Friday, November 9, 2012

How about taking a breath or two?

On friday late afternoon, I have 5 first graders in my class at TKC (my new work). They are full of energy and from time to time some boys need to scream their extra energy out of their systems, turning the classroom into a zoo. They can be noisier than some of monkeys which really amazes me since I don't really have that energy anymore. It can be a bit overwhelming but I don't mind as long as they don't scream without any particular reasons. In fact, getting excited and being a bit extra cheeky would be fine with me as long as they are engaged in some learning activities. We cheer and tend to speak in larger volume when we are excited? Isn't it a positive sign?

However, for younger kids like 1st graders, it might be difficult to know when to get wild and playful. So, we, teachers obviously let them know when they got so dangerously wild that the noise might offend neighbors. That is when I found deep breathing counting down intervention work quite well. It comes from Yoga practice.
I go, "Hey, everyone! Let's sit down for a while and take a deep breath." And I  take a deep breath and count down from 5 as we take a deep breath. By the time we take 5 deep breath, everyone gets mellower. I found this simple breathing exercise effective as a friendly transitional cue from a dynamic learning activity to mellow one.

One of Yoga gurus said once, "When your mind gets noisy and distractive, breathe."
Here is something to consider.

I haven't figure out how to integrate yoga practice and its philosophy into my classes yet but I started introducing yogic wisdom. And doing the sun dance with kids might be better than screaming back and exhausting myself when the class got a bit of out of control.

Happy Sunny Saturday to you all!

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