BrookdaleDotCalm First Update on OUr School wide Mindfulness Program

The goal of this HSA sponsored program is to provide students with a variety of tools to help with self regulation throughout the day. Our hope is that increased regulation will allow our students to better cope with their emotions and ultimately make a positive impact on student social, emotional, and academic skills.

Teacher training - The Core Yoga Teaching Team, made up of Ruth, Bobbie Joe and Cat, provided teacher training sessions in September. They worked with staff on a mindful body check in, breathing exercises and simple chair yoga poses. The physical and academic benefits of these exercises and poses were stressed. For example, some exercises can help students to energize or calm down. Others exercises and poses can relieve stress or help the left and right sides of the brain work together. All activities can be fit into the classroom day in 3-5 minute segments. Our Brookdale school community has one mindful minute together each day. Teachers and staff use the information shared at the training sessions to fit other mindful periods and activities into the day, as they are needed in the classroom or with individual students.
Tool Kits and Resources - Classrooms were provided with additional tool kits and resources. The mindful tool kits contain glitter jars, calming coloring pages, yoga and breathing flash cards, and qr codes that can be scanned to access books about mindfulness. Staff members also made instructional videos about some of the chair yoga poses and breathing exercises. These can be utilized for classroom movement and breathing breaks.
Mindful Glitter Jars - Many students have responded very positively to the mindful glitter jars. Students use the jars when they are upset, sad, mad or not able to focus. They simply shake the jar, place it on a flat surface, and then breath in and out while watching the glitter fall to the bottom of the jar. These can be made at home. Fill any empty clear plastic (not glass!) jar about 3/4 of the way full with warm water. Sprinkle glitter and a few drops of food coloring into the water. Then, add clear glue to the remaining 1/4 of the jar. Super glue the top to the jar. Shake and enjoy! The clear glue is what slows the flow of the glitter. The more clear glue you add to your container, the slower your glitter will fall. Feel free to experiment to find the exact combination of water, clear glue and glitter that works for your family and children.
Parent Training - The Core Yoga Teaching Team returned in October to present an evening Parent and Guardian workshop. They spoke to parents about the scientific benefits of introducing mindfulness and yoga to students. They also provided information about breathing exercises and yoga poses that can be used at home. Many staff members also attended the evening workshop.
Classroom Visits - The Core Yoga Teachers visited each classroom from October 23rd- 25th. Students engaged in a discussion about self respect and respect for others. Specific ways to do this included eating a healthy diet, sharing with friends and being able to recognize when you are experiencing different emotions. After the discussion, the Core Yoga Teachers lead students through several chair yoga poses, standing yoga poses, and final partner yoga poses. Most classes completed this activity in about half an hour. Student feedback included: “At the beginning, I was kind of bored but then towards the end I was amazed at how fun this was. If I’m having a bad day, I can use these strategies.” and “For me, I liked the mindful minute and the yoga session because it calms the class down. The yoga session and the mindful minute has made me feel like a new me when I wake up in the morning.”

Up Next - The Brookdale Staff will attend two additional training sessions with the Core Yoga Group. A Family Yoga Night will be held in the Brookdale Gym on January 15th and the Core Yoga Team will visit classrooms again in the winter and spring.

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