For Elementary Teachers: Month 1

Week One

Day 1
Introduction

Introduction

Remember to have your bell or cymbal or chime at the ready so it is easy to let students know when you’re changing partners, and then moving from paired sharing to conversation. Using the bell to get their attention will allow you to give the instructions without having to raise your voice.

We are starting a brand new activity today, and we’re going to do this every day for just a few minutes. Today is our first time —  you’ll find it will be easy to learn and fun to do.

prompt

Prompt

Have students break into pairs. If there’s an uneven number, the teacher is paired with someone. If the number is even, consider seeing whether there is an adult in the building that could join you (a secretary? an administrator? the custodian?) If the teacher is not paired with a student, the teacher could sit in with a pair to listen, to model the body language and eye contact of active listening. Continually look for ways to reinforce that adults in the building are genuinely interested in the perceptions and needs of students.

You each have two minutes to talk about your favorite foods. You can talk about anything from a favorite meal to treats to what our lunch program serves.

There are a just a few simple rules:

  • When your partner is speaking, your job is to simply listen and not comment.
  • When it is your turn to speak, respond to the prompt and not what your partner has said.
  • Remember to show your partner that you’re listening, like looking at them, nodding, and leaning in.

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it after two minutes so they can trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of paired sharing.

Note: Two-minutes is the goal, but these first few prompts may go quite a bit more quickly. Remind them not to respond to one another during their two-minute talking time. They’re to just respond to the prompt directly.

Connecting

Connecting

Note: Do this during the last minute in pairs.

Did you like any of the same things? What do you have in common with your partner for today? Have a conversation with one another about this.

Ring the bell to mark the end of one minute.

challenge

Daily Challenge

This will be a goal based on our daily prompt, and lays the groundwork for more intentional mindfulness later. Let students know you’ll be checking in with them at the end of the day.

It’s interesting that there are so many different likes when it comes to food. Today, notice how things taste. Think about different ways to describe what you taste: bland, buttery, chewy, chocolatey, cool, creamy, crunchy, crispy, fizzy, flakey, gooey, juicy, mushy, minty, salty, sharp, sweet, tangy…. We can use so many words to describe the flavors and textures of the things we taste.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

The High Five Finale is meant for the end of the day and provides both accountability and affirmation for your students. This is meant to be a celebratory time — a quick popcorn sharing as you wrap thing up for the day. Think of it as a way to high five your students for a job well done. You can do it in as little as 30 seconds or take as long as 2-3 minutes.

Did you notice flavors today? Who has something they want to share about the flavors they noticed today?

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Have students break into pairs. If there’s an uneven number, the teacher is paired with someone. If the number is even, consider seeing whether there is an adult in the building that could join you (a secretary? an administrator? the custodian?) If the teacher is not paired with a student, the teacher could sit in with a pair to listen, to model the body language and eye contact of active listening. Continually look for ways to reinforce that adults in the building are genuinely interested in the perceptions and needs of students.

Today you can talk about your favorite television shows or movies. What do you like about them? Do they make you laugh? Does your family watch them together? Do they help you escape from real life for a bit? Is it the storyline? The characters? The setting where it all takes place?

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it after two minutes so they can trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of paired sharing.

Note: Two-minutes is the goal, but these first few prompts may go quite a bit more quickly. Remind them not to respond to one another during their two-minute talking time. They’re to just respond to the prompt directly.

Connecting

Connecting

Note: Do this during the last minute in pairs.

Was there anything you had in common?

Ring the bell to mark the end of one minute.

challenge

Daily Challenge

This will be a goal based on our daily prompt, and lays the groundwork for more intentional mindfulness later. Let students know you’ll be checking in with them at the end of the day.

Today, think about the things you like about movies and television shows. Reflect on other things that bring people together. Notice the way people connect, whether it’s at lunchtime, or even on the bus.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

The High Five Finale is meant for the end of the day and provides both accountability and affirmation for your students. This is meant to be a celebratory time — a quick popcorn sharing as you wrap thing up for the day. Think of it as a way to high five your students for a job well done. You can do it in as little as 30 seconds or take as long as 2-3 minutes.

Did anyone come up with some things that bring people together other than television and movies?

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

Have students break into pairs. If there’s an uneven number, the teacher is paired with someone. If the number is even, consider seeing whether there is an adult in the building that could join you (a secretary? an administrator? the custodian?) If the teacher is not paired with a student, the teacher could sit in with a pair to listen, to model the body language and eye contact of active listening. Continually look for ways to reinforce that adults in the building are genuinely interested in the perceptions and needs of students.

