I sometimes make a contest from lunch time to the end of the day as an incentive. You can be as creative as you want to be with it. Plus the students can really get into the contest idea. It also saves you the trouble of having to constantly tell them to be quiet. You instead say " I guess you don't want to win our contest".
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After lunch is a tough time, but I find when students are engaged, they are much less likely to act out. After lunch, I generally design lessons where students are encouraged to collaborate with each other, get out of their seats for presentations and/or skits, or to write on the Eno board. This allows them to burn off all the energy they just consumed in a productive way.
Students, especially the ones in lower elementary school level, are usually tired after lunch. That's when a lot of behavioral problems happen. To help them refocus and engaged, I let the class have a 3~5 minutes music break. Students will choose their own comfortable spot in the classroom and listen to some very soft music while the lights were turned off. It is a time they reflect on their thoughts and meditate their body. They seem to enjoy the quietness and behaved much calmer after the rest. Worth a try. :)
My kiddos come in very excited after lunch. They are still interacting with classmates and are often very loud. I have everyone take a spot on the carpet and lay down. We do long deep breaths until I see that everyone is calm. They love to do this after I told them they are sending a lot of oxygen to their brains, and they will be able to think and learn better.
I tried a 2-3 minute meditation and found students to be kinder, calmer and creative.
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