FOCUSEDKIDS™ FOR TEACHERS
FocusedKids™ for Teachers
Welcome, teachers! This is the place to get the FocusedKids™ curriculum for your classroom.
Research & Benefits
From the current research in child development, we know that children need experiences that are repeated and intentional to develop a healthy brain. There are certain neuro-connections required for them to self-regulate. They must learn and practice certain behaviors to delay gratification, contain urges to react, focus their attention, and manage themselves in healthy, productive ways. Their brain is wired to learn these skills, but they must practice, many times, certain behaviors for success. FocusedKids™ provides a framework for this learning.
There are two reasons to prepare yourself first:
- You will feel more comfortable with the material, and
- With practice, you will begin wiring your brain for calmer responses to stressful situations.
Whatever strategy you develop for chaotic situations, the more you practice it, the more tightly wired your neuro-connections become for that response. It becomes a new habit!
Practice does not mean sitting meditation for long periods every day. It does mean taking breaks “short moments, many times.” (Sharon Salzberg) So use these simple lessons in breathing, using your body, and tuning into one or more of your senses for those breaks in the moments you can find during your day.
Example: Linda was an excellent elementary school teacher who I had the privilege of observing on several occasions. In emotionally or behaviorally charged situations, when her students had trouble following directions or were rowdy, she did the opposite. Quietly, without words, she would walk over to her desk where she kept a novel open, face down. She’d sit down, put her feet up on the desk, and begin to read to herself. Within moments, the kids would notice she had retreated, and like magic, they would fall in line. Linda had practiced this response so much, that it became automatic when the situation called for it. The children had also experienced it enough to feel its calming effect and responded to her energy, or co-regulated.
After reviewing the Adult Lesson, take a look at the FocusedKids™ handbook. This is a simple guide for learning about the brain and providing healthy early experiences for children in order to stimulate their brains in ways that support healthy development. These exercises provide strategies to use throughout life.
VIEW HANDBOOK IN SPANISH
FocusedKids™ Teacher Workbook
Created specifically for teachers, this comprehensive workbook covers brain science, resources for teaching kids to regulate their minds and bodies, and helpful tips for making the FocusedKids™ curriculum part of your classroom culture.
There are six main lessons and several supplemental lessons, each available as a downloadable PDF. You can start by reading through each lesson and following the instructions included.
The Brain Lesson is the first lesson in the curriculum and is foundational to all the other lessons. Please read through all the lessons and familiarize yourself with, even practice, the activities children will learn.
The FocusedKids™ lessons are easy and fun to teach, and our hope is that once you start using them, they will become part of your daily classroom routine.
Our target begins with the preschool population because we believe helping them early on with the skills of calming, focusing, and self-regulation while their brain is most pliable will produce better outcomes for them.
1st–2nd GRADE TRAINING
2020-2021 Professional Development Series
During our monthly conversations, we will take time to pause, focus on you the teacher, and explore how you can support your classroom either in person or virtually during these challenging times. We will provide simple and practical developmental tools to help you and your students be calmer and more focused.
Kathy Hegberg and Amanda Petersen will facilitate 45-minute conversations via Zoom with monthly guest speakers who are experts in the field of education, mindfulness, and child development. Featured guests will also include teachers from other communities who are invested in doing this important work. You will receive salary advancement or continuing education credit each time you participate in a live Zoom chat.
Recorded Zoom Trainings
Below are links to recordings of our past FocusedKids™ teacher meetings:
- Making Brain Language a Part of Your Classroom Culture: Self-Regulation – October 14, 2019
- Self Care and Safe Relationships (Yoga 'n da Hood) – November 4, 2019
Creating a Classroom of Gratitude – December 2, 2019
Rico Dickerson, Momentous Institute: Movement and the Brain – March 2, 2020
Tina Payne Bryson: Parenting During COVID – April 5, 2020
Dr. Chris Willard: Teaching During COVID – Password: 5Y&a55^G – May 4, 2020
- Final Wrap-up – Password: 3K%$n+!0 – June 8, 2020
Click here for a list of books, articles, websites, and apps that we highly recommend.