A New School Year

Welcome to a new school year at Missoula Community School! We’ve had a wonderful start to our year. Lots of new faces, and lots of familiar ones. It’s such an honor to be part of such a wonderful community of people. We started our Mindfulness and Movement classes the first Friday of school. Each week students come into the “Aqua Room” aka “The Little Room” with their small groups and teacher(s). We get to spend half an hour together every week doing a specific mindfulness lesson, which usually includes an element of movement as well. The first Friday of each month I will be updating this website with a little information about what we have been doing together! Thank you for taking the time to have a look! 🙂 Feel free to email me if you have any questions! Thank you!!

THE BELL

The bell is a very important part of Missoula Community School. It is used every day. We use it during mindful eating, during transitions to help us focus, throughout the day to be mindful of what we’re doing, and most importantly, to take a deep breath. Every time the bell rings, everybody stops what they are doing, takes a deep breath, and looks up at the teacher who rang the bell. It’s a beautiful thing. 🙂 In Mindfulness and Movement we practiced being aware of the bell (through a freeze dance activity), how to breathe (using the Breathing Ball), and we met Barry the Breathing Bug (a favorite bug puppet of ours). Each child had the opportunity to ring the bell (which is pretty special) and we got to know each other a little bit!

FARM ANIMAL YOGA

Last week I introduced the students to yoga! We begin and end each lesson with a breath together, which is a wonderful way for us to connect as a group and focus on what we’re doing. I read a book titled ‘On the Farm’ to students. Each page introduced a new animal and after we read about it I would show them a yoga pose to do for that animal. After we completed the entire book and every pose was introduced, another teacher read the story and we did the series of poses together. It was a lot of fun and a wonderful way for us to move together and continue practicing our breathing.

THE WAY I FEEL

This week we talked about feelings. I began by asking students how they were feeling, and asked them to try and use a word besides ‘good’ in response. 🙂 We read the book ‘How I Feel’ together and discussed times when we maybe felt the way some of the characters in the book were feeling. After we read the story once, we went through a CD I made that had songs on it that I felt reminded me of each of the feelings we talked about. We discussed feelings such as frustrated, shy, jealous, disappointed, proud and excited. There are a lot of great feelings described in that book, and I think it’s important that we help our young people learn to express those feelings by helping them develop a vocabulary to do so. We talked about how our faces and bodies express our feelings too and I asked them to try and look the way the music made them feel. It was a lot of fun watching their faces express this wide range of feelings. We discussed that there are no ‘bad feelings’ and that it’s ok to feel angry, sad, jealous or happy, because they are all part of who we are.

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