It is that time of year when all the children are becoming aware of their impending move up to the next grade level. They are restless, tired, and basically bouncing off the walls! It also is that time when teachers use the threat "Uh oh, I don't think I can send you up to grade ______ if you keep behaving like that!" a little too often. It seems almost every teacher's dilemma is how to keep the kids focused enough to finish what needs to be finished before we run out of time! This was my big question too, so I decided to take a little inspiration from my fiance who is a strong believer in the power of meditation. Of course, I wasn't trying to get the children to reach some sort of transcendental spiritual state! However, in an effort to simply calm the children down at certain parts of the day, I thought I'd start doing what I call "relaxing and concentrating time". How can you relax when you are concentrating you may ask? Well, I told the kids, that when we do this 2 minutes of relaxing and concentrating, they will concentrate only on their breathing going in and going out of their bodies. I told them that it would be very hard to keep their eyes closed, not move and only think about their breathing, but that only made them more eager to accept my challenge!

I found a site called calm.com and we use this to guide us through the two minutes. The children get to choose their scenery and then we all close our eyes, put our hands on our knees and start breathing. I think this picture is soooooo CUTE! You can see they are all trying very very hard :)
After the two minutes the children talked about how they felt during this time and many said it was hard but they were happy they accomplished being able to sit still and focus quietly. Here are some of the things they said:
It was hard because my eye was itchy, but I didn't move! - Miria

My ear was itchy! -Joseph

Someone was trying to talk to me but I didn't move! -Chise
Do you think this is something you could use in your classroom or at home to calm down and return to a more focused mental state?
 


05/08/2013 9:45am

Hi there. I'm the founder of calm.com and I just wanted to say thank you for posting the story about using the website with your kids. It's fantastic to know what we're building is used in this way. We are excited about the possibilities of using meditation and mindfulness techniques in helping kids to relax and concentrate. I'd love to learn more about your experience using calm.com in the classroom - please drop me a line when you have a moment: alex (at) calm (dotcom). Thanks and best wishes from San Francisco - Alex Tew

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