We’ve been busy!

We have had an amazing fall here at MCS during our Mindfulness and Movement. Students have been learning so much and it’s been really wonderful seeing how much they’ve grown over these last couple months. It’s been such an adventure and a wonderful opportunity working with these children every week.  Listed below I will give you a brief overview of all the lessons we’ve done this fall! Please feel free to ask any questions, or if you’d like more information on any of these activities, please comment on the blog entry or e-mail me at johnju01@gmail.com. Thank you!!

Week 1- The Bell- An introduction to the bell, how it is used in the classroom, and what we should do when we hear it.

Week 2- Breathing- Students learned how to regulate and practice breath control, as well as learn how to take deep, slow breaths. We used the ocean as a metaphor for our breathing and discussed how we can control the ‘waves’ with breathing.

Week 3-  Mindful Eating- The children were introduced to Mindful Eating and how to be mindful of what we are eating, when we are eating. This lesson was done using carrots and discussing how they went from the earth, to our mouths.

Week 4- Mountain Hike Yoga Story and Turtle Time- Students were told a story through a series of yoga poses and retold the story doing the yoga themselves. We also met Tuck the Turtle, who introduced us to Turtle Time (a pose we can get in when we have big feelings and take three (or more) slow breaths to help us calm ourselves down).

Week 5- The Way I Feel- This lesson helped students learn to recognize the many different feelings we experience, identify them by name, and helped them understand that ALL feelings are ok! We explored these emotions through music and art.

Week 6- ‘Peace Is…’ & Intro to Brain Gym- Students discussed what they think the word ‘Peace’ looks like and feels like and what that means to them.  We created a community art ‘peace’ (pictured above) on this day. We read ‘The Peace Book’ by Todd Parr during this lesson. We also had a brief introduction to four Brain Gym movements that can help us wake up our minds and focus.

Week 7-  I Love Me!- Students learned the importance of loving themselves for exactly who they are. We went around and had each child share something they loved about themselves. We read the book ‘Little Cloud’ by Eric Carle and discussed how we are all different and that that’s what makes the world so wonderful. They each received a small white ‘I Love Me’ cloud (cotton ball) to help them remember this.

Week 8- Breath Control and Loving Others- We learned how to control our breathing (especially when we’re upset) using a couple fun activities including straw breathing and taking ‘Feather Breaths’. We also read ‘Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun’ and discussed the importance of showing kindness to EVERYBODY, even if they don’t always show kindness to us, they have a heart with feelings too and may just need to feel loved.

Week 9- Yoga- Students learned what yoga is and how it benefits our minds and bodies. They were introduced to new poses, as well as review the yoga story poses from Week 4. We used a book called ‘The ABCs of Yoga for Kids’ and did the poses that corresponded with the first letter of each child’s name.

Week 10- Thankfulness- This lesson focused on increasing awareness of all the things and people in our lives that we can be thankful for. We created Thankful Branches that went along with the story ‘Giving Thanks’. I told every child that I was thankful for them, and had them each tell me something they were thankful for and wrote it on the back of a small circle with their name on it. I added the names to the branch and they are now hanging in each classroom.

Week 11- A Quiet Place- Students were taught how to find ‘A Quiet Place’ in their minds, even when the world around them is chaotic at times. We discussed the Space Place and it’s purpose in our classrooms and homes. I read the story “A Quiet Place’ to the children and we imagined what our own quiet places looked and felt like. We drew a picture of these places and shared them with one another.

Week 12- Movement Obstacle Course- Students used their bodies to move through an obstacle course that was set up in a large room on the second floor. Students crawled, somersaulted, bear walked, frog hopped, rolled and danced their way through the course. We had a lot of fun!

Week 13- Better to Give, Than to Receive-  We discussed what it feels like when someone ‘fills our bucket’ and how wonderful it makes us feel. It is more important to help others feel this sense of joy than try to find it for ourselves. We created a gift (art) to give to someone to make them feel loved. We don’t always need to give people something to fill their buckets, sometimes all they need is a kind word, a smile, or a hug, and when we fill someone else’s bucket, it fills ours a little too. 🙂

I appreciate you all taking the time to look through all the exciting things we’ve been doing since school started. I am having so much fun and am learning so much from every child who walks through the door. Thank you for raising such wonderful young people… See you in January!! 🙂

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