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Sanfordville kindergartners “SAVE the day” with mindful practices

on October 10, 2019

Kindergartners sit on classroom rug, eyes closed, hand over their chest, meditating.The best time to “SAVE the day” is first thing in the morning! Just ask a kindergartner in Ms. Jackson’s class at Sanfordville Elementary. 

SAVE stands for Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, and Exercise, and that’s how every school day starts for Ms. Jackson’s “Turtles,” as they like to call themselves. 

The silence period involves a basic practice of mindfulness. Students close their eyes and rest a hand over their chest to quiet themselves, invite a kind attitude, and bring their focus to the present moment. 

Student stands in from of classroom peers siting on rug. Her arm is stretched out and her hand hows two fingers.The next two steps, affirmation and visualization, prompt students to voice positive thoughts and imagine themselves exhibiting happy and productive behaviors throughout their day.

Affirmations are lead by Ms. Jackson and vary each day. “I will be kind.” “I will be accountable.” “I will make wise choices.” “I will be safe at school.” Or, “I will behave like a cheetah!” A classroom chart lists positive behaviors inspired by the characteristics of cheetahs, such as, following rules and directions super-fast, respecting friends during work and play.Students stretching their arms high in the classroom

During visualization, students get personal about their commitments: “I will be gloriously kind and not throw toys around,” one student pronounced. “I will will do more!” another student added. Ms. Jackson expanded on the idea by suggesting what doing more might look like in the classroom. “You can do a little bit more at clean-up time, for instance, or you can try to do more with your writing today.”

SAVE the day ends with some light exercises: a few, simple yoga poses, push ups and a bit of jumping and wiggling around to shake off any lingering stressors or anxiety. 

Elementary mindfulness 

As part of Warwick Valley school’s commitment to integrating social-emotional learning into standard instruction and curriculum and preparing students for responsible and productive futures, students of all grades have been engaging in the practice of mindfulness. 

Schools and educators across the country are increasingly recognizing that the practice of mindfulness improves students’ health, social-emotional wellbeing, as well as learning engagement and outcomes. 

At the elementary level, research has shown that young children are especially suited to seize the benefits of mindful practices, just as they are better equipped to learn a musical instrument or a new language. At their stage of brain development, children are more apt to developing the emotional skills encouraged by mindfulness, such as  self-regulation, patience, and resilience.

 

 

 

 

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