Gratitude. Appreciation. Thankfulness.. Today's lesson teaches the children the importance & practice of looking for the good. While we have started each day sharing a positive thought ( see more here) and learned how our brain easily forgets the good ( here), it is important to teach children and remind the staff working with them how this simple practice benefits everyone.
Today's focus was how thinking of the positive big or small can shift or magnify positive emotions. Research on emotion shows that positive emotions wear off quickly where as the negatives one remain longer. We tend to find/see the negative easily (even ruminate on it ) but the positive not so much. There has been an abundance of research on this topic and it is clear that training ourselves to look for the good in ourselves, others, and daily events no matter how small ( a smile, someone opening the door or listening to you etc.) can have a positive impact on the person.
' Grateful people not only feel good, but they act good, so to speak; their joy and enthusiasm is palpable to others. Studies show that people who have been taught to practice being appreciative offer more emotional support to other people. Grateful people are more likely to be both kind and helpful. See more here.
However it is not easy in todays classrooms and beyond. It is in fact far too easy to fall into a negative mindset.
So, the lesson began by reminding the children about our Velcro vs Teflon brain lesson . They were asked to close their eyes and think about some things they were grateful for. These were listed along with what we noticed while thinking & sharing these thoughts/memories. ( happy, peaceful, excited). But the children also remarked that sad thoughts/memories came up and it was hard to think of something positive. The listing/sharing helped and grew . It seemed contagious.
The children were then given the emwaves to see if thinking/ remembering the good did indeed have a positive influence on their ability to go green. This was followed by completing another page in their digital journals about gratitude.
Welcome to my classroom!
I am passionate, a little bit quirky ( some may say a little bit more) and dedicated to serving children with Autism. These young people have touched me deeply and have made me a better teacher & hopefully person. I want to share what I have learned that allows these beautiful children to grow & sometimes thrive in my class.