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  • A calm, creative force in the classroom.
  • An optimal learning environment.
  • Easy integration with core curriculum.
  • Methods for implementing character education.
  • Environmental education and awareness.
  • Innovative health and wellness teaching techniques.

We will examine these features of the YogaKids Tools for Schools program in greater depth in this section, along with goals, objectives and benefits in each area.

A Calm, Creative Force in the Classroom

Goal: Management of Students’ Classroom Behavior, Energy, and Attention

Objectives:

  • Tools for School GoalsEquip students with simple behavior management strategies.
  • Equip teachers with peaceful strategies for managing classroom behavior.
  • Revitalize students when energy is sluggish.
  • Provide yoga “Desk Breaks” to improve focus and attention.
  • Create appropriate outlets for excessive energy and emotional overload.

Benefits: Imagine… Walking into a classroom full of students. Many are fidgeting, and some are slumped over their desks, while others are staring off into space. “Take 5,” their teacher announces. All at once, the children take a deep breath for 5 seconds and release their breath over 5 seconds. The teacher says, “Let’s do Tree pose,” and for the next 30 seconds, the students stand at their desks, take a moment to focus straight ahead, and lift one leg and both arms into the pose. Their teacher walks them through the pose, using a yoga Pose Card as a guide. The students sit back at their desks – calmer, more alert, and focused. Even their postures look better!

An Optimal Learning Environment

Goal: Student Comprehension, Assimilation, and Retention of Material, and Demonstration of Knowledge

Objectives:

  • Reduce test anxiety through simple relaxation strategies.
  • Improve concentration before testing.
  • Relax and de-stress students, clearing the way for improved learning.
  • Create an environment where students can focus, learn, and perform successfully.
  • Build self-esteem as students realize learning potential without barriers from stress and anxiety.
  • Link learning to movement, addressing bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
  • Honor students’ individual learning styles.

Benefits: Imagine… It’s moments before test time. Students are putting away their papers, clearing off their desks, and getting out their pencils. The pre-test tension in the air is palpable. The teacher turns down the lights and the students rest their heads on their desks. A calming story or guided visualization leads them on an imaginary journey to far-away lands, riding on a fluffy cloud. They visit places related to the information on which they will be tested, to help them recall important facts. As their cloud gently brings them back down to the ground, they lift their heads off the desk and approach their test without anxiety, ready for this opportunity to demonstrate what they really know.

Easy Integration with Core Curriculum

Goal: Integration of Yoga as a Teaching Tool Across All Curricula

Objectives:

  • Link learning to movement, addressing bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
  • Provide information in ways accessible to all multiple intelligences.
  • Integrate with Physical Education/Health curriculum.
  • Integrate with English/Language Arts curriculum.
  • Integrate with Mathematics curriculum.
  • Integrate with Fine Arts curriculum.
  • Integrate with Science curriculum.
  • Integrate with Social Studies curriculum.
  • Integrate with Music curriculum.

Benefits: Imagine… Today’s lesson plan is on the rain forest ecosystem. Students put down their books and move into an open area to learn about the rain forest’s qualities through movement and yoga -- kinesthetic learning. Their teacher pulls The Great Kapok Tree Lesson Plan from the Nurture Nature category, along with the corresponding pose cards from the Yoga Box and the students’ rain forest adventure is about to begin. The teacher places the cards on display for the students to see (using the tack-on mat enclosed in the Tools for Schools package). The 30-minute lesson, is easy to use and lots of fun! Students become the fauna of the rain forest understory as they slither like snakes, flap like flamingos and float like butterflies. Students create the canopy and emergent layers of the Rain forest by holding hands and raising them as they create a forest of Tree poses. By the time the lesson is complete, the students have learned about the ecosystem, the interdependence of all living things, and much more. Their most urgent question is: “When can we do that again?”

