Rather than a list of rules, our classroom has Guidelines for Success. The way that we achieve the greatest success is by adhering to these important concepts…
Be a good listener.
In our classroom, we emphasize positive words and actions. Mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn, improve, and succeed. While clear expectations for appropriate and successful behavior are always present, creativity and free expression are celebrated. With the establishment of a positive, safe, high-trust environment, our first graders can flourish to their maximum potential.
“Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose,
in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
~ Jon Kabat Zinn
For a first grader, mindfulness practice can be defined simply as “learning how to pay attention.”
Mindfulness has been adopted as a school-wide practice at Manitou Elementary. Mrs. Johnston is our resident mindfulness teacher, teaching mindfulness curriculum in many classrooms in the school throughout the year. Mr. Pletsch also leads mindfulness lessons in our classroom each week and supports the kids with applying mindfulness every day. Both Mrs. Johnston and Mr. Pletsch are trained and experienced in teaching mindfulness to children.
The primary goals of mindfulness practice are to improve self-awareness, emotional balance, impulse control, decision-making, and focus. Our practice can include mindful breathing, sitting, listening, talking, walking, thinking, working, playing… anything can be done mindfully! We work to form solid connections between the conscious brain and physical body, between intellectual thoughts and emotional feelings, and between the internal self and external world. These connections are very important for healthy human development.
Mindfulness is NOT meditation, spiritual practice, absence of thought, or a behavior management tool.
Check out the following video to see how simple, mindful breathing exercises can lead to positive internal growth in kids…