#SOL15: Day 13, Just Breathe

As we near Spring Break, kid drama is on the upswing. We only have a few months left and Fifth graders are getting a little nervous. They’d never admit it, but the end of elementary school is approaching, and it’s scary. They’re on the verge of middle school.  Leaving the familiarity and home-like nature of a K-5 school, into an environment with  hallways lined with lockers teaming with big kids and classrooms with students they don’t know is scary.  This change is on their mind, and it shows up in behavior. The incidence of name calling and hurt feelings is on the rise.

I team-teach, and I split the day with two sets of students. The second group is always a little more amped up. They’ve had time on the playground. Things have happened.  Yesterday was no exception. When they came in from lunch recess, spirits were high. They just needed to calm down.

So we practiced something my colleague has trained them to do. He calls it “mindfulness.”  It’s meditative breathing exercises.  I asked them if they wanted to try it.  Yes! was the resounding response.

Sitting up straight in their chairs, they close their eyes. With the lights dimmed, they breathe in slowing “smelling a flower” for a count of six. They hold for a count of two and then exhale  “blowing bubbles” for eight counts. After several rounds, they are calmer. And in better control. “Ready-er” for learning.

These videos offer some tips on teaching children how to do this “mindfulness” breathing. Try it out. It feels great.

Thanks to Anna, Beth, Betsy, Dana, Stacey and Tara of Two Writing Teachers blog for hosting the Slice of Life March Story Challenge. Read other bloggers slices here.

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17 thoughts on “#SOL15: Day 13, Just Breathe

  1. I cringed the other day when the realization that “spring drama season” had arrived. It is just terrible! I am going to try more of this mindfulness breathing. It is so important for both the students and me! Thanks for the videos too!!

    Jennifer

  2. You’re so right about the fear kids feel bearing the end of the safety of the known. I am seeing this too as high school nears close for my senior girl. I love you’re using guided meditation with the kids. I did a form of this with my 3rd graders too.

  3. I’ve been searching for meditation (aka: mindfulness) activities to do with my four year-old. She could really use it. Most of these activities are for elementary school age kids (and up). Should you find any, at any point, for the preschool set, would you mind letting me know?

    Happy (almost) spring break!

  4. Love this! So important to do what we can to ready our students for learning. They can’t yet separate the classroom self from the recess drama self, and afternoons always seem to be less productive. Thanks for this resource.

  5. What a fantastic idea. We take a deep breath every now and then, but I like the mindfulness/meditation part. My throwers could definitely use this! They get into a track meet and just flip out.

  6. That’s a great idea, Julieanne. My sixth graders are getting antsy, too – I think the long winter did much to cause this upswing in drama and angst. Sigh .. Spring, please come soon!

  7. What an incredibly smart and wise thing to teach them and have them do. I agree completely with everything you share about 5th graders toward the end of the year. Thanks for all you do for these students.

  8. This sounds great, Julieanne. I’ve found that having my students do silent reading after lunch helps that transition, too. It takes some time to make the habit, but now they come in from recess, grab their books & start. After 15 minutes, they’re ready for whatever other work is needed.

  9. I like the word mindfulness. It makes me think of being aware and purposeful, It seems like it would be beneficial for our students to breathe, renew their thoughts, and then refocus on their work and learning. Thank you for sharing!

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