Teaching and Learning - MindUp

MindUP teaches children how to have more control over their thoughts, feelings and actions. In 2017 we introdued MindUP as our social skills program to encourage and support children to be the very best person they can possibly be. The following information is taken directly from the MindUP website. We encourage you to jump online and learn a little more about MindUP for yourself. https//mindup.org

MindUP™ teaches children about their brains

  • There are so many things in life that children have no control over — bedtime, what they are allowed to eat and how much TV they get to watch. However, when you teach children how their brain works — it is a revelation to them. We obviously don’t teach an advanced form of neuroscience, but we do teach children the key parts of the brain and the science behind how the brain influences their thinking, emotions and behavior in the setting of a mindful classroom. Once children and young people begin to make the associations between what they are thinking, how they are feeling and how they are acting, they gain the power to make more mindful choices. To stop and pause, before they react. This self-regulation can lead to better focus in school, better cooperation with others and improved self-awareness and self-control.

MindUP™ teaches children to take Brain Breaks

  • Every brain needs a break now and then, which is why taking a few brain breaks everyday is part of the core MindUP™ practice. A brain break is a short three minute break where children are asked to quiet their minds in order to prepare their brain to learn. Neuroscience has proven that when the amygdala (the part of our brain responsible for fight, flight or freeze) is on overdrive is it almost impossible for the pre-frontal cortex (the part of the brain that is responsible for decision making) to do its job, or for the hippocampus (the part of the brain that holds our memories) to remember what you have learned. This is why we encourage that three minute brain breaks be practiced three times a day — first thing in the morning, immediately after lunch and before leaving school for the day. In addition, we are encouraging teachers to use the brain breaks before tests as well, to relax the children who are anxious about testing. The science of neuroplasticity states that as little as 15 minutes of mindful practice each week can change the physiology of the brain and facilitate access to calm and relaxed concentration. Think of this as exercising the brain like a muscle,  it improves a child’s ability to have plan, work and focus on their school work.

MindUP™ encourages mindful action in the world

  • Research in positive psychology tells us that when we take positive actions in the world, it will make us think and feel more positive. MindUP™ focuses on lessons in a mindful classroom that promote this pro-social behavior, helping children transition from a “me-centric” orientation into a “we-centric” world. MindUP™ encourages children to explore their world with a sharpened sense of seeing, smelling, tasting and movement. We even suggest a new ways to mindfully engage with technology.  Whether it be encouraging random act of kindness for others, exploring a different perspective to gain deeper insight, expressing gratitude for what we are thankful for or actively choosing optimism when faced with adversity, MindUP™ creates a bedrock of positivity for children that can contribute to their growth with greater resilience for a lifetime.