Category Archives: Classroom Management

Tips for the Classroom

Children Get Organized Through Sensory Awareness

 

Want your Children to be Organized?

Be organized we have to beware of our surroundings, that includes stuff and space.   Outer surroundings and what is perceived is always relative to one self so beware of surroundings starts with being aware of one self.  Some children seem lost when put into situations to take care of themselves, cooperate with others, or find solutions to challenges.  Even playing children can lack emphatic cooperation skills.  This is all part of being organized.  Being organized and self-regulation takes self- awareness.  To be self-aware we have to be present with our actions and attitudes.  First step to awareness is SELF- INQUIRY and for children that means feeling the body.

 

Teaching Organization: Daily Routine of Self-Awareness and Preparation

Organization takes routine. Route always has two components, self and what is around us.  Reviewing steps from start and finish of each day sets up routine.  The first step is feeling oneself.   If children don’t remember put them in the physical position when they learned what ever was being taught.   Then physical position and action kindles recall.  This is also how to teach self-awareness (from the body to brain). Feeling sensation of the body will help develop recall and memory.  Memory is developed through organization and routine. To kindle memory recall sequences of actions and what was Continue reading

Listening 4 BASIC Steps for the Physical

March 22, 2014 Classroom Management

Listening 

Listening is not just sound waves coming through the air. The direction of the attention, the quality of how we feel, and the nature of our energy levels all influences listening.   This internal dialogue of sensations is both biochemical and mental. Biochemical influences such as blood sugar, level of rest, and dehydration influence listening.  Mental attitude such as curiosity, motivation, or inhibition also influence listening.  The sensation in a child’s body speaks louder than words or directions, just as intonations are louder. (See free video called: Getting Sensational Attention)

Children may be able to hear us but can’t listen.  An adult may have a similar challenge when the internal dialogue of what he/she feels  (physically or emotionally) gets in the way of understanding what is being said. Researchers, Alfred Tomatis and Christian Vold, focus more on the problems of “listening” than “hearing.”  The brain gets a great deal of “silent traffic” from a matrix of metabolic processes (sensations in the body) and they can get in the way of listening.  Could this be one reason our children can’t “hear” us?

Take care of the basics on listening first by taking care of the sensations of the body: 

TAKE CARE OF THE PHYSICAL FIRST

4 BASICS TO IMPROVE LISTENING

Body-to-Brain Communication

  1. Drink lots of water. Sounds simple? If you want your child to take better care of his/her self and have a better attitude have them drink water.  The brain “eats” water as it rapidly grows. Drinking water makes “salt water—“an ionic charge that assists communication between thinking feeling, moving, and learning.
  2. Is your child hungryand does he/she eat balanced meals? Is the plate of food full a variety colors?  Serving a variety of foods will insure that they are getting a balanced meal with all of the essential nutrients they need to think, grow, and learn. These nutrients are from the basic food groups, but especially: vegetables, protein (meats or legume + grain), and grain. Eat sugar? Eating sugar after a healthy meal wipes out benefits of those nutrients, so try to only have desserts on occasion. Keep in mind when you’re sick you need those nutrients to heal so staying away from sugar then is also important. Can’t get kids to eat veggies? Blend veggies into smoothies with fruits; hide finely chopped veggies by mixing them with grains, or in sandwich spreads.

Protein, grain, veggie, and oil have essential nutrients we need for healthy brains and bodies. Many people don’t realize that if just one food group is missing all other essential nutrients have a hard time getting absorbed into the body. Ideas for healthy snacks: eat food from the earth to the mouth (nuts, fruit, carrot, etc.).

  1. Rest and physical activity. Rest is essential for children that are rapidly growing or learning. Children “download” information while sleeping.  Physical activity (especially aerobic and joyful movement) helps release pent up energy and physical tension. If children sit still (at computers) for too long their bodies could affect emotional health. Lack of movement can also make the mind “numb” to others. If a child is medicated or confined to sitting still for too long the body-to-brain information can’t communicate. Attention span can wonder, motivation decline, emotional instability increase, or even depression if movement is confined regularly. Instinctual movement clears busy minds, moves stagnation, and relieves stress. Let your child move when possible.

 

  1. Wellness Through Movement lessonsgives steps organic train Body-to-Brain awareness. (See A New Sensory Self-Awareness book and video lesson to be released May 15, 2015).

