different members of your family have as strengths.

Second Grade:  We worked on a booklet about listening the last time we had a lesson at school.  Your second grader can tell you what they know about good listening.  This week's lesson for second grade is about being brave.  When we say at school that "we are safe, we are respectful, we are responsible, and we are brave" we are talking about the bravery that comes with making good choices.  Sometimes doing what is right can be hard. Have your child think of some examples of times they were brave.  Have them make a list (verbally, written, or drawn) of characters from books, games, or movies that were brave.  What made them brave?  When are times when you wish that you had more bravery? 

Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grades:

The topic for all of you this time around is critical thinking. It can be hard to explain critical thinking. Especially when I can't see your faces to see if you looked confused or if you do understand! Critical thinking is thinking independently, forming your own opinions, drawing your own conclusions, analyzing information, seeing connections between ideas, and being open to other views and opinions. It is how you learn from interpreting and experiencing the world around you. Sometimes it is even thinking about thinking!

Think about why you think critical thinking is important. (Did you think of for solving problems, having a greater understanding, coming up with new things, or finding more meaning?)

Often, we answer questions like "What are 3 kinds of animals?" Write those 3 kinds of animals on a piece of paper. (That was a pretty simple question.)

Now, if we use critical thinking questions, we can use questions like these: (Write the answers on your paper or tell your answers to a family member or pet.)

What do the 3 animals you wrote downhave in common?

How can you compare the 3 animals?

Why do the animals have the differences that they have?

Why do the animals have the similarities that they have?

What could make the animals more successful in their environment?

What challenges are facing the animals that they didn't face 100 years ago?

How do people affect those animals?

Congratulations, you have just done some great critical thinking!

Just for Fun!

Help me think of jokes!  I miss writing a joke in the hallway each week.  I will post a joke each week on here, but I would love to post your jokes too.  Want to share a joke?  Email me at jhansen2@esu2.org with your joke.                                              

What has 10 wheels and flies?                  A garbage truck 

 What do race car drivers eat?     Fast food

 Why did the rooster go to the doctor?       He had Cockadoodle-flu

Who made the fish's wish come true?          It's fairy cod-mother.

How does the farmer count his cows?             A cow-culator

knock-knock Who's there? Bacon Bacon who? I Bacon you to let me in!

Knock-knock Who's there? Nose Nose who? I nose some more knock-knock jokes if you want to hear them!

What did the doctor say to the invisible man?  (Contribution from a 4th grade student)  Sorry I can't see you right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 What do you call a cow that is afraid of everything?          (Contribution from a 4th grade student)        A coward

What did one firefly say to the other?          (Contribution from a 4th grade student)   You glow girl!!!!!! 

What’s a chicken’s favorite subject in school?            (Contribution from a 4th grade student)       Eggonomics

What do you call it when your parrot is gone?            Polygon

Why did the math book look so sad?           Because it had so many problems!

Why did the students eat their homework? (Contribution from a 4th grade student)         Their teacher said it was a piece of cake.

What is a rabbit's favorite dance style?          Hip-Hop


We have spent time in class talking about coping strategies, which if you forgot what coping strategies are, they are those things we can do to make ourselves feel more comfortable, calm, and safe. What have you been doing during this strange time when we aren't in school and there is so much on the news about sickness?  Remember, doing too much of one thing, even if it is a good thing, isn't good for us. We need to take care of our minds, our bodies, and our hearts (how we feel).  What coping strategies have you been using? Let me know (jhansen2@esu2.org) and we can share them with everyone.

 Spend time with a pet          Exercise         Talk to someone         Write          Draw        Have a routine        Do Yoga       Clean your room

Play a game with family       Listen to music      Take deep breaths       List the things you are thankful for    

Write a letter to someone  (I always write back! 19211 County Road 15, Herman, NE 68029)

Have you spent so much time together lately that it is hard to think of quality conversation?     Here are some conversation starters you can try:

I stay safe by......................

The best gift I received was...........

I don't like.............

I want to change...........

My safe place is.......................

Sometimes I worry about................

The kids in my class...................

I just can't .......................

I want to visit........................

I stay safe by.......................

I don't understand...........

My three wishes are.............

I will always remember...................

One person who listens to me is.................

I look up to........................

Before I go to sleep I think about………………

When I’m angry I ………………..

I want to be……….

I feel scared when………….

A perfect day would be.............