School Psych Made Simple

Mind Up Issue

What is Mind Up?

MindUp is a research based mindfulness training program that has been incorporated into the Cantiague Curriculum for the last 3 year, starting with the Kindergarten class in 2012. Currently, our fifth grade students are learning the tools of mindful awareness, focus and stress reduction.

It Starts with Understanding Brain Anatomy and Function

The program enables the children to understand what happens to their primitive brain when they are experiencing stress. They become familiar with the Amygdala - the body's security guard and alarm for danger, the Hippocampus - the scrapbook for our memories and experiences and the PreFrontalCortex or PFC for short - our wise leader who helps us make good decisions and understand our emotions.
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Brain Power Super Heros

The kids created Brain Power Super Hero Movie Trailers to bring to life the important "powers" of the different brain parts. They demonstrated their creativity and cooperation during this project.

The Core Practice

The children have learned that one really important way to calm the Amygdala and allow themselves to think logically and clearly is to engage in belly breathing or the Core Practice. We have talked about how to incorporate this into their daily lives, like when they wake up, at breakfast, on the bus to and from school, at dinner and at bed time. Making it a part of their routines will enable them to access this skill when they are stressed - like right before a test! I also like to use it when I am's a good deterrent to road rage!
Sesame Street: Common and Colbie Caillat - "Belly Breathe" with Elmo

Perspective Taking

We are now talking about how to use our P.F.C.s to understand how another person is feeling. The practice of perspective taking is a conflict resolution strategy that can help even with siblings! Discussing another's point of view at the dinner table or even in the car to and from a game is a great way to help your youngster hone this skill.
Perspective Taking with R Chi
Sesame Street: Mark Ruffalo: Empathy

Optimistic Mindset

Our next exploration of another stress reduction technique is developing an Optimistic attitude. Changing our self-talk is one way to promote an Optimistic Mindset. Try practicing the kinder alternatives below when your child is feeling frustrated or expresses these negative thoughts.
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School Psychologist