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Ms. Leslie’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Oakland International High School
  • Oakland, CA
  • Nearly all students from low‑income households

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Many students who come to our school have experienced traumas and hardships--both in their home countries, and in their journeys to the United States. When they arrive, they know little or no English. Learning a new language is challenging on its own. But the combination of having experienced serious and emotional hardships with no words to express them is frustrating. The leads to other forms of "communication," such as acting out in class, leaving the classroom, or withdrawing from classroom activities. My project is focused on building a toolkit students can use to understand their emotions, regulate themselves and make conscious and productive choices. The items on my list offer students different ways to "check in" with themselves, for example: -- through mindfulness exercises, using Hoberman sphere (to guide breathing), the Fire 7 tablet and headphones (for meditation apps), the zafu cushion and meditation bells -- through touch, by sitting on a comfortable rug, or wrapping themselves in a weighted blanket or a fleece -- through kinesthetic actions, using the wobble cushion, fidget toys, stress balls they can make (with balloons and cornstarch), puzzles and art materials --through smell, using the lavender aromatherapy scents -- through silence, using the sound-blocking headphones By using these tools students can create "brain breaks" in which they can become more aware of their emotions so they can make choices that will help them feel safer, in control, and ready to learn. In turn, these tools and the learning that goes with them will help students be more productive members of the classroom community, as well as in their respective communities outside of school.

About my class

Many students who come to our school have experienced traumas and hardships--both in their home countries, and in their journeys to the United States. When they arrive, they know little or no English. Learning a new language is challenging on its own. But the combination of having experienced serious and emotional hardships with no words to express them is frustrating. The leads to other forms of "communication," such as acting out in class, leaving the classroom, or withdrawing from classroom activities. My project is focused on building a toolkit students can use to understand their emotions, regulate themselves and make conscious and productive choices. The items on my list offer students different ways to "check in" with themselves, for example: -- through mindfulness exercises, using Hoberman sphere (to guide breathing), the Fire 7 tablet and headphones (for meditation apps), the zafu cushion and meditation bells -- through touch, by sitting on a comfortable rug, or wrapping themselves in a weighted blanket or a fleece -- through kinesthetic actions, using the wobble cushion, fidget toys, stress balls they can make (with balloons and cornstarch), puzzles and art materials --through smell, using the lavender aromatherapy scents -- through silence, using the sound-blocking headphones By using these tools students can create "brain breaks" in which they can become more aware of their emotions so they can make choices that will help them feel safer, in control, and ready to learn. In turn, these tools and the learning that goes with them will help students be more productive members of the classroom community, as well as in their respective communities outside of school.

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About my class

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