The curriculum consists of eight lessons beginning with the brain lesson and using puppets as the brain parts. Teaching the essential brain concepts for self-control comes first. This is the foundational lesson. The succeeding units include mindful exercises for calming, focusing, and energizing, along with a lesson on feelings awareness. All lessons refer back to the basic brain concepts to reinforce the child’s knowledge of the brain, and sense of responsibility and control. Puppets are used throughout the curriculum.
Example: A 5-year-old was sent to the principal’s office for getting into a scuffle on the playground. He had learned the parts of his brain and had been practicing skills with his class. When asked what happened, he exclaimed: “I lost control of my amygdala, and couldn’t find my PFC to get it under control!” The principal took a quiet walk with him in the hall, while they pondered what he might do next time.

So many things are notable here. He didn’t blame anyone else, but rather took responsibility for his actions. Because the principal could maintain calm, the student could co-regulate with her instead of becoming more frightened and more agitated. The principal and he spoke the same language and could problem solve while taking a calming walk.

Before teaching the curriculum to kids, you will find a section called “Before You Teach.” The above example shows the importance of adults experiencing what they will teach the kids first. It gives an understanding of what it takes to sit calmly and breathe…not always easy! Practice not only aids the teaching of new material but may give you a leg up on your own self-regulation! Through practice, you are wiring your own brain for calm responses in charged situations, which allows you to use an approach as above.

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