“How will we provide authentic learning experiences through a screen? How will we respond to social and emotional needs if we are teaching remotely?" All valid pandemic-era questions. Here is the opportunity as I see it: to demonstrate the problem-solving mindset we learn in class and apply it to the pandemic obstacles we're facing. To have my students see me practice what I teach.
Any day you happen into a classroom at my school, you will find a Morning-Meeting message board to greet eager learners. Morning messages anchor and prepare students for the direction of the day's learning. Morning Meetings also include a greeting to acknowledge fellow peers with respect, a sharing period to build community, and an activity period to stimulate thinking and movement. Curious what this looks like in practice? Here's a recent day in the life of a fourth-grade class.
As an academic-technology specialist, I aim to provide authentic and student-driven learning opportunities. I believe that children learn best when pursuing their own interests while constantly exploring their safe, supportive, and stimulating environments. Through these experiences I am able to help my students find the interconnectedness of the world.
The following activities are games of mindful curiosity. With a little imagination added in, they can help turn your home into a treasure trove of small marvels. They are intended for parents with younger children, but adults will also find them satisfying and meditative. This post includes a link to a free printable.
According to Brené Brown, "empathy fuels connection." In turn, appreciating someone's perspective can fuel empathy. But sometimes our assumptions about someone else can limit our curiosity to see through their eyes. Creative games can break us out of this rut, reminding us to stay curious about how someone else sees the world.
To navigate our world in a practical manner, we can't stop to marvel at everything we see and hear. Yet we remain surrounded by a feast of smaller, subtler marvels in every moment. We have a choice to notice and appreciate these exquisite wonders in our everyday. This is mindfulness; to choose where we place our attention.