Editor’s Note: Mindy Long is the Assistant Principal of Lamarque Elementary School and a Mind in the Making facilitator.
One of the most exciting parts of participating in the Mind in the Making cohorts is when you see former participants light up over a connection.
This school year, the district provided an opportunity to elementary schools called Project Amplify. Project Amplify is provided as part of the Any Given Child grant and incorporates the arts. One of the talented teaching artists came to our school to share with the teachers an approach that connects art strategies to the classroom. Two of the teachers that joined the Project Amplify training were also members of a MITM cohorts.
The teaching artist had the students participate in an interactive exercise. The purpose was for the students to calm their minds and bodies by practicing focus and self-control. Students were challenged to hold completely still and focus on an object for set amounts of time. The levels of difficulty increased as students progressed through the challenge. The kids enjoyed the new approach, and it was a perfect way to regroup during transitions.
The teachers were excited to add this activity to their tool-box and recognized the importance of this executive function, focus and self-control, in student success.