“The senses, being the explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge. Our apparatus for educating the senses offers the child a key to guide his explorations of the world…”
~Dr. Maria Montessori
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have searched “mindful classroom rules” on almost every search engine out there this summer. Scrambling to add the finishing touches to the newly designed PreK room for the year, I searched frantically - again - for a set of those mindful classroom rules to print and pop onto the wall. Because, well...why reinvent the wheel if something is already out there. But, what if it isn’t? What if you have to actually be one with your own mind space and create your own. That was the case and what a blessing in disguise it has become. The answer was right there in front of me the whole time! I just needed to be present in my own room for a moment to realize so.
Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting offers the first gateway to understanding the world and the interactions that take place between others. Using the senses to guide agreements, or rules, for student interactions within their environments (home, school, community, etc) can offer a familiar anchor as kiddos enter new stimulating situations. That is why many educators of young learners use senses as the baseline for creating such “classroom rules.” As a PreK teacher of 4 & 5 year olds, I do the same.
In the past, our rules have been the following:
This year’s class agreements are similar, but have much more depth and meaning.
Life experiences all come down to a stimulus and our response to it. So, why not integrate the rules and a mindful pause between the stimulus and response. With that, I dappled in organizing the sense-based rules into two groups (stimulus and response) and tweaked.
This is what I came up with…
I can not even begin to rave about how it has not only anchored my own teaching intentions, but how the students respond to the relatable language. It offers a self-regulatory guide to explorations of the inner and outer worlds that the kiddos are soaking in. It all just makes sense. At least for us…;-)
Teachers, parents, caregivers-please feel free to give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Enjoy the new school year!
the blog space
~Derek, Father of 2 and Elementary School Principal
Just a girl with a dream to collectively build a healthy mind space for children, while creating a healthier mind space for ourselves.
Copyright Healthy Mind Space 2019