#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.