For MS and HS Teachers: Month 2

Table of Contents

As you advance through each month of 5 Radical Minutes, additional content will become available.

Week One

Day 1
Introduction

Introduction

Learning new things does more than just put facts into a memory bank; it actually changes our brain. The more we learn along the way, the easier it will be all through life to learn new things.

prompt

Prompt

What is something you’d be interested in learning in the next year or two?  It can be something that has nothing at all to do with school. It could be about the universe or something in nature or how something works or whatever interests you.

Connecting

Connecting

What did you find most interesting about your partner’s interests?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Learning is about a whole lot more than school. People who become mountain climbers have to learn many different things to become skilled and to stay safe. People who do long bike races need to understand how to fix their bikes and how to train. Whatever you want to do, there is likely lots to learn about it. Think of one topic you’d like to learn about over the next few weeks and see what you can do to start exploring it.

tip

Prepare

Tomorrow can either end in the usual paired conversation OR the last minute could be a moment when students write their best idea about the prompt on a post-it note and all the ideas are posted on a flip chart paper so students can look at everyone’s ideas.

Note: At the end of this week, you will have your first Community Circle. Consider language that is fitting for your group when you decide what to call the circles.  You might call them Community Circles, Circle Time, A Circle Gathering, or whatever might work.  This link has more information about the functions of having the circles and how you might approach them.  Take the latitude you need to in order for them to work well with your students.

Note:  Decide how the physical process of getting your students into a circle can most efficiently be managed in your class on Friday. It will be easier if you have a clear sense of how to instruct them to do so rather than trying to figure it out on the fly Friday morning.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Some of what we’ll do with our five minutes is share ideas to help one another. Today, talk about all the ideas you have for how to help yourself get to sleep at night. You can share your own ideas or those you’ve heard work for others.

Connecting

Connecting

This is when you can choose to have them see what they had in common OR they can write their ideas on post-it notes and post them.

challenge

Daily Challenge

There are lots of different reasons we have difficulty sleeping sometimes.  Worrying about tests, worrying about people we love, stress, and even being really excited for something to come! It is really helpful to have lots of ideas for helping ourselves get to sleep. Look over our list throughout the week and see if you have anything more to add!

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

This one is about nature. Share what you notice and what you like or don’t like about the seasons of the year. What activities do you like that are dependent on certain seasons?

Connecting

Connecting

For your last minute, have a conversation about why seasons are important.

Note: If you don’t have change in seasons, suggest that they think about why it is important that some regions of our country do have seasonal changes.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Seasons give us options for different kinds of sports, different kinds of crops, winters allow snow pack in the mountains to provide water during the drier summer seasons… there are lots of reasons most regions of our world have seasons. Today, notice a few things that are great about the season we’re in right now.

Day 4
Introduction

Introduction

Sometimes we’ll have topics that probably touch all of our lives, but we don’t have to talk from our own personal experience. For instance, the prompt might be “Talk about anger. What happens when people are angry? What happens when people manage their anger really well?  What does that take?” So with that example, you don’t have to talk about your own anger or anger that someone had toward you. We’re talking about it more generally.  So the concept is not to talk about the people, but to talk about the emotion or attribute itself.  We’re starting with something other than anger today.

prompt

Prompt

Talk about the importance of honesty, or of telling the truth.

Connecting

Connecting

What did you both notice?

challenge

Daily Challenge

There are so many reasons that being truthful is important. One that matters most is that whether people trust you often rests on whether they experience you as being honest. Notice today moments when you’re very truthful, and any moments when you might want to hide the truth a little. Do they make you feel differently?

Day 5
Introduction

Community Circle Day

Introduction

Today is the first time we will do a circle instead of pairing up. We are going to use this Circle Time in several ways. One will be to create a greater sense of community in our class. Another is that if we have a shared dilemma, such as too many students talking during class time, or [give an example that might be true for your class], we can use circle times to quickly come up with ideas on how to solve that problem. We will also use Circle Time to learn new skills together and, most important, some circles will just be for fun. Because we just have five minutes and we have [30?  How many?] students, you’ll each just have 10 seconds [or how many seconds?] to reply to the prompt, so I’ll give us all about 20 seconds to think of our response. Narrow your reply into maybe two sentences. That’s all! And anyone who wishes can just say “pass” and it will move to the next person.

prompt

Prompt

Today we’re going to focus on lunch time. You can tell the group anything you’d like in your allotted [10] seconds. You can tell us what you wish the school would serve that isn’t now on the menu. You can talk about what you’d like done so you can have more options during lunchtime. Maybe you want to talk about the noise level. Whatever you’d like in terms of what you would like to see happen differently at lunch. Let’s take just a moment to think about it and we’ll begin.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Make a comment of appreciation for efforts they made to stay within their timeslots or any other positive comment or compliment you can make.

Today, pay attention at lunch time to see what might help that time be more enjoyable for everyone. And to even try to understand why some of the rules are in place.

