“My students don’t want to sit still.”
Often times when youth have experienced trauma, stillness activities can be scary and uncomfortable. I have often struggled with finding a strategy for relaxation that allows all students to actively participate. However, after my training with 1000 Petals, I have incorporated 5 Finger Breathing and Hand Tracing into Yoga Calm®’s Changing Channels Activity, and found great success!
At our training, we learned about scripted brain breaks. This relaxation allows students to find a place to go in their mind that makes them feel calm, happy, at ease. They are instructed to use all 5 senses as they imagine that perfect place. Students in our computer basics class took this to the next level! Here is a run down of what they did from our awesome Technology Guru, Mr. Paulsen.
Mindfulness in Technology Class
I introduced this project to my 6th graders to address the high energy. I needed a way to transform that energy into learning energy.
We began by tracing our hands using Hand Tracing Breathing. We wanted to slow down, and focus. Everytime the student drew up, they breathed in and every time they traced down, they breathed out.
Our next step was to take a picture of our hand drawn hand and insert the image to Google Drawings. We looked at each finger as representing a sense. The task was to insert a phrase and image describing that sense. During this time, students were focused on how they can represent each sense in an image and short phrase.
Trauma Responsive Relaxations
It can be helpful during scripted relaxations to have the students work out their script ahead of time, so when they go into the relaxation they aren’t feeling stressed about finding the perfect spot. Having it scripted ahead of time can prevent negative thoughts. This is also a great launch pad for creative writing and imagination.
Yoga Calm®’s Changing Channels
This activity lends itself perfectly to the Yoga Calm® Activity, Changing Channels. The Changing Channel’s activity has students stay on a channel, or scene, for 30 seconds or so before changing the visualization. Students can share out their hand projects while the rest of the class visualizes right along. I recommend going through three students, allow 30 seconds to a minute for each. What a great way to weave in social emotional learning!
Have you tried Hand Tracing Breathing or Changing Channels? Have you incorporated technology into your rest and relaxation? Leave a comment!
Travis Paulsen: Jordan Middle School Business and Technology Teacher
Chelsey Meyer: Jordan Middle School Counselor