Methods for Implementing Character Education

Goal: Internalization and Practical Application of Character Education

Objectives:

  • Use actions and practical examples to teach character education, so students learn to integrate it into their lives.
  • Teach tolerance, acceptance, and compassion.
  • Promote self-esteem, self-control, and respect for self and others.
  • Provide practical, peaceful strategies for conflict resolution.
  • Increases awareness of environmental and multi-cultural issues.
  • Encourage responsibility for one’s own words and actions.
  • Build cooperation and communication skills.
  • Highlight additional traits of character, such as gratitude, caring and sharing, etc.

Benefits: Imagine… Tempers are flaring in one area of a classroom. Two students are having a heated debate about how to complete their group’s project. The teacher sees the potential for this conflict to escalate, (sounds like it has already) as other students have now stopped their work and are listening to the argument, and may soon start to take sides. The teacher intervenes, asking the two students to retreat to one corner of the room designated as the Peace Zone, and find a way to work out their problem. The other students are led through a series of yoga poses to help shake off the tension from the disagreement, and then some calming breaths to help them refocus on their own projects. After a few minutes, the two students emerge from the corner, where they have practiced some breathing exercises and come up with a compromise they can both accept. The teacher congratulates them on their success, and everyone gets back to work. Order reigns instead of chaos, confidence instead of frustration.

Environmental Education and Awareness

Goal: Appreciation and Understanding of the Environment and our Connection to Nature

Objectives:

  • Highlight the connection humans have to all living things.
  • Teach respect of the Earth and her inhabitants.
  • Encourage students to care for the environment.
  • Promote compassionate thoughts and actions.

Benefits: Imagine… A teacher sharing the Tree Pose Card with the class. Students prepare by standing tall with their feet flat on the ground. “A tree can live for hundreds of years,” the teacher says; then asks, “What holds a tree steady in the ground for so many years?” “Roots!” the students reply. The teacher cues them to imagine they have roots growing into the earth from their feet. The students close their eyes to feel their roots deepening into the ground. When ready, the students open their eyes, raise one leg to create a low branch, and raise both arms upward to create high branches. Focal points around the classroom help them balance and tune out distractions. As they lower their branches and try the pose on the opposite side, the teacher encourages them create any tree they choose – an apple, orange, or dream tree! After practicing the pose, the class discusses the cycle of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange between humans and trees. This leads into a discussion of deforestation. Many valuable discussions and lessons continue to stem from this one subject, as students learn to see the connections between all living things.

Innovative Health and Wellness Teaching Techniques

Goal: Fitness Fun and Feeling Great

Objectives:

  • Improve posture.
  • Improve fitness.
  • Improve flexibility.
  • Improve balance.
  • Improve coordination.
  • Improve strength.
  • Improve digestion.
  • Teach students about their bodies and how they work.
  • Achieve all of the above objectives in a non-competitive, non-judgmental, non-threatening way.

Benefits: Imagine…Students filing into the gym for Physical Education ready to move and develop their physical skills. The PE teacher chooses several yoga Pose Cards, or perhaps pulls all the Pose Cards that correspond to a Lesson Plan included in the YogaKids Tools for Schools package. Students find a mat and sit for breathing exercises, yoga poses and relaxation. One student beams as he balances in the Eagle pose for his teacher’s full count of ten seconds. Another feels strong and powerful in the Warrior pose. A third student is astonished when she is able to touch her forehead to her knees in Peanut Butter and Jelly pose for the first time. All the students enjoy participating in this non-competitive form of activity, reaping benefits beyond what is apparent. They feel calmer and stand taller as they line up after the session to return to their classroom. They even seem to sit taller in their seats the rest of the school day. Periodically, their classroom teacher says, “It’s time for a Desk Break!” The students smile as they stand near their desks, and take a moment to stretch, strengthen, balance, twist or move before returning to their work.
 

TFS Goals Objectives and Benefits

"YogaKids is a great concept and wonderful program for children. I love the component of Reading Comes Alive with Yoga. The YogaKids book and DVDs will be excellent resources in my classroom."

~ Thea Bartha, Special Education Teacher, Arlington, Virginia

A complete yoga for children program providing yoga poses for kids, yoga in the classroom, kids yoga dvd and much more!

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