Week Two

Day 1
Introduction

Introduction

This is one of those prompts that gives you the choice to talk about something you’ve observed, not necessarily something that happened to you. Remember, when we do these, we don’t talk about a specific person, but just what we saw happen. So we’re not talking about someone, but about what happened to someone.

prompt

Prompt

Talk about a time you saw someone’s feelings get hurt. Include your thoughts about how it felt for that person, perhaps talk about what you did, and what you think that person wanted others to do to help him or her in that moment.

Connecting

Connecting

What did your stories have in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

We often see someone’s feelings get hurt. What is important is what we do to support that person in the moment. When we see someone’s feelings get hurt, especially when we can see it is on purpose, we need to stand up for them in whatever way is safe – however we are able. Notice people’s feelings today and stand up for someone if you need to.

tip

Prepare

Note: Friday will be another Community Circle Day.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Share lots of aspects about a place you’ve been that you found interesting.  Depending on the type of place, you might talk about the environment, or the foliage, or the people, or the activities that were a part of your visit.

Connecting

Connecting

What can you find in common in terms of what you both find makes a place interesting?

challenge

Daily Challenge

We understand people better when we go places outside of our normal everyday life. Travel is one of the best ways to enlarge our view, even if it isn’t too far away from where we live. More it is going someplace out of your ordinary. Sometimes we forget that our ordinary is very different from someone else’s. Today, notice things that might make our own city / town interesting to someone who is traveling here.

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

This one is just for fun… If you could change one school rule, what would it be and why? How would that make students happier?

Connecting

Connecting

Did you have anything in common about your rule changes?

challenge

Daily Challenge

We all know that schools have to have rules so we keep everybody safe and we know where everybody is all the time, but if you really had a good idea for how something could be improved, you could let me know! Today, notice what makes your fellow students happiest about school. And also what frustrates them. This is a good place to start when we think about improving things.

Day 4
Introduction

Introduction

Note: This prompt is in preparation for the stress reduction exercises. A great place to start is by having students identify all the kinds of stressors they can identify.  At this point, we don’t want students feeling like they have to talk about their own stress from a personal place, but rather identifying all the kinds of stressors they see that people in our world experience.

Today we’re going to talk about all the ways that people in our world feel stress.  This isn’t a time when you have to talk about what is stressful for you personally, but rather to help us see how many ways there can be difficult issues that can make it difficult for people.

prompt

Prompt

During your sharing today, talk about circumstances that cause people stress. You might want to talk about people you see on the news. Certainly most people in our lives experience stress of some sort. Remember we can talk about something we know happens in people’s lives and not name the people. You might start your sentences, “People feel stress when _____.”

Connecting

Connecting

What did your examples have in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

We can’t control what life throws at us, but we can control how we respond.  In future days, we’re going to have some time to learn how to manage stress. It will help you for the rest of your lives! Today, just notice when you start to feel stress levels rising. Very soon we’ll learn ways to help ourselves handle stress.

Day 5
Introduction

Community Circle Day

Introduction

Today for our circle, we’re each going to describe one thing that people do to show that they care about one another. We aren’t going to name names, but just describe what someone could do. So you might say, “Friends might help you with your homework.” Or “Friends might give you a lift somewhere.” Take a moment to think about one example of how friends show one another that they care.

prompt

Prompt

Share one example of how friends show one another they care.

Connecting

Connecting

Let’s hear from a few of you. What did you notice about our comments?

challenge

Daily Challenge

For the rest of today, notice when people do something supportive for someone else!

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 enjoy about things so far.

Day 1
prompt

Prompt

With your partner today, talk about the kinds of things your teachers do to help students feel safe.

Connecting

Connecting

For your last minute, see if there is anything you’d like us to do in our school to make sure students feel more safe.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, notice times you feel the safest here at school.

tip

Prepare

Note: Next week we’ll be using the Olympics to frame one of the prompts. You might want to familiarize yourself with one or two sports from the latest Olympics.

Note: This Friday’s circle is the first stress reduction circle activity. Review this guide so you are prepared on Friday. Also, please watch the one-minute video ahead of time.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

We learn a lot from the lives of people in history.

If you could have dinner with one person from history – someone who died before you were born – who would that be?  What would you want to ask?  What would be interesting about that person or his/her life?

Connecting

Connecting

What made your choice of people interesting?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Sometimes we get so used to our devices that we don’t think to learn things that could be helpful if we lose them. Think about this: a very long time ago, sailors who crossed the oceans knew where they were by looking at the stars. Think how lost we would get if we tried to find our way around by looking at the stars! Today, think about the skills we have lost because of our electronics. It might inspire you to learn some new skills!

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

If you could have some time with someone you really respect, who would that be and where would you like to go together or what would you like to do together?

Connecting

Connecting

What did your people have in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Watch for traits today that mirror the people you respect. Sometimes we can make broad assumptions about people we don’t like that much, but when we really look, we can usually find one or two things we can admire in even that person that we don’t happen to enjoy all that much.

Day 4
prompt

Prompt

When life is tough, there’s usually something we reach for to make things feel better, and often it’s food.

