listening for peace

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In my early childhood classroom, instead of offering a variety of some/any material with no support, I provoke the selection process for each child’s special stone (for example) by prompting that there is enough for everyone, and that there is one meant just for you.

I explain that we will take time and silence to “listen” for the one meant for you, and that when you know it, you can calmly reach for and receive it. I am stunned repeatedly how well this works for my groups of 3-yr-olds. Brought me nearly to tears the other day, as these 3-yr-olds clearly and peacefully practiced and utterly knew and heard their stone call for them. (I do not know how else to describe it, and I do not like such cheezy woo-woo reference…)

I also describe that if ever two children sense the same stone is theirs – we will pause silently and “listen” again for the one that is truly meant “just for you.” I have thus far never had children reach for the same stone – or birthday cupcake, etc with time-space for this particular support. I have seen it work great for adults too!!!

The bags I just stitched (pictured) are to hold the growing collection of stones for each child. Over the course of a school year, we build a coordinated breathing and movement practice involving 4 stones. The exercise has many hidden practices including counting and geometry; increasing self-regulation; increasing sensory awareness of touch, hearing, and sight; integrating gesture and posture – periphery to core – fine and gross motor coordination; cross-midline body half and brain hemisphere coordination; to name a few…

Wish me luck tomorrow, as I try the same provocation for each child to choose their own “breathing stone bag.”

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2 Responses to “listening for peace”

  1. Betsy Dain Says:

    Oh! What astoundingly lucky 3-yr olds.

  2. jay Says:

    Love this post and the amazing life skills you are teaching them and that they are teaching you!

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