Mychele adores her job and especially the joy on her students’ faces when they learn something new. She is an experienced kindergarten and reading lab teacher. She’s seen it all.
And even with years of experience behind her it’s still hard, “I have 25 kiddos. I just feel like, as a teacher, I have to help all of them – including that one child whose struggles with focus or emotional regulation result in classroom behaviors. When they are stressed, their behaviors can escalate quickly.”
To prevent this cycle of escalation, Mychele began exploring techniques for incorporating mindfulness and movement into her classroom. Her favorite so far is the breathing activities from Next Step’s Mindfulness & Movement cards.
“It only takes a minute or two and can totally change the classroom atmosphere. One minute they can be going a million miles a minute coming in from lunch and recess, and after a quick breathing technique, they settle down, giggle a little, and then get to work.”
Another favorite is using the MOVE cards where students draw their own yoga poses, and then create instructions. This reading teacher adds, “I can even use their instructions as their writing assessment for that day!”
Speaking of assessments, Mychele has found that she can provide a break and help students refocus between assessments. With short “FOCUS” activities from the Mindfulness & Movement cards.
Next she plans to try the cards during independent reading time, “Reading twenty minutes silently is really really hard for some kiddos. If they have permission to use a card, practice a breathing technique, or do a little movement, when they need a break, it would actually help them read for more of the time.”
Mychele’s dedication to her students and her willingness to expand her teacher toolbox is an inspiration. Learn more about Next Step Adventure’s Mindfulness & Movement activity cards. Great for classroom teachers, out-of-school educators, and parents!