For Primary Teachers: Month 1

Overview

For the first six weeks, you’ll be doing one of these five activities each day:

We keep things simple for primary students for two reasons:

  • Your students will become familiar with the process of finding a new partner.
  • These 5 practices become engrained in them and your classroom culture.

How To Implement

  • You can choose to do each activity once per week.
  • OR you can do the first one all week and help students master it.

Just be sure that for the first six weeks, students are fairly equally exposed to all five activities.

Note: Remember that every week students need one fun activity (at a minimum), so at least once each week play a fun video or have kids do something that generates laughter. We’ll include suggestions for the first 3.)

Glitter Bottles

Activity
Introduction

Introduction

Have all students find a partner.

Today we’re going to use our glitter bottles for a shared activity.  You just need one to share between you.  We’re going to do this more than once, so you’ll each get a chance to turn the bottle.

Note: Decide how you’ll have them know who goes first or let them choose.

prompt

Prompt

Shake your glitter bottle or swirl it all around and then set it down on your desk.  Both of you watch it very carefully, and raise your hand when you think it stops moving and everything inside the jar is still.

Note: Repeat so both students have the chance to turn the bottle.

Connecting

Connecting

What did you do that helped you know when everything stopped moving?

Note: Keep asking questions that help students identify that paying attention was important.

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 let’s think about what we need to do to learn… we need to listen, we need to try, we need to ask for help when we’re stuck. Today we are going to learn so many things!

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.

Who worked hard to listen today? Who remembered to ask for help? Who learned something interesting today?

High fives…

Rain-Making

Activity
Introduction

Introduction

This activity is done as a group, not in pairs. Here’s a great video on what this might sound like in your classroom!

Today we’re going to do an activity where we have our eyes open almost all of the time, but right at the end, we’re going to close our eyes for a moment. I’ll let you know when that time comes. With this activity it will be really important for us to only do as I instruct. The most important thing is that we have to be super quiet as we do this so you can always hear both the sound we’re making and the sound someone across the room is making. If you can’t hear both of them, quiet down and listen!

prompt

Prompt

Today we’re going to make the sounds of a very gentle rain shower using only our hands. It will come slowly, then be right overhead, then fade away.

  • Begin by rubbing the palms of your hands together very gently.  (You might demonstrate as you speak.) 
  • As the rain comes closer, it makes just a little more sound, so you can rub your hands together a little faster.
  • It’s closer, so we’ll snap if you can. (If not, it’s okay. Keep rubbing your hands quickly.)
  • And now the rain is right overhead and it is louder, so we can gently pat our legs with our open hand… gently so we can still hear the people around us!
  • Now the rain is passing by and it is getting quieter, so now we can snap.
  • Farther, rub our palms together again… and now it is moving even further away… so rub our hands really quietly…
  • And now, at the very end of the rain, there is a very gentle breeze.  We can take a really deep breath into our bellies and then make our lips into a little circle and very very slowly let the air come out making the quietest sound of a breeze….  This is when we can close our eyes, just to listen to the gentle breeze. When you close your eyes, let yourself imagine you can see a gentle breeze in the trees.  (You might instruct them to take several deep breaths and breathe out of their pursed lips very slowly, which is helpful for calming down.)
Connecting

Connecting

What did we all have to do so we could hear both our own hands and the people around us?

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 let’s remember that sometimes we have to quiet ourselves to make something really cool with other people. Teamwork can be a powerful thing!

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.

Who remembered to quiet themselves today? Who heard what someone else had to say because you decided to be quiet?

High fives…

Palming

Activity
tip

Prepare

This one works very well with relaxing music.

Introduction

Introduction

“Palming” is another activity that teaches students to quiet down.  It is easiest if you can describe it to them and show them how it will go.  There are many videos by kindergarten teachers who demonstrate this activity, so you might watch one of these:

How to Calm Young Children Down in Minutes

Adventures of Super Stretch

 

Either video could be played for the students, but the second one doesn’t really reinforce being very quiet, so the first one might be best, and then use it as a model for instructing the students yourself.  Another technique is to have them rub their hands together, then have them rest their elbows on their desks, look at the palms of their hands, touch their little fingers together, and then slowly cover their eyes and lean their heads forward.

Today we’re going to learn a new way of quieting our insides and calming down. It is called palming.

Before we begin, notice how much noise is in our classroom, and how much noise is inside our bodies.

prompt

Prompt

Walk students through the activity.

Connecting

Connecting

How do you feel after our palming exercise? Does the classroom feel any different than it did before we practiced palming? How about inside your body? Do things feel a little quieter?

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 let’s remember that sometimes we have to quiet ourselves to help us get ready to learn. Sometimes we need to quiet ourselves so we can listen to our friends better! Today, let’s remember to quiet ourselves when it’s time to listen or learn.

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.

What was a time when you remembered to quiet yourself today? What was a time you heard what someone else had to say because you decided to be quiet?

High fives…

Birthday Candle Fingers

Activity
tip

Prepare

This is an activity that works well with very quiet music in the background.  Remind students that they should be able to hear the music all of the time.

Introduction

Introduction

Today we’re going to learn a new way of quieting ourselves down. The way we’ll do this will be to do it the first time with our eyes open, and then we’ll try it a few times with our eyes closed.

Note: This activity works well any time during the day that you need to calm things down. You might call for a 4 candle moment, or a 6 candle moment, etc. Put it in your toolbox to use throughout the year!

prompt

Prompt

Demonstrate and encourage them to do the same.

Today we’re going to imagine that each of our ten fingers are birthday candles, and we’re going to blow them out, very slowly, one at a time.  Let’s all practice together and you can watch me while we do this.

Hold your hands out with your fingers spread out wide like this:

Very slowly, let’s all breathe in …. In… in… and now, choose your little finger on one hand, imagine that it is a birthday candle that is lit, and very slowly blow it out, like this.

Demonstrate and encourage them to do the same.

Now, let’s do one more finger…

Continue on to do all ten fingers, instructing students to “do the next one.”

After you’ve all done all ten fingers, repeat the process, suggesting to students that this time, they do it with their eyes closed. They’ll need you to give the instructions…  “now blow out the next one…  (pause) … and the next one…” (pause) …”

Demonstrate and encourage them to do the same.

Connecting

Connecting

Now, let’s talk about what it feels like inside when we take time to slow down. How might help us be ready to learn?

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 let’s remember that sometimes we have to quiet ourselves to get ready to learn. Sometimes it helps to take a deep breath and let it out. Let’s remember to do that today!

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.

Who remembered to quiet themselves today? Who wants to share about taking a deep breath before they did something today?

High fives…

Fun

Activity
tip

Prepare

We’re going to do a fun activity each week as part of our 5 Radical Minutes activities. 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

Note: Make sure you play through any ads before you present the video to your class.

Introduction

Introduction

We’re going to do a fun activity each week as part of our 5 Radical Minutes activities. Today is our first time, so we’re going to do a really easy, fun activity.  The first part is that we need to find partners…

Give the instructions on how you want them to find their partners.

prompt

Prompt

We’re going to watch a video together, and when it is over, you’ll be able to tell your partner about your favorite part, the funniest part or what you enjoyed most.

Watch the video together.

Connecting

Connecting

Now, with your partner, let’s take a minute to share what we liked most about the video. What was the funniest part?

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 so important to laugh together and have fun with our friends. Today, let’s remember to laugh — unless it’s time to be quiet! And let’s make sure everyone is having fun together and that no one gets left out.

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 we have more smiles today and some more laughter? Who wants to share about a fun time they had with a friend today?

High fives…