Today we’re going to talk about something we are glad to have in our lives. Something that makes us feel good. It might be your pet, it might be an adult or parent or friend, or your favorite tree!  Anything you are glad to have in your life.

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it after two minutes so they can trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Note: Two-minutes is the goal, but these first few prompts may go quite a bit more quickly. Remind them not to respond to one another during their two-minute talking time. They’re to just respond to the prompt directly.

Connecting

Connecting

Did you have anything in common? It is fine if there wasn’t, but just take a moment to see whether you have something in common about your stories.

Ring the bell to mark the end of one minute.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, notice the things you’re thankful for at school. They can be big things but they can also be little things. It might be a person, something in nature, someone you’re happy to see, or something nice someone does for you.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

We have so many good things and good people in our lives. What did you notice you were thankful for today?

Day 4
prompt

Prompt

Have students break into pairs. If there’s an uneven number, the teacher is paired with someone. If the number is even, consider seeing whether there is an adult in the building that could join you (a secretary? an administrator? the custodian?) If the teacher is not paired with a student, the teacher could sit in with a pair to listen, to model the body language and eye contact of active listening. Continually look for ways to reinforce that adults in the building are genuinely interested in the perceptions and needs of students.

With your partner today, talk about a time when someone was kind to you.

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it after two minutes so they can trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Note: Two-minutes is the goal, but these first few prompts may go quite a bit more quickly. Remind them not to respond to one another during their two-minute talking time. They’re to just respond to the prompt directly.

Connecting

Connecting

What can each of you name or identify that makes someone kind?  What did your stories have in common?

Ring the bell to mark the end of one minute.

challenge

Daily Challenge

In our classroom, I’d like us to always be aware of kindness. It matters to me! It matters to all of us! Today, see if you notice someone being kind, and see if you find a way to be kind to someone else.  We’ll talk about it at the end of the day.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Did you notice kindness today? Did you find ways to be kind to others today? Who wants to share?

Let kids give high fives or fist bumps to two people nearby.

Day 5
prompt

Prompt

Have students break into pairs. If there’s an uneven number, the teacher is paired with someone. If the number is even, consider seeing whether there is an adult in the building that could join you (a secretary? an administrator? the custodian?) If the teacher is not paired with a student, the teacher could sit in with a pair to listen, to model the body language and eye contact of active listening. Continually look for ways to reinforce that adults in the building are genuinely interested in the perceptions and needs of students.

Today you can each share about someone you look up to… someone you admire. It can be someone in your family, someone at school, or anywhere else.

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it after two minutes so they can trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Note: Two-minutes is the goal, but these first few prompts may go quite a bit more quickly. Remind them not to respond to one another during their two-minute talking time. They’re to just respond to the prompt directly.

Connecting

Connecting

What do the people you spoke about have in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

For the rest of today, notice the people around you and think about the people you admire. Appreciate them, but let’s also work on being people others will appreciate.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Anybody have an example from today of someone whom they appreciated? Or who acted in a way that was admirable?

Week Two

Day 1
prompt

Prompt

What is something you’d like to learn about?  It could be a school subject, but it could be any interest you have. It could be about someplace far away, or something in nature, or how something works.

Connecting

Connecting

Did you have anything in common about your interests?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Learning isn’t just about school. Many adults are interesting and happy because they still love to learn. Today, think about ways you can really pursue what you want to learn about.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who thought of ways to keep learning about what they find interesting? Did you talk to anyone about it? Who has an idea or a plan to share?

High fives…

tip

Prepare

Note:  Look over some websites on making ‘glitter bottles” or “calming jars” and figure out how to get them made for your students. You might have a parent volunteer help or maybe do it as part of an art project? See if you can get that done in the next week or two.

Although we originally thought about this only for elementary, we’re hearing from teachers using the program that a surprising number of older students are using them as a way to help them calm as well.

Note: This Friday is a time for shared laughter. Prepare for whatever you think will work. You could see if any of your students have ideas for a skit or song or other short performance that is sure to bring laughter. Or you could find a short, fun video to watch together together (or learn the Macarena on Youtube, etc.) Take a few moments to find something appropriate to share with your age group.

Take time to put this together before Friday!

Here are three fun videos to get you started:

Baby Goat Compilation

Goats Balancing on a Steel Ribbon

 4-Day Old Goat Meets 4-Month Old Puppy

Day 2
Introduction

Introduction

Let’s take a moment to think about how much we’re learning about one another by just having these short activities together each day.

prompt

Prompt

Today your prompt is “something I value or something I treasure.” It might be an object, or it could be a person, or a relationship.

