Class connection is a daily time for our class to build relationships and to foster a kind, respectful, supportive learning community. This class meeting time allows students to get to know one another better and to come together to make class decisions. We also participate in fun team-building activities and develop social and emotional skills. We learn to calm our minds and bodies, focus our attention, and regulate our emotions through mindfulness activities. Students learn strategies to help them resolve problems with peers that might happen from time to time. You can learn more about the mindfulness and character education resources we use in our classroom below.
In our classroom, we use mindfulness mini-lessons
from the MindUp Curriculum and Inner Explorer
to keep our minds working
at their best!
MindUp teaches young learners how the brain works.
We use basic breathing exercises, simple yoga poses, and mindfulness exercises to calm our minds and bodies to prepare for learning.
CNN News video (1 min. 22 sec.)
Why Teaching Mindfulness Benefits Students' Learning
What are the benefits?
Through MindUp activities, we learn that the brain acts like a muscle. We need to "warm up" to get the mind ready before learning. The more "exercise" the brain gets, the stronger it gets! Having this growth mindset, helps us stay positive and keep working hard, even when we feel challenged.
After homeroom, we begin our day with a Morning Meeting. During morning meeting, students greet one another and learn positive social skills and communication skills. This is also a time when students can share personal news, ask questions, and get oriented to their school day. We engage in activities that build a positive classroom community and play games that reinforce academic skills, as well as creativity, critical thinking, and teamwork.
Through read-alouds and discussions, students learn about what it means to be a "bucket filler." When we are kind and helpful to others, we fill other people's "buckets." By being positive in our thoughts and actions, we are also filling our own buckets. When we say or do something that makes others feel badly, we are dipping into their emotional buckets.
Kelso the Frog teaches children the difference between a big problem (which students should tell an adult about) and a small problem (which students can work on solving themselves). Kelso's wheel of choices gives students strategies for dealing with minor conflicts with peers, such as a disagreement about taking turns in a game.
Zones of Regulation
Zones of Regulation teaches students to be aware of their emotions, and it teaches strategies for regulation emotions. There are 4 color-coded emotional zones. Students learn to recognize which zone they are in, and they learn techniques for getting themselves back into the Green Zone so that they are ready to learn.