No Place Like Home Breath and Personal Bubble lesson trains attention to be both inside while centered in oneself with others. “Home” is a deep sense of self, the feeling sensation from long exhalations and attention inside. Attention follows the movement of the vibrational sound in the word “home.” Children are taught to feel the physical sense of “home” (or in Hawaii the Na’au). Differences while in “home” includes improvement in communication and compassion with less emotional reaction.  Awareness of “Home” slows down reactions that are fueled by attention solely “out there” versus what is truly trying to be expressed from inside.  Attention shifted from “out there” to inside finds more choices how to respond versus reactions. Kinder words and actions are used to communicate because there is a sense of centeredness even in an upset. The sense of “Home”  (or Na’au) from sensory motor relearning takes attention away from “out there” to a deeper sense of the heart.  The whole child comes into the situation and makes “out there” feel less intense, while curiosity finds a new way to response.

 

Still no improvement?  Motor Patterns May Play an Important Role

 

For some children physical activity or attention “inside to out there” may not change behavior. What could be more important is how the body feels. Motor patterns can lock them into habitual behavior as it controls our emotions instead of us.  A trained Feldenkrais Practitioner can observe movement to understand the inner dialogue stuck in patterns and causing dysfunction in comprehending or listening.  Wellness Through Movement (WTM) games integrate body-to-brain communication: physical to emotional and emotional to mental, and mental and emotional back to physical. How we move (or motor circuits) reflect habitual ways of “thinking.” Scientific American Mind says, “Motor circuits (muscle movement) doesn’t just feed thinking THEY ARE THINKING.” WTM reeducates motor circuits to improve a sense of self and thus self-regulation and self-help. When mind and body work together character improves, and sense of self and awareness to one’s uniqueness is honored.

 

 

Transition Times From the Body to Brain

March 20, 2014Classroom Management

Transition Times from the Body-to-Brain

Caution: The body is organic and so is the mind. People understand that exercise helps children refocus, but it can also do the opposite.   If children are moved around every 10 – 15 minutes it will be very difficult to get them to immediately listen or follow directions.  The timeframe to do a certain task has to be for a long enough period of time for the body to adjust, the mind to open the ears (to the direction), and the task to be carried out. Plan on it.  Transition is an organic process; it is not just a change “in thought,” especially for children.  Too little time on one task doesn’t take into the account the time needed for the whole body, mind, and spirit to adjust to the new direction. Remembering transition is an “organic” process and so is following directions.  If a caregiver or teacher could feel the sensation as a thought they would have more patience for children’s adjustment period.  Measure the amount of time on a specific task.  Keep them on task for at least 20 (K-1 graders) to 30 minutes (2-3 graders) and no more then 45 minutes for older children.

Speed up Transitions Times in Classroom

To speed up the transition time make every transition a routine of steps. First 1. Mirror direction to say what the child is doming. 2. Then say what the children are going to do different than what is being done.  This gives the child awareness of what they are doing and ears will open. Give some time to the first direction to sink in. Remember you are directing the kids to do what they are already doing. The mind is the physical action so they are thinking, “Okay great I’m doing what I’m told.” You now have open ears to ask them to do something different.

Center the child to improve recall and memory. Then when the children start a different lesson or task, start by asking the children to recall where they left off last time they looked at the lesson.  If there is no attention to this question ask them to check in with oneself (through “Home Breath” lesson. This is in the book A New SENSORY Self-Awareness). The Home breath lesson will save a lot of time in the long run.  When the direction is to intentionally direct attention inside, the mind shifts letting go of past actions.  If the child doesn’t want to do this, help them know that they will have a hard time with the lesson because “they won’t be there.”  If finding “home” becomes a protocol or routine they’ll adjust quicker from one task to another.   We address this topic in the WTM lessons.  If any of your kids are in the program they will know exactly what you are talking about when you ask them if they are in “Home.”  They are just as important as the lesson, so we want them to be able to find center and recall what has already been reviewed.

Training awareness takes practice and time. Results will not happen right away.  The brain and nervous system grows and changes organically. This process must be repeated with every transition for two weeks (with elementary children).  You will see results quicker and quicker as the school year unfolds.  As the teacher (or parent) becomes tired, as the school year comes to an end the student will become more responsive! Start at the beginning of the school year and at the end of the year you will be astounded of your energy level and results in your students.