Connecting

Connecting

Do you have anything in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Sometimes it takes courage to share our values. One of the greatest things we can do is to respect what other people like or value. Today, if someone talks today about something they like or value, acknowledge it verbally and take a moment to appreciate it.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

How did appreciating other people’s values go today? Did anyone have courage to share their own values? Did anyone get a chance to appreciate someone else’s values?

High fives to neighbors…

Day 3
Introduction

Introduction

Today we will be talking about privacy. Because we feel it’s very important for students to understand the difference between safe and unsafe secrets, instead of paired connecting at the end, today we’re implementing a classroom discussion. Please note the differences in timing as a result.

prompt

Prompt

Today’s prompt is shortened to leave time for a 3-minute class discussion at the end. Have students pair up as normal, but give them 1 minute each instead of 2 minutes each.

Talk about the ways we can respect someone else’s privacy. You don’t have to talk about something personal in your life, but what are some general examples? What are some of the times, places, and circumstances when people want privacy, or when privacy is important.

Connecting

Connecting 

Use your remaining 3 minutes to discuss the connecting prompt.

Today, instead of connecting in pairs, we’re going to talk as a class.

Why is privacy important? How can we learn to keep safe secrets that respect other people?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Respect is a great thing to notice about ourselves and appreciate about others. For the rest of today, try to be aware of respecting someone else’s privacy, or being respectful in what you say about others.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who felt respected today? Who found a way to respect someone else today?

Day 4
Introduction

Introduction

Sometimes it is fun to think about the things we enjoyed when we were younger.

prompt

Prompt

Share a favorite hiding place you had when you were younger.

Note: For younger students you might want to give more for them to go on, such as, “What was it like? Was it light or dark inside? Did you share it with others? Was it a secret from everyone? Did  you find it by accident or did you decide to create a place?”

Connecting

Connecting

What did you have in common about your hiding places?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Sometimes we use hiding places to have time to ourselves. We do this in different ways as we get older! Think about the ways people hide at the age you are now, and what makes people feel like they need some alone time. Do you use screen time to escape from time to time? Do others in your life?

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Did anyone think about what makes people want to be alone? Does anyone want to share their ideas?

tip

Prepare

Look ahead to Week Three Day One. There is an option to use post-it notes, so you might want to prepare.

Day 5
Introduction

Introduction

Today is just for fun.

prompt

Prompt

Watch a short, fun video together. Or learn the Macarena on Youtube. Here are three fun videos to get you started:

Baby Goat Compilation

Goats Balancing on a Steel Ribbon

 4-Day Old Goat Meets 4-Month Old Puppy

challenge

Daily Challenge

Laughter is a great way for people to get to know one another and feel safe together. Today, let’s explore ways we can put more good clean fun into our friendships. Today, laugh with your friends!

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who got to laugh today? How does laughter make our days better?

Week Three

Note: As you’re getting more comfortable with the program, don’t forget to remind your students of what the goals are, and let them share what they love about things so far.

Day 1
prompt

Prompt

Note: There is an option to use post-it notes with today’s activity.

What are ways you’ve learned to relax. Perhaps you have ideas you’ve heard from others.

Post-it Note Option:  Invite students to write their ideas for relaxing on a post-it note during their two minutes, one idea per note.

Connecting

Connecting

Did you have anything in common?

Post-it Note Option: During the last minute, invite students to post their ideas on one section of a white board, a flip chart paper, or on a wall, and leave it up for a couple of days so students can look for new ideas. Invite one or two students to share their ideas as everyone posts their ideas.

You might take a picture of the ideas with your phone and compile a document for each of your students (either print out or digital) so they all have additional tools at their fingertips if they help relaxing.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Everybody has stress, but there are things we can learn from one another that might give us new ideas on how to manage it. Today, notice times you feel stress. Know that there are lots of ways to feel better!

Additional option:  If you had students post their ideas, remind them that these ideas are up here for everyone to look at for the next couple of days.

challenge

High Five Finale

What did you notice about the times you feel stress? We can all help one another make stress a bit easier to manage. A lot of the ideas we all came up with today can be helpful to many of us.

tip

Prepare

You will need more post-it notes for Wednesday’s activity. Look ahead and plan accordingly.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Today your prompt is “One thing I look forward to on the weekends…”

Connecting

Connecting

Did you have anything in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

It’s wonderful to have things to look forward to when we’re home, but it’s also helpful to notice things we look forward to at school. Today, notice the things you look forward to while you’re at school, whether it’s a class, an activity, or the people with whom you’re spending your day.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

What did you find you enjoyed about school today?

