Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
As the end of the school year or term draws nears, you may have students who act as if they’ve mentally left for vacation already!
Here’s an attentionology trick to pull students back where they still need to be…in school.
Use the magic of Mini Mind Wandering Time.
When it’s clear that students aren’t at their attention-best, hold the scold and suggest instead that it’s time for Mini Mind Wandering Time.
Imagine kids’ surprise when you unexpectedly give them permission to NOT pay attention – that is, to not pay attention for a limited amount of time.
Choose a Travel Zone to Mind Wander To - Lead into this magical Mini Mind Wandering Time by suggesting to the class that before you begin the lesson ahead, they’re free to choose a travel zone to mind wander to…for a few minutes.
Kick start imaginary travel time by asking where they’d like to be outdoors or indoors if they could be anywhere right now.
Ask for a few volunteers to call out their choice destinations.
A little call-out time releases energy and stress, paving the way for improved focus when you return to lesson time.
Then ask for absolute quiet.
Explain that mind wandering is private and requires quiet.
Encourage kids to imagine themselves using a magical mode of transportation to their travel zones.
Back to the Classroom Campground – Close Mini Mind Wandering Time with an announcement that now it’s time to meet back up at “the classroom campground” (or group meeting area with a name that suits your community, country and culture.)
Designating your classroom as “a campground” creates more opportunity for later mind wandering time. For example, when students seem restless, you can invite them to stand up, stretch, and picture themselves at “a campground.”
As kids rise, ask them to close their eyes and mind wander about what they might see and do at “a campground.”
Follow up this Mini Mind Wandering Time by instructing students to join you in a circle in the center of “the campground” for storytelling time.
How else can you use the magic of Mini Mind Wandering Time? (more…)