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.