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

Note: You’ll need post-it notes for today’s activity.

When it’s your turn to share, write down the attributes, or behaviors, or attitudes of the people you most respect. Use one post-it note for each idea.

Connecting

Connecting

Collect all your ideas on a flip chart or board so everyone can benefit from your thoughts.

Note: Use this time to have a few students share their ideas while you assemble all the post-it notes in one place.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, look for people at schools whom you respect. I’ll leave post-it notes by the board so when you have additional ideas, you can jot them down on a post-it note and add them to the list. By the end of the day, we’re going to have so many ideas!

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Reflect on your day. Let’s hear some examples of people you saw today whom you respect. Let’s see if we can add any ideas to our list.

Day 4
prompt

Prompt

With your partner today, talk about a time you felt lucky or a time that something turned out pretty well for you.

Connecting

Connecting

What was it like to listen to each other’s stories? You can talk about how your stories were similar, or you can see whether what you feel when something good happens is similar.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Sometimes we are the reason something turns out OK for others! Today think about being kind, helpful, or cheerful even to people you don’t know. Notice how it makes you feel, and how it makes other people feel.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who had the opportunity to be kind today? What was it like?

Day 5
prompt

Prompt

If you could be a powerful animal, what would you be? How would you live? How would you act? What would you do? What would you enjoy about it?

Connecting

Connecting

Did your stories have anything in common? Were there things in common about what you would do with your power? Did your partner bring up some things you hadn’t thought about before?

challenge

Daily Challenge

It is interesting to think of how much we have in common with animals… they have to be courageous sometimes, and strong sometimes. Many of them have to take care of their young, some of them live in family groups. Think about these amazing qualities in animals and what we as humans can learn from them.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Today, who thought of something pretty amazing that we can learn from animals?

Week Four

Day 1
prompt

Prompt

Today you can each share about someone you look up to… someone you admire. It can be someone in your family, someone at school, or somewhere else.

Connecting

Connecting

Can you identify anything that the people you spoke about had in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

For the rest of today, notice the people around you and think about the qualities you admire about them.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

What are some admirable traits in other people you thought about today?

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Today, share about someplace you’d like to go or see in the next year or two.  Talk about what makes that place of interest to you, and maybe who you would like to go with you.

Connecting

Connecting

Were there similarities about your interests?

challenge

Daily Challenge

New places are all around us every single day. Someday you might get the opportunity to travel to a place far away, but for right now think about how you can explore new things close to home. Even here at school! Maybe you could sit with someone new at lunch or greet someone new in the hallway.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

We learn a lot about ourselves and about the world when we go places that are new to us. Who discovered something new right here at school?

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

Today is a fun one.  Share something that was really funny that made you laugh.  It is great if it is something that happened in our class or in your family, but if you can’t think of anything that happened to you personally, what about something that was really funny in a movie or book?  Before you begin to share, think about our ethic of not laughing at other people because they are different, or in a way that would make them uncomfortable at all.  This needs to be something that was fun for everyone.

Note: For older youth you might say that the fun was not at the expense of anyone.

Connecting

Connecting

What happens when people laugh together? Why is this important?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Laughter helps us feel comfortable with one another as long as it isn’t laughing AT someone, but rather laughing at something that everyone found funny. Find something you can laugh about with someone else.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who laughed today? Who wants to share something about that?

Day 4
prompt

Prompt

What is something courageous you have seen someone do at school. This could be recently, or it could go back as far as you like. Just an example of how you saw courage in action at school.

Connecting

Connecting

How were your examples similar?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Courage isn’t always easy. Today, look for ways you can practice courage. It may be sticking up for someone, or standing with someone when no one else will. Or simply being with someone who is alone.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who saw courage today? Who was able to practice being courageous?

Day 5
Introduction

Introduction

Some of our prompts are going to be about what we notice about nature. Sometimes we pay so much attention to screens and devices that we don’t notice that it is the world that gives us a home, that feeds us, and that gives us life!

prompt

Prompt

Describe something about nature that you like. It might be some place in nature you like to go, or a particular kind of plant or animal that you like, or some other aspect of nature that calls to you.

Connecting

Connecting

For your last minute, talk about why it is important for us to be aware of nature.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Sometimes we don’t appreciate things until we lose them, so it is important for us to pay attention to the world around us. Notice nature today, and all the ways it helps us. From the water you drink to the food you eat to the sunshine that warms you, to the shade of the tree right outside, to the tiny leaves that grow on its branches, nature is working to make our lives better every single day.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who noticed something great about nature today?