For Primary Teachers: Month 2

Overview

For 2 more weeks, you’ll be doing one of these five activities each day:

Tip
tip

Reminder

Remember to have your bell or cymbal or chime at the ready so it is easy to let students know when you’re moving from conversation to finding what they have in common. Using the bell to get their attention will allow you to give the instructions to find what they have in common without having to raise your voice.

tip

Prepare

After two more weeks of these five activities, we’ll introduce a new kind of prompt. (See week three on the menu to the left.) We’re moving toward students learning to listen only to their partner during half of the allotted time, and then when it is their turn to share, they’ll only be listened to.

It will be helpful for some if each pair has a talking object so they know the speaker from the listener. These objects could be something the students make together (such as painting on little river rocks) or perhaps you might have  something on hand that  you will just pass out to them. (One teacher used a large bead on a circle of twine which the speaker held.) If you think your students are ready to move toward paired sharing with one listener and one speaker, think now about the talking object you’ll have for them.

Note: You can certainly use the original activities throughout the year when students need encouragement to settle down. In fact, you may find that having students “blow candles out” might be helpful just about any time.  Feel free to move back and forth from the new suggested prompts and earlier ones that are familiar to the students.

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.

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!

NoteThere will likely be some students who get excited or haven’t yet gained the skill of restraint, so if a few of them are clapping their hands or drumming their whole hands on their desks.

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

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?

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.

Who remembered to quiet themselves today? Who 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.

NoteThere will likely be some students who get excited or haven’t yet gained the skill of restraint, so if a few of them are clapping their hands or drumming their whole hands on their desks.

prompt

Prompt

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…

Week 3

Day 1
Introduction

Introduction

Today we’re going to begin adding to what we already do with our five minute activity each morning.

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

prompt

Prompt

Start by telling one another your name.  [Give them a few seconds to do so.] You each can share with one another about your favorite treats or your favorite flavors. You can talk about anything from ice cream to dinner at your house!

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it when it is time to trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Note: Teachers can gauge the length of time that students are able to focus. Adjust the talking time as needed and work toward the two-minute goal. There is no hurry! Just watch to see when they appear to be “all shared out” and then invite them to find commonality with the next step.

Connecting

Connecting

Note: Do this during the last minute in pairs.

Did you like any of the same flavors or foods?  What do you have in common with your partner for today?

Ring the bell to mark the end of one minute.

challenge

Daily Challenge

This goal is 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. At the end of our day at school, I’m going to ask if had something you liked at lunch. Notice what you eat 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 remembers who your partner was today when we talked about our favorite flavors?  Can you remember each other’s names?  [You might let a couple of kids tell you who their partner was. Reinforce that we want to get to know everyone in the classroom, not just those who are already our friends.]  We have more friends to meet!  Everybody give a high five to two people close to you!

High fives…

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Remember when we talked about favorite flavors yesterday?  We’re going to do that activity again, but this time we’re talking with a new partner about something new!

Today you can talk about your favorite television shows or movies or cartoons.

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it when it is time to trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Note: Teachers can gauge the length of time that students are able to focus. Adjust the talking time as needed and work toward the two-minute goal. There is no hurry! Just watch to see when they appear to be “all shared out.”

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in the last minute in pairs.

Did you like any of the same shows?

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.

When we’re at school we don’t have television or movies. Today, think about other things you enjoy to do with other people, 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.

Remember when we spoke about television shows this morning?  How many of you remember who your partner was?  Do you remember each other’s names? What fun thing did you do today?

High fives…

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

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

Today we’re going to talk about something we are glad to have in our lives, something that makes us happy inside. It might be your pet, it might be an adult 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 when it is time to trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Note: Teachers can gauge the length of time that students are able to focus. Adjust the talking time as needed and work toward the two-minute goal. There is no hurry! Just watch to see when they appear to be “all shared out.”

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in the last minute in pairs.

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

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, 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, an action, something in nature, someone you’re happy to see, or something nice someone does for you.

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.

