Instructor: Greg Sicheneder
Community: Grades 4-5, center based classroom of 10 students with cognitive disabilities/Autism, 30-40 minutes
Setting: Center based classroom after lunch and recess with one teacher and one to two educational assistants.
Plan Creation Date: April 1, 2013
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Listening
Props/Music: CD with relaxing music and picture of ocean or wildlife scene on smart board. White board with marker.
Notes: Several students also have a diagnosis of autism in this classroom. Some of the students have very good balance and coordination. Some of the students struggle with balance and coordination.
Check In: Then first staff and then students check in about how there are feeling today on a 5 point scale. Staff chooses deferring levels so students do not all just follow whoever is first and check in at the same level.
Feelings Discussion: Start each weekly session with a discussion of two opposite feelings such as Discouraged and Proud, or Sad and Silly. Staff goes first modeling times when they have felt these feelings while staff writes them on the white board. Students then share times when they have felt this way while these ideas are also written up on the board.
- Volcano Breathing – focusing on uplifting feeling of the day – or sending positive feelings to the persons in your lives that are feeling the more difficult feeling of the day ( usually have to do 20 jumping jacks first as this helps one of the students with Autism to feel more comfortable.)
- Mountain – As we stand strong as a mountain, what sounds might we hear?
- Twist – Hands at heart with standing twist
- Forward Bend
- Warrior I & or II
- Student Tree – One of the students jumps in a circle when we do tree so now we all try it. Some turn in a circle with hands over their heart.
- Sitting twist
- Relaxation – Head down on desks for relaxation & music turned up slightly. I read script from Ready Set relax for sections on imagination, senses or nature. As an alternate I could make up a script with the feelings for the day – or their feelings.
Addendum: It really helps in this class to follow the same basic structure each week as too much change increases certain students’ anxiety. While a number of students in the classroom are mischievous – when this was the word for the day I do not think they understood what it meant. So I generally point out when they are being mischievous. While a couple of students are slow to quiet down for the relaxation and one of them looks around until it is done and then pretends to be asleep – In general they do well with relaxation. Staff from the room have commented that it is the only time when they are quiet.