Classroom Tips- A Pocket Full of Tricks to Reset Wiggly Bodies and Distracted Brains

lion

Brought to you from Edith’s Classroom Experience

  • Teach your students the BrainDance.  I do this neurological resetting activity with my students daily.  Once they know it, you can invite a child to lead the rest of the community.
  • Do a yoga balance challenge.  I do this practice with my class daily as well.  I say, “okay, time for a balance challenge!” They are instantly invigorated.  Our students are working on mastering Tree, Eagle, Chair, and Peaceful Warrior Poses.  I have seen children out on the playground and in the hall working on balance poses.
  • Have your students do Arithmetic Aerobics.  Math Workshop in particular begs for a movement break.  I learned the practice of Arithmetic Aerobics from my mentor teacher.  Do jumping jacks, push-ups, criss-cross toe touches, etc., while practicing the math concepts you have been working on in class, i.e.- counting by 10’s.  Students will love to share ideas for new exercises.
  • Teach your students the Lion’s Breath.   I have been doing this yogic breathing exercise with children, preschool through 5th grade for years, and they love it.  It is a wonderful way to release worries from your brain, and tension from your jaw.  (Yoga teachers have told me that humans hold judgement in their jaw joints.)  If children are using the lion’s breath in a disruptive way (and they will until you lay down a boundary); tell them that yogic breathing is a tool and not a toy.
  • Do a choreographed dance with your class.  Our school does a dance called Jump Jim Joe and every other Wednesday morning as part of our Morning Sing Celebration.  My class knows this dance. I can say, “Okay, lets do Jump Jim Joe” and they know exactly what to do.   You can start this dance by having students join hands in pairs of two, then with every round add another person until the whole class is in a big circle holding hands.
  • Take your kids on a short art walk.  Students and teachers spend so much time and energy creating beautiful art in the hallways.  Taking a walk with the sole intention of having students observe the art displayed throughout the school is a wonderful way to inspire teachers and students alike.  You can ask your students to look for something specific, i.e. a watercolor painting, or a drawing with curvy lines.
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