The Emwaves produce a few different tones to indicate your level of calm and integration. A single tone means you have stayed green for 5 seconds, triple tones occur at every minute. The blue ladder lights increase by a single bar as well. This provides the child visual and auditory feedback on how they are doing! The children calmly listen to all the pleasant tones while some peek at their lights. Many shared specific strategies taught in class they used to stay green. One child shared today, ' I can feel the room go calm.' It is a peaceful place indeed. This time is clearly a confidence building time for the children as they learn to self regulate and feel, see & hear their efforts working.
Today the older group participated in the body scan lesson. They were eager and I was cameraless ;- ( . The children were able to 'throw' ( boys use such interesting words) their attention to the bottom of their feet and we shared what they noticed. I told them we were going to take a trip, and guided them from head to toe and back as slowly as their attention allowed. They did remarkably well! I asked them to keep their eyes closed and stay in their mindful still bodies. I watched as I guided them and could see visible changes come across their faces, a relaxing of shoulders & facial muscles and many small smiles. I was a bit surprised by their smiles and clear relaxation after this first lesson. The children shared many things from feelings & sensations of warmth, tingles, cold, heavy, very light, tightness etc. Several said they felt like their hands/legs 'wanted to move'. They liked when I asked about their bottoms on the chair and were surprised that they could notice the chair. All consistently said when we got to their eyes that it was different- 'big in there', ' different than any other place on their body' , 'weird' ( but not unpleasant). All said they were very relaxed at the end. Some said they felt like they woke up from a nap but never fell asleep. We talked about how this might help them fall asleep because many have shared they struggle at night settling down. Two liked it better than focussing on the breath for falling asleep at night.
After they completed their notebook page we went to the Emwave room. We listed our strategies or 'anchors' we have already learned. They settled in and sat for 8 minutes!
Sending kind thoughts, doing kind acts and thinking about others in a positive way has been an ongoing focus in class when someone is absent, upset or needs encouragement. I started this lesson quietly giving children a personal compliment, smiling and walking away.
We talked about how it felt to receive a compliment. Most had forgotten the compliment I had given them earlier. Several noticed that it was easy to forget compliments and wondered why that was. We talked about those 'sticky thoughts and words' from a previous lesson sprinkled with some brain science ( which they love). This tied in well to our red/green thought metaphor and how sticky a negative thought can be. ( Scroll down when you get here to see this lesson on how negative words are sticky like post its.) We decided we needed to 'pause' and let the compliment be felt.
The children were able to talk about what they noticed during this lesson on sending kind thoughts and their insight was at times rather poignant. We then went to the Emwave room and a few tried thinking/sending kind thoughts as they used their Emwaves. Several noted a feeling of calm when they tried.
The children added another page to their Mindful Notebook on sending kind thoughts. They also wrote a reflection on when they have used 5 count breathing outside the classroom.
The older children were taken in a small group to began their second year with the Emwaves. They were excited and eager to work with me & their Emwaves again. After a brief review and adjusting to the new room they settled right in and the room fell silent. They sat for 5 minutes easily. To prepare for their sitting we talked about their mindful bodies getting comfortable and their need to move. I allowed them to rest against the wall or sit in a chair and they asked me turn off the lights. Once time was up they easily gave me their devices for the follow up conversation. They all shared a sense of calm that came over them and the room. This has been a consistent comment. One student shared how he used thoughts of gratitude like he learned last year with me because it helped him feel 'so good' and calm inside. Spontaneous discussion regarding their eyes, what strategies they used etc. began amongst them and continued into the classroom as we walked out. I asked them if they used their breath as an anchor and they all said they tried but then stopped and used the light on the device which has a steady visual motion they have always liked. ( This is why I felt these devises might help children with autism. ) Most said they breathed with the light when they had their eyes opened. This handheld device provides visual feedback in a calm and simple way. The motion of the light is in itself calming to these children. One child expressed that every time his light went green he got excited and wiggly which made the device turn red. This was an excellent comment which we expanded on to talk about how negative or positive emotions can change the Emwave's light and why they thought that was the case. This will be further explored I told them. One child recalled how we did a slow walking activity last year and wondered if using an Emwave would be helpful then too since he was always moving and rocking and just 'felt better' when he moved. Wow all this in 30 minutes!
1st year student movies
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