Friday, October 18, 2013

Thoughts and Feelings

These are just two of the fun concepts we've been learning about in Peace Classes for the lower grades these past few weeks! We have continued practicing our mindful breathing at the start of each class, this time using the idea of a thought bubble to help us focus our minds on listening to the bell and our breathing. Each child drew his or her own "Happy Thoughts" in a thought bubble, and I encouraged the kids to try focusing on those thoughts the next time they are feeling sad or angry. This week we also watched a video starring Elmo using deep belly breathing