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

High fives…

Day 4
prompt

Prompt

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

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

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it when it is time to trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Note: Teachers can gauge the length of time that students are able to focus. Adjust the talking time as needed and work toward the two-minute goal. There is no hurry! Just watch to see when they appear to be “all shared out.”

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in the last minute in pairs.

What did your stories have in common?  Why is it important to be kind?  Why does it help US when we’re kind to someone else?

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.

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.

Note:  Today when you see students being kind, point it 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 you notice kindness today? Did you find ways to be kind to others today? Who wants to share?

High fives…

Day 5
prompt

Prompt

Today you can each share about a grown up you like to spend time with and what it is you like.  What do you like to do together?

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in the last minute in pairs.

Now you can talk together about whether the people you talked about are alike in some ways. Do you like to do any of the same kinds of things together?

Ring the bell to mark the end of one minute.

challenge

Daily Challenge

This goal is 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, pay attention to people at school that you like to be near.

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.

Does anybody have an example from today of someone who is easy to be with?

High fives…

Week 4

Day 1
prompt

Prompt

At school we learn about many different kinds of things. Letters and numbers and we learn about reading and we might learn about the ocean or about trains or animals. If you could choose something we were going to learn about, what would that be? What would you like to learn?

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it when it is time to trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Note: Teachers can gauge the length of time that students are able to focus. Adjust the talking time as needed and work toward the two-minute goal. There is no hurry! Just watch to see when they appear to be “all shared out.”

Connecting

Connecting

Note: Do this during the last minute in pairs.

Are there some things you both want to learn?

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 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 can think of something we learned today?

High fives…

tip

Prepare

This Friday is a time for shared laughter. Prepare for whatever you think will work. This could be a fun video or you could see if there is anything students could do. The internet has websites with magic tricks young kids can do, or you could do some magic for them! You can sing a silly song together, too. Here are a few videos to get you started:

Na Na Na I’m So Happy

Shake Your Sillies Out

Baby Shark

There was a Crocodile

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Today your prompt is “My favorite thing!” It might be a toy or something you like to take to bed, or it could be a person or your pet.

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it when it is time to trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Note: Teachers can gauge the length of time that students are able to focus. Adjust the talking time as needed and work toward the two-minute goal. There is no hurry! Just watch to see when they appear to be “all shared out.”

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in the last minute in pairs.

Do you like any of the same things?

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, see what your favorite things are at school.

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 find any favorite things at school?  Does anybody want to share?

High fives…

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

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

Sometimes secrets are hurtful and sometimes they’re helpful. One way secrets are hurtful is when you talk about people in a way that might hurt their feelings. One way that they are helpful is when someone tells you about something that was upsetting to them, and you realize that they really don’t want you to tell all your friends.

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it when it is time to trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Note: Teachers can gauge the length of time that students are able to focus. Adjust the talking time as needed and work toward the two-minute goal. There is no hurry! Just watch to see when they appear to be “all shared out.”

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in the last minute in pairs.

Talk together about why you both know this is important.

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, listen to what you and others are saying and see whether what you say is kind toward others.

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 remembers the name of your partner for today?

High fives…

Day 4
prompt

Prompt

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

Sometimes it is fun to think about what it was like when we were younger.

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

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it when it is time to trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Note: Teachers can gauge the length of time that students are able to focus. Adjust the talking time as needed and work toward the two-minute goal. There is no hurry! Just watch to see when they appear to be “all shared out.”

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in the last minute in pairs.

What did you have in common about your hiding places?

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.

Sometimes we use hiding places just to have some time to ourselves. We do that in different ways as we get older. Think about ways people hide at the age you are now. What makes people your age feel like they need some alone time?

Note:  Today when you see students being kind, point it 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 anyone think about what makes people want to be alone? Does anyone want to share their ideas?

High fives…

Day 5
prompt

Prompt

Today is a time for shared laughter.  Present what you prepared for whatever you think will work.

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in the last minute in pairs.

What did you enjoy the most about today’s fun time together?

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.

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

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

High fives…