Mindfulness and Kindness Pals welcome Lafayette ES students back to school.

Peace-of-Mind-Core-Curriculum-1-and-2Peace of Mind Class is in full swing at Lafayette ES in Washington DC. In all our Peace of Mind classes we are starting with an emphasis on mindfulness fundamentals. Our younger students in grades 1- 2 are learning about mindfulness by doing things mindfully, by paying close attention to what we are doing. We are learning to breathe mindfully, move mindfully, listen mindfully, and see mindfully.

To practice using our senses we ask the children to think of a color, or a shape, or a letter and then walk around the room silently counting up how many times we see our color, or shape, or letter. It is lots of fun to see things in a new way and it helps us to sharpen our attention to detail and to help us to stay attentive in the present moment.

Our third, fourth and fifth graders are focusing on what it feels like when we are in our mindful bodies, and are practicing mindful breathing. We have just begun to introduce awareness of our thoughts as we mindfully breathe.

In all of our classes we have introduced Kindness Pals. Each week children are assigned a Kindness Pal for whom they do nice things for one week. This is a very popular activity that achieves several goals. First, Kindness Pals remind the children to make kindness part of their daily lives. It has been proven that people who keep track of the kind things that they do tend to do more of them. Next, doing kind things for their own “Pal” will spill over into their treatment of others. Finally, pairing up the children provides opportunities for them to get to know each other and to “find the good” in people that they might not have gotten along with in the past or whom they think they just don’t like.

We’ve had a busy first few weeks in Peace of Mind Class! Let us know if you have any questions about what we’re doing here; we’d love to talk to you.

In peace,
Linda

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