 

 

Save Time with Students: Organization and Self-Regulation

March 18, 2014Classroom Management

 

Want your Children to be Organized?

Being organized takes self-awareness.  Self-awareness develops self-responsibility. Self-responsibility develops self-regulation. Responsibility of self or belongings has to have time and space to learn about themselves, their actions with their attitude.  Become self-aware to be self-responsible SELF- INQUIRE.

 Daily Process of Self-Awareness to Environmental Routine

Organization: Organize the mind by organizing the body. Make self-awareness a routine by breaking the pattern of attention being trained to point “out there” and turn it to the physical sensation. Then recall physical steps in the routine of the lesson.. Steps to routines organize thoughts. Each step has a beginning, middle and end to a process. Ask at the beginning of each day what was learned from the start to the end of yesterday. Kindle memory of what happened before a lesson by putting the body in the location and position they were in during the lesson.  Where were they sitting in the classroom? What did they do before they came to class? What did they have for breakfast? How did they get to school?  If children don’t remember ask them to act out the position they were in when they came into the classroom. Then think of the sequences of actions.   What was done physical rekindles the steps in a lesson.

Memory and Organization

Organization always uses patterns. Memory always has patterns in a sequence of actions and experiences repeated overtime. Motor patterns and movement carry out the patterns of behavior and thinking.  Train awareness of patterns by recalling how time and space unfolds sequences. For example: What did we do first?   What did we do next?  What did you learn?  How did you learning from daily life (at home, school or with friends)? Organize the mind by recognizing patterns in time.

Daybreak in the Classroom:

Recall First Step: Ask the children the first thing they did in their _____________ lesson (math, reading lesson—if you’re a parent, what did they do in a school day, a play day, a certain day of the week).

Recall the second step: If a child can’t remember suggest getting in the position the body was in when the lesson was taught. If you don’t have different work-stations or different positions the kids can be in with different lessons set classroom up in this way first. Physical positions of the body helps memory get rekindled. The physical sensations of the experience reminds how learning unfolded.

Organization by Starting with Self-Inquiry the Routine

Write the Agenda (in a pattern) for the day on the board so all the children can see what the day has in store.  Follow this routine daily if possible.  Routine steps set up automatic responses from the body-to- brain in learning.

Relate self-inquiry to learning how the body and mind work as one. Recall steps in the Routine on a day-to-day basis.  Each routine needs to always start with self-inquiry.  Make “self-inquiry” a physical experience. Ask children how they physically felt when they came into the classroom? Were they tired, hungry, or excited? Ask if their attitude is associated with this feeling in the body?

Physical conditions are easier to address and solve many problems with attention deficient. Students may have come in hungry, tired, or thirsty and teachers not realize this is where the problem begins. Parents, we need to help address basic daily needs like regular nutritional meals, rest, exercise and drinking water.   Quiet the internal dialogue of hungry or exhaustion so ears can hear and the body isn’t pulling attention away.    Improve self-responsibility and self-regulation by addressing basic needs.

When basic needs are taken care of now point attention to physical conditions and how it may be affecting their attitude. Teach children to feel their attention before and after a meal, or after not getting enough rest. Ask your children to notice how they are feeling and if they are aware of how they got that way? If they are tired every morning did they go to bed early enough?  Ask as if it is your responsibility or theirs? Hydration is huge for the health and vitality of brain function especially in children. See lesson on sensing hydration in A New SENSORY Self-Awareness book. .Show them how to muscles strength can sense hydration in the lesson. Challenges of attention deficient can be eliminated for many children just by address basic needs of healthy meals and sufficient rest

Organization is not about just the order of physical objects. Organization is about wellbeing, self-responsibility and routine. Stress and demands of the times are challenging all ages in families. Taking care of basic physical needs can relieve stress and improve family and school dynamics. Teach self-awareness, the sequences of routine and the memory of those routines and organization will improve. More importantly self-responsibility and self-direction will improve, and when this improves so does organization. Guaranteed!

IMPROVE LISTENING & Classroom Management

March 11, 2014Classroom Management

Mahalo Kohala Elementary Pilot School and Teachers for opening up your minds and hearts to a new way of looking at learning and growing for our children to be become fully alive from the BODY-TO-THE-BRAIN.

