It is so important to teach children at an early age that they have tools they can access when they feel intense emotions and need a way to refocus or recenter. Focusing on your breath is a quick and easy way to shift your mindset and bring your focus back to the present moment. Taking deep, purposeful breaths also activates your parasympathetic nervous system and helps to calm your body. I use breathing techniques in the classroom at the very beginning of our day and throughout the day as needed and it makes a huge difference in classroom management. After students are explicitly taught why and how to take deep breaths, they are able to use these techniques to help regulate themselves. You and your students can have a lot of fun learning and coming up with different breaths to do each day. Here are a few of my favorites...
Call and Response
>Teacher: One, Two, Three
>Students: Everybody Breathe
Everyone takes a deep breath in and a slow breath out.
> Inhale for 3
> Hold for 3
>Exhale for 3
>Hold for 3
As you do each step, move your finger
in an imaginary square in front of your body.
Put your hands together at your heart.
>Inhale, lift your arms up above you.
>Exhale, bring your arms down to your side forming the shape of a rainbow.
Repeat as needed. For a fun and energizing version, inhale up the same, and on the exhale explode like a volcano!
Follow the mountain up with your finger
>Inhale for 3
Follow the mountain down with your finger
>Exhale for 3
Do this with the rest of the mountains.