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Low-Income Schools See Big Benefits in Teaching Mindfulness

Low-Income Schools See Big Benefits in Teaching Mindfulness
Teaching Strategies On his first day teaching at Coronado Elementary School in Richmond, Calif., students threw rocks at Jean-Gabrielle Larochette, pretending he was a police officer. He spent fifteen minutes of every class calming down a handful of kids in this low-income-neighborhood public school who wouldn’t follow directions or behave. Larochette began practicing meditation and mindfulness to cope with his own stresses of teaching and supporting traumatized kids. He believed the breathing techniques that helped calm his fears might work for his students too, so he founded the Mindful Life Project. “Before we can teach a kid how to academically excel in school, we need to teach him how to have stillness, pay attention, stay on task, regulate, make good choices,” said Larochette. “When we look at low performing schools it’s not that these children are unable to learn, it’s that very often they are unavailable to learn.” “There’s a lot of grief and loss,” Williams said. Katrina Schwartz Related:  Mindfulness & KidsNews & OTher Important Knowledge Centers

5 reasons to teach spelling and handwriting in the new year SmartBlogs Here’s a great resolution: Keep spelling and handwriting in the curriculum and use research-based tools to teach these skills explicitly and efficiently without wasting valuable instructional time. Students will be better students if they are equipped with spelling and handwriting skills, which are critical for reading and writing success and act as stepping stones to higher test scores. While the Common Core State Standards focus on higher-level learning, they do not make the case for every foundational skill, leaving schools with the option of choosing whether to teach essential skills, such as handwriting and spelling. Here are five evidence-based reasons for teaching spelling and handwriting explicitly and for carving out about 15 minutes a day during the reading and language arts block for each of these foundational skills: If you overlooked them in the past, consider bringing spelling and handwriting back into every classroom for a rebirth of literacy success. J. Related Posts

Room to Breathe | A Documentary Film about Transformation through Mindfulness Meditation in Public Schools You Have the Right to Stay Out of Jail Share this infographic on your site! <a href=” src=” alt=”Know Your Rights” width=”500″ border=”0″ /></a><br />Source: <a href=” Knowing Your Rights Amendment IV – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Whether you are a US citizen or not 3 Levels of police/citizen encounters ○ NEVER: ■ Lie or give false documents ■ Answer questions ■ Give permission to a search without fully reading a warrant ■ Argue, resist, run, or obstruct– even if your rights are being violated

The Power of the Morning Meeting: 5 Steps Toward Changing Your Classroom and School Culture "The whole morning meeting not only sets a really good tone for the students, but it sets a tone for me." - Teacher in Louisville, Kentucky When I first learned about the Morning Meeting model, I was working as an elementary school principal in Pasadena, California. I was new to that school, so I was skeptical about launching too many initiatives, but also curious about how it could work to transform my school and the lives of our students. The Morning Meeting was first proposed to me by a new teacher who had studied it in her pre-service classes. She explained that the model was designed to: Set the tone for respectful learningEstablish a climate of trustMotivate students to feel significantCreate empathy and encourage collaborationSupport social, emotional and academic learning She had me at "respectful learning!" You see, I'd come to a school that was in a bit of trouble. Having been able to observe this school pre- and post-Morning Meeting, I can tell you that it was transformational.

35 Psychological Tricks To Help You Learn Better - InformED : Mind Jar A “Mind Jar” is a relatively simple tool for helping kids (and adults) appreciate mindfulness. This past week I offered some suggestions to the school counselors for the local district and I made some mind jars to share. A few participants asked for the recipe, so I promised I would post it here! A Mind Jar can be shaken, and it is filled with glitter. After a few minutes, the jar looks more like this: Pretty cool! So, what’s the trick? Choose your container(s) and heat enough water to fill the container almost to the top (quite hot water, but not boiling). Now here is the in-exact science of it: Put the lid on tight after you’ve poured your mixture over into the mind jar container. Have fun with your Mind Jar!

'Spiritual but Not Religious': A Rising, Misunderstood Voting Bloc - Steven Barrie-Anthony No, they're not just atheists. Spirituality is a big story in politics. Maybe as big a story as religion. It’s been more than a decade since evangelicals helped George W. Bush win the White House, and we’ve gotten used to the idea of the “values voter,” of religion as a political force. A fifth of Americans check “none” on surveys of religious preference. Smart politicians and media observers will pay attention to this trend. The question is, will politicians study the category well enough to identify and appeal to broadly shared values and longings? But the other side of religious nonaffiliation, and what politicians often neglect, is that for spiritual voters the sacred strongly persists. Scholars may be of limited help with this effort, although we’re coming around. This is questionable for many reasons, not the least of which is that the religiously unaffiliated have been an important Democratic stronghold in recent decades. This is not an impassable dilemma.