Teachers Interested in WTM Whole Child Learning: Three teachers, Mel Rufo, Bindi Wiernicki, and Merrilee Carpenter, want tips from WTM for their second and fifth grade classrooms at Kohala Elementary.  Requests from teachers include enhancing listening, following directions, transition times, and improvements in responsiveness and self-regulation for the second graders.  And in addition, look for tips to supper Brain Function for the fifth graders.

 

IMPROVE LISTENING

Listening from the Body-to-Brain

Listening is as much to do with what is happening in the back of our mind and how are bodies feel inside to what is being said to us.  This internal dialogue of our physical body must first address the basics: blood sugar (healthy meals), rest, and water.  If any of these three are not a regular routine, then the “talk” from the physical feeling nature in our body is louder than anything “out there.”

For the younger kids, we have to increase the awareness of sound and the space it fills.  We’ll do this lesson first with the physical space of “personal space” and “space between each other.” Experiencing space makes it easier for children to understand that sound also has space.  (Many adults may benefit with this lesson when on cell phones in public areas.)

Children Get Organized

 

March 10, 2014Classroom Management

 

Want your Children to Get Organized?  Clean Up Their Room? Their Desk?

GET THEM SELF AWARE

How does being organized happen?  Some people are well organized, others don’t have a clue how to be organized.  Over the last thirtyyears a strange by-product has come about from  mind-body training – organization.  Another common occurrence in our country is when people are  put into a situation where they have to take care of themselves, be responsible for their actions, or to be self directive they are uninterested or look outside of themselves for solutions .  Even trying to create a new game seem bewilder children. Being organized  takes first learning about yourself.  Self inquiry is the first step t self direction and self-regulation.  To be responsible for belongings, actions or attitude we first have to become self aware.

Start Young and Make Daily Process a Routine

Organization requires a routine. Review steps in a routine day-by-day by asking the sequence of actions followed in the previous day.   For example what was learned at the start of the day? What did we do at the end of the_______ lesson? To kindle memory recall the physical action while  experiencing the lesson.  If children don’t remember, put them in the physical position they were in when they learned and let their bodies help them remember.   Recall the sequence of events and what was done step-by-step in the lesson and ask the children to recall and share.

 

STEPS TO ORGANIZATION

STEP 1: TAKE CARE OF BASIC NEEDS

They may come have come in hungry, tired, or thirsty. Parents, we need to help address basic daily needs like regular nutritional meals, rest, exercise and drinking water.   Quiet the internal dialogue of sensations so deaf the ears can hear.    Improve self-responsibility and self-regulation by pointing attention to their actions and physical condition and how it may be affecting attitude. Ask your children to notice how they are feeling and if they are aware of how they got that way? If they are tired every morning, did they go to bed early enough?  Ask as if it is your responsibility or theirs.  Hungry? Did they get up early enough for breakfast? Do they need water? The brain “eats” water to communicate the information the teacher of parent is sharing.

STEP 2: RECALL THE SEQUENCE TO RECALL MEMORY

Getting Self-Aware through Action and Memory

What did we do first?   What did we do next?  What did you learn?  How did you apply the learning in daily life (at home, school or with friends)?

Ask the children the first thing they did in their _____________ lesson (math, reading lesson—if you’re a parent what did they do on a school day, a play day, a certain day of the week).

Recall the next step experienced in the lesson.  The experience of the action kindles the physical sensation to how the learning unfolded.  Rekindle the memory by recalling the sequence of steps in the lesson, and “organize” thoughts.  This process instills how memory is an organization of patterns.

STEP 3: REPEAT STEPS IN A PATTERN TO DEVELOP ROUTINE

Write a Daily Agenda (to establish a pattern)  on the board so  children can see what the day has in store.  Follow this routine daily if possible.  Routine steps set up automatic responses from the body-to-brain in learning.  Associate the pattern of learn to how to step  up and organize the desk.

Recall the Steps in the Routine of the Day on a day-to-day basis.  Each routine needs to always include self-inquiry.  This “self-inquiry” is based on attention to the physical sensation of the body and positions or actions.  Ask children how they physically felt when they came into the classroom.  Did they want to lie down, sit, or run around?  How is their bodies and the physical actions related to how the listened and their attitude? Next associate their attitude to the feeling in the body.

A common behavior after mind-body train has been organization.  This process of self-inquiry may take time at first, but will save time in the long run.  Establish protocol to self-inquiry using physical positions and actions to recall lessons.  Give the student an experience of how their bodies relate to memory and organization will come with time.

Guaranteed!