We all have been there. We ask a question in morning meeting and minutes later, the first child is still sharing their story while everyone else has lost focus or still has their hand up! Let’s look at this in a new, mindful, self-aware perspective.
I want you to share with me how you are feeling after this past school year as a teacher or parent. But first, I want you to close your eyes or look down at your knees and take a few deep breaths. Think of whatever words come to mind. After a few minutes be ready to share the best word describing your overall feeling…what is your one word?
We will go around in a circle and share our word. Each person gets a turn just for them. You can share the sign language for “Me too!”, but you must wait until we get to you to tell us your word. Listen to each other and try to remember how each of your peers feel.
Each day, every day.
Following this self-awareness activity, add a social awareness and listening activity. Allow for three or so students to ask a question of a peer focusing on better understanding the peer’s response. For example, “Danielle, you said you felt uneasy, do you want to share why?” Not only did students need to pay attention and remember, but they also begin to show empathy and understanding.
Each day the question can change, but the routine stays the same. Share one word about a weekend activity. Share one word about an animal that best describes how you feel. Share one word about something you are grateful for. Share one word naming a person who brings a smile to your face.
A great place to start is Zones of Regulation (Social Thinking, Inc.) or Budding Yoga’s Emotion Thermometer with emojis, and they are a nice way to include everyone!