Do you have a favorite comfort food? Is it good for you or maybe not so healthy?

Connecting

Connecting

Anything in common about your choices in comfort food?

challenge

Daily Challenge

One thing for us to think about is that some comfort foods we choose are probably healthy enough for us, but maybe some are not. Today, notice what other options you also have for when you’re wanting comfort.

Day 5
prompt

Stress Reduction Circle Day

Introduction

Today, we will be watching a one-minute video of Kobe Bryant. Watch this video ahead of time.

Today’s circle time begins to teach stress management. This overview will provide ideas about how to answer some of the students’ questions about why you’re doing this and what they’ll gain from it.

Decide whether your students all have a working understanding of stress.  If not, take a moment to outline it:

  • Stress is the uncomfortable feeling we have when we have more homework than we can finish in a night and we have to make choices about what to leave undone.
  • Stress can be the uncomfortable feeling we have when we have to choose between finishing homework and getting enough sleep.
  • Youth feel stress when their parents work long hours and the kids in the family have to take on more responsibility than they feel they can manage.

Although we all know that stress is an uncomfortable feeling inside us, there is more to it than that.  Stress very directly hampers our abilities in many areas.  It keeps us from being able to concentrate on school work, it can make us distracted and take us off task, it is especially detrimental when we’re trying to concentrate on tests, but it also interferes with how well we can compete athletically and how healthy our relationships are. Before we start our paired sharing, we’re going to watch a one-minute video of someone many of you will recognize – Kobe Bryant.  Can anybody tell us who he is?  [Let a student tell the class he is a basketball star.] He has become really successful, and he has a skill that can help anyone improve in sports, in school; it could be helpful in any kind of skill.  So let’s hear what he has to say.

Play the one-minute video of Kobe Bryant.

prompt

Prompt

In your paired sharing today, you’ll each have 90 seconds to talk since we took a minute for the video. Your prompt is to each name all of the areas in students’ lives that could improve if they could control stress. Make the longest list you can.

Connecting

Connecting

Can you see how working with someone else shows us what we have in common in our thinking, but that there is also value in listening to someone else because we get even more insights and ideas?  How many things were similar in your lists?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, notice when stress interferes with your life.

Week Four

Day 1
Introduction

Introduction

The Olympics are special in several ways. They bring all different cultures together to watch people who are really talented and dedicated. There are people who make it into the Olympics who come from very ordinary backgrounds, just like us.

prompt

Prompt

If you could have a ticket to go to the Olympics to watch one sport or competition, what would it be and why?

Connecting

Connecting

Did you have anything in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

If you are good at something, or if you very much enjoy something, keep striving! Keep trying! Nobody ever looks back when they’re older and says, “Oh, I wish I had never been any good at sports or piano or whatever.” More often, we look back and wish we HAD done something more creative, or had practiced more, or worked harder. Today, really think about what you’re good at. See if there’s a skill you already have that you’d like to improve, or one you’d like to learn.

tip

Prepare

Note:  Thursday is a fun day and Friday another circle day… look ahead to plan accordingly.

On Friday, students will watch another video. Please watch this ahead of time and have it ready.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Describe one or several people with whom you most enjoy spending time and talk about why. It might be that they make you laugh, or that they listen, or forget about your problems… And we’re practicing not naming names, but rather describing that person’s traits – what they do that we so enjoy.

Connecting

Connecting

How were your descriptions of enjoyable people similar?

challenge

Daily Challenge

It is wonderful to have a range of people we enjoy. One thing about using this program is that some of you will find new friends in the process. Today, look for traits you appreciate in the people around you. There might be more than you think!

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

Take a moment to reflect, and then share your thoughts about a culture that is quite different from ours that could be interesting to visit. What makes that culture of interest?

Connecting

Connecting

What thoughts did you have in common about other cultures?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Being with people from other cultures can make us both appreciate our own more and also help us see the beauty and value of how other cultures live. Today, look for things in our own culture that are unique and really beautiful!

Day 4
Introduction

Introduction

Today is a fun day again… use a circle format.

prompt

Prompt

Introduce your activity… whether it be a video, dance, skit, etc. Remember that the goal today is laughter! If you’re stuck or short on time, choose from the three videos below:

Connecting

Connecting

With your partner, just talk about what you enjoyed most.

challenge

Daily Challenge

It is good to just have fun sometimes! Notice things that make you smile today. Do you have suggestions for your teacher that would be great for our fun days? Please let him or her know!

Day 5
Introduction

Stress Reduction Circle Day

Introduction

Note:  Watch the Mindfulness Basics video ahead of time.

Today we’re going to watch a little longer video, and at the end of it, instead of our usual paired sharing, you’ll just be doing the connecting part this time, so we won’t be doing the talking/listening part as usual, just connecting for the last minute.

prompt

Prompt

Watch the Mindfulness Basics video here.

Connecting

Connecting

Who were you most surprised to see in the video? Did you already know that music stars are using breathing and mindfulness in order to be better musicians, but also to be better people? So who was a surprise?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, continue to be aware of what stresses you out both at school and afterward.