This past week we have been talking about self-regulation skills and the importance of keeping our brains and bodies feeling calm. We have discussed the word "mindful" (my favorite word!) and how being mindful means we are aware of our surroundings and paying thoughtful attention to what we are doing.
To practice calming and mindfulness, we did an exercise called, "The Little Frog," from the book, "Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents)."The author, Eline Snel, states that "tuning into the breath always works... It is the first and most important step toward a mindful response to something difficult or daunting: instead of reacting right away, you focus your attention on the breath, on a few deliberate inhalations and exhalations."
"The Little Frog" is a 4 minute listening exercise where students practice keeping their bodies very still (like a frog can do) and focus solely on their breathing. It's amazing how students can tune out distractions around them when they do this activity! Many students report feeling refreshed after they "do the frog." We compare this activity with other activities that require lots of movement - like doing a Go Noodle in the classroom for example. Some students prefer the quiet way to refresh their brains and bodies, while others prefer the more up-and-active method. Overall, we are encouraging students to learn about themselves and discover what tricks or techniques work best for them to feel more calm, comfortable, and mindful.