Maybe it’s a new email from your principal, maybe a parent is getting in touch through your school app to schedule a conference, or maybe it’s that darn group chat about brunch and you are already 50 messages deep and have no idea how to catch up at this point.
Today, we are always plugged in—available through our phones, tablets, computers, or house robots (Alexa, Siri, and Google, etc.). Although there are benefits to this—being able to stay in touch with loved ones, easily contact colleagues or parents to coordinate schedules, quickly access times and calendars, and my favorite: “House Robot, play "Where Do You Start Your Letters?” Sometimes, you need to unplug.
Tomorrow is the National Day of Unplugging, and research shows that unplugging—even for just a couple hours—can reap a ton of benefits for productivity, mental health, and creativity. It’s also important to give your students some time off the screen and teach them the value of real time and connecting in more organic ways.
Here’s a couple ways we recommend spending the day unplugged, in and out of the classroom:
In the Classroom
Build, Play, and Discover
Play isn’t just for Pre-K! It’s good to have multisensory activities to engage children and let them be creative and innovative! Even something as simple as breaking out an old Slate Chalkboard and using it in a new way like for a fun scavenger hunt! Browse hands-on manipulatives for your classroom.
Singing and Dancing
Who says your need to be plugged in for a rockin’ good time? Sing some of your favorite classroom songs acapella and make up a dance to go along.
Out of the Classroom
Take a Walk
Although we never recommend texting and walking—we know it happens. This time leave the phone in the house and take time to literally smell the roses—or maybe just the fresh air!
Cook (Without a Recipe)
Although the internet is great for finding delicious recipes, channel your inner Ina Garten and prepare a creative meal with the ingredients in your kitchen—without a plan!
Write a Letter
Now it’s time for you to practice handwriting skills. I bet there is someone in your life who would love a handwritten letter sent in the post. If not, try writing a letter to yourself with your goals and don’t read it again until next year to see your growth!