Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Recessitate Your Classroom

A few weeks ago, I received a sample of Recessitate, a tool for classrooms. It is a collection of 24 color-coded activity cards in three categories: Calm Down, Gear Up, and Wake Up. The goal of the cards is to help students focus on their work, or to give them a mental break from intense schoolwork.

I wondered how well this product would work for homeschoolers so I decided to try it out on my own kids. All you have to do is pick a card (any card!), then read it and lead your children in the activity. For our first card, I chose this one from the calm down section:

The instructions on the back of the card are:

• Sit down comfortably
• Remember to breathe slowly in and out
• Close your eyes
• Imagine a leaf
• Imagine the twig that holds the leaf
• Imagine the branch that holds the twig
• Imagine the trunk that holds the branch
• Imagine the trunk firmly planted in the ground
• Imagine looking up the trunk to the top of the tree
• Imagine the tree full of branches and full of twigs and full of leaves
• Pause and take a quiet moment to imagine the leaves, twigs, branches and trunk of this beautiful tree
• Open your eyes when ready

I was immediately struck by the idea that basically this was a guided meditation for children. How awesome is that? My kids totally loved the whole experience. (Wow. We get to just sit and imagine?!?) The whole activity lasted just about five minutes, maybe a little less.

And afterwards, they were happy listeners, engaged in our lesson plan.

I don't usually have to 'wake up' or 'gear up' my kids, but I tried the other cards after we've had a particularly difficult math or reading lesson, and they certainly appreciated the break and the opportunity to move. I think it helped to relax and refresh their minds and get them back back into the swing of things. (In fact, I enjoyed it so much, too, that I thought about recording the directions on each card to play back to myself!)

Their website says that Recessitate aims to "engage diverse learners, increase student focus, build rapport, reduce stress, foster self-awareness, and create positive climates for learning." I think this product can do exactly that. I think traditional classrooms especially, could benefit from this tool, as well as homeschooling families.

I've mentioned before that healthy living - including a healthy diet and exercise plan - is essential to successful learning. I appreciate how this product allows children to be aware of their bodies and encourages movement.

If you're interested in learning more about Recessitate, please visit their site.

Con mucho cariño...

Disclosure: I received Recessitate as a review sample. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.


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