In the classroom, a chime is an effective tool for calming the brain in preparation for learning. (You can even use a glass and a spoon if a chime isn’t available.) Many teachers find this exercise to be a helpful transition after returning to the classroom from recess or lunch because the chime signals to the brain that it is now time to breathe and pay attention.

Why We Like It

The chime is like magic because it has a calming, grounding effect. Most children respond really well to its soothing sound. By listening to that one sound, students are focusing the prefrontal cortex which wires the brain to focus in other situations, like listening to teachers or parents. In this exercise, students are building self regulation, listening skills, and attention span.

What to Say

Tell students that we will practice breathing while listening to the chime. This will calm our brains and prepare them to learn.

  • Sit in mountain pose, straight and tall.
  • Close your eyes if you like.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Listen for the sound of the tone.
  • Raise your hand when you can’t hear it anymore.
  • Continue to breathe deeply until you hear the chime again.

“Peeking” may be part of getting comfortable with the exercise. Children want to see what others are doing, especially when they can’t hear the tone anymore. Bring students back to their breathing and listening. Remind them that each person breathes and hears differently, and that is completely normal!

Video: Using the Chime in the Classroom

On the first day of school, this teacher demonstrates to students how they will use the chime in their classroom throughout the year to calm and focus their brains in preparation for learning. The chime exercise is a great way to settle the nervous energy in the classroom starting from day one.

More Chime Resources

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