Taylor Johnson noticed a challenging time for her fourth grade students was after lunch and recess. Students were coming in from the playground still in conversations, and she struggled to help them focus on learning again.
“Breathing exercises get them back on track,” she says. She decided to try teaching her students controlled breathing techniques and now uses a breathing exercise for a few minutes after recess each day.
“We use Next Step’s Mindfulness & Movement cards on a regular basis to help students wind down. My kids LOVE it. And I have a lot fewer issues with them paying attention. They are back and focused.”
When asked how she got her students to buy into these activities, she said, “I didn’t need to sell it. The kids saw how it helped them chill out after recess. They saw the difference themselves.”
One student put his hand on his heart and on his belly and said, “Whoa, this is actually helping!”
Something Taylor would like to add is having students bring in stuffed animal “study buddies” to place on their tummies while they practice controlled breathing. Then her kids can “watch” their breathing. “That’s where I would like to go next,” Taylor says.
Taylor’s students are lucky to have such a dedicated and innovative teacher. Add a set of Mindfulness & Movement cards to your own classroom or home!