Curriculum & Materials

Creating Space for Peace with Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

One part of peace education is creating a classroom environment in which students can experience a peaceful space. In the often high-stakes world of language learning, testing, and curriculum goals, it can be a challenge to integrate opportunities for this.

Educator Lori Desautels suggests that a combination of brain breaks and focused-attention practice during the class can not only help to reduce stress, but also to enhance performance.

“When presented with new material, standards, and complicated topics, we need to be focused and calm as we approach our assignments. We can use brain breaks and focused-attention practices to positively impact our emotional states and learning. They refocus our neural circuitry with either stimulating or quieting practices that generate increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, where problem solving and emotional regulation occur.”

Many of the suggestions she makes would be excellent for the language classroom and provide opportunities for creative language practice as well as a different type of thinking to refresh the mind and create a more peaceful classroom environment.

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About clwoelk

Cheryl Woelk is coordinator of Language for Peace and specializes in language and peace education in multicultural contexts. She holds an MA in Education and a graduate certificate in Peacebuilding from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, USA. Cheryl currently lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with her spouse and son.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Creating Space for Peace with Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

  1. Reblogged this on Laurie Woodward and commented:
    When peace surrounds a child, peace is within. A thoughtful article on how to create a calm environment.

    Like

    Posted by lauriewoodwardauthor | February 10, 2016, 8:16 am
  2. Excellent! These are such easy things to do when a class starts to seem disengaged, disconnected and chaotic. I think I would like to try beginning and ending classes with some of these activities, so as to help create an atmosphere of peace both entering and exiting the classroom.

    Like

    Posted by abigailjlong | February 10, 2016, 9:19 am

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Contributing Author

Cheryl Woelk is coordinator of Language for Peace and specializes in language and peace education in multicultural contexts. She holds an MA in Education and a graduate certificate in Peacebuilding from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, USA. Cheryl currently lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with her spouse and son.

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