Brainology Program - Mindset Works®: Student Motivation through a Growth Mindset, by Carol Dweck, Ph.D. Welcome > Brainology Program Brainology® raises students’ achievement by helping them develop a growth mindset. When students have a fixed mindset, they believe their intelligence is just fixed—they have a certain amount and that’s that. This mindset makes them afraid to look dumb and curtails their learning. But when students have a growth mindset, they understand that their intelligence can be developed. Instead of worrying about how smart they are, they work hard to learn more and get smarter. Brainology makes this happen by teaching students how the brain functions, learns, and remembers, and how it changes in a physical way when we exercise it. Note: This video demo is on YouTube. Brainology shows students that they are in control of their brain and its development. Who can benefit? Brainology was designed to benefit all children, and it has been used successfully in classrooms and at home, typically by 5th through 9th graders. How is it used?

Sleep and the Teenage Brain by Maria Popova How a seemingly simple change can have a profound effect on everything from academic performance to bullying. “Sleep is the greatest creative aphrodisiac,” Debbie Millman asserted in her advice on breaking through your creative block. In Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep (public library) — the fascinating exploration of what happens while you sleep and how it affects your every waking moment, and also among the best science books of 2012 — David K. Biology’s cruel joke goes something like this: As a teenage body goes through puberty, its circadian rhythm essentially shifts three hours backward. Randall points out that those early school start times originated in an era when youths either had a job after school or had to complete chores on the farm, so the schedule was designed to fit everything in; thus, the teenage circadian rhythm has only become problematic in the past century or so. The school, however, stuck with the plan for the academic year.

Why Teaching Mindfulness Benefits Students’ Learning Teaching Strategies Flickr:Sudhamshu The following is an excerpt from Learning to BREATHE: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents to Cultivate Emotion Regulation, Attention, and Performance By Patricia C. What do children and adolescents need to be successful in life? There is little doubt that in addition to academic success, we also want our youth to be happy and well. These goals are far from being disconnected: we now realize the fundamental role that social and emotional well-being play in the attainment of academic outcomes. Although the emphasis on academic achievement often captures most of the attention in debates on school reform, important inroads are being made by those who take a more holistic approach to education. Many prominent voices have joined together to call for inclusion of social and emotional learning within K–12 school curricula. [RELATED: The Importance of Teaching Mindfuless] When feelings are not well managed, thinking can be impaired. Moving to Practice 1. 2.

Digital - News NYC Digital Releases Update to the Digital Roadmap with 100% of the Objectives Achieved, Digital Education Programs Have Impacted over One Million New Yorkers October 17, 2013 New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, Media and Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver and Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot today announced Digital Ready, an intensive professional development and technology expansion program designed to help participating NYC public high schools use technology and student-centered learning to improve their students’ readiness for college and careers. “The Digital Ready program is a forward-thinking and beneficial addition to our school system,” said Chancellor Dennis M. “From kindergarten to senior centers, digital literacy programs in Mayor Bloomberg’s administration have impacted over one million New Yorkers, and this investment in education is crucial to the City’s Digital Roadmap,” said Rachel Haot, New York City’s Chief Digital Officer. • City As School

Moral Heroes | Inspiration for the Hero inside of you. Eight Habits that Improve Cognitive Function Digital games are incapable of giving the entire brain a full workout. These digital programs can't really exercise the cerebellum (Latin: "Little Brain") and, therefore, are literally only training half your brain. These "brain-training workouts" are the equivalent of only ever doing upper body workouts, without ever working out your lower body. Although the cerebellum is only 10 percent of brain volume, it houses over 50 percent of the brain's total neurons. Neuroscientists are perplexed by this disproportionate ratio of neurons... Whatever the cerebellum is doing to optimize brain function and improve cognition, it recruits a lot of neurons to do it. Brain-Training Games Increase Sedentary Screen Time I believe these programs do have a risk because they add more sedentary screen time to a person's day. I have written dozens of Psychology Today blog posts about lifestyle choices and daily habits that improve brain structure, connectivity, and cognitive function. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

ness and Learning: What’s the Connection? Photo © More and more educators are exploring the use of contemplative or mindfulness-based approaches to teaching. Through these approaches they are learning to reduce stress (for teacher and student alike), enhance and improve classroom climates, and are helping students to calm their bodies and minds, focus their attention, and even open their hearts. Much of the success of these approaches is about being able to recognize and properly tend to behavioral patterns. Many of our automatic reactions arise, habitually, from emotionally difficult experiences in our pasts. Evidence suggests that regular mindful awareness practice changes how our body and brain respond to stress, possibly strengthening connections in the prefrontal cortex and reducing reactivity in our limbic system, supporting self-reflection and self-regulation. For more on education and mindfulness, read these other stories on our site: Teachers Tuning In Please Help Me Learn Who I Am