Class Relax

refocus, renew and get ready to learn

To focus before class

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Seventh Grade

Many times this week, I brought Class Relax  to regular lessons. I also know that at least one other teacher is using the clips before beginning Math.

I’m invited every Thursday to join a 7th grade class during their ‘Good Morning’ session. I choose one of the 10 Reasons to Bring Meditation into the Classroom, describe it and explain how meditation helps. This week was ‘To recharge the students’ minds‘. They all know how to ‘charge’ something and the concept of recharging their minds was easily accessible. Why does meditation help? It offers a chance to focus on body and breath; to disconnect from what happened before or thoughts of what might happen in the future. It allows us to be present in the moment. This gives us a break and energizes us.

And so, we began. I used  Guided Imagery in nature with music from the Grand Canyon collection. In this meditation, my instructions are to notice feet on the floor, body on the chair and then to close one’s eyes and follow my voice, listen to the music and to breathe.

guided imagery in nature1
Guided Imagery in Nature

The sound of the river flowing, birds and soft piano chords all offer a vacation for the mind. After a few minutes of indulging in this treat, we come back to our chair, our environment. We stretch, shake out our hands and feet and wish ourselves a wonderful day.

The fact that Shlomit, the homeroom teacher, enjoys these morning sessions reinforces the enjoyment in her pupils and, as a result, I reap multiple benefits. The calm in the room allows us all to move onto the rest of our day with a feeling of enrichment. Five stars! Highly recommended.

In my own 7th Grade English class, we decided as a group that doing Class Relax at the beginning of our double lesson serves to help us focus. If by chance I forget and begin the lesson, they remind me of this decision.

This week, I made a point of checking with them to appraise their moods.  How many were tired? Many hands went up. Okay. How many were energetic?  Three hands went up. How many were happy? A few.  How many sad? A few. This was a sociological question since I knew that one boy had been at a funeral the day before. I was doing a quick empathy check as well as exploratory, since there might be other pupils with issues of sadness.

Taking inventory, I figured that re-energizing would be the best way to combat tiredness or despondency.  I chose the Wonderful Waiter with the hang drum music.

waiter coaster still

The act of getting up, forcing blood to flow, and then standing consciously with legs shoulder-width apart already causes a re-focus of attention. Also, the need to focus on coordination in a very physical way exercises the brain. If successful, doing this t’ai chi exercise creates a wonderful sense of flow. We do it with each hand and then both together. The brain and body are re-aligned! The hang drum music is wonderful and offers an other-worldly element in our classroom. After we complete the movement, we shake out our hands and feet and begin our lesson.  I feel good – they feel good and they’ve each experienced in their own way a different way of beginning an English lesson.

Note: My clips are all in English and although I don’t speak a lot, the instructions are in authentic language.

What else is new?

My weekly meeting with Grade 8 students was cancelled this week due to a Seminar on Respect. I wonder if my students will bring back interesting stories.  My plan for our Monday meeting is to integrate the tea ceremony, to make tea with leaves collected from our school gardens and to hold the cup, breathe in the fragrance and enjoy the warm liquid.

Depending on their energy levels, I’ll decide on the ratio of movement to static meditation.

Thanks for reading.

May you find an opportunity to try Class Relax in your own practice. If you teach, give it a try in your classroom. Tune into the ‘Why Implement Meditation’ slide. Give your pupils a reason to try. Then choose a meditation from the assortment of clips.

Requests: If you wish there was something else on the site, some added clips, explanations, other exercises, please feel free to comment and ask. This week alone, I found myself undergoing 3 new projects because someone stopped to ask what they wanted of me!

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May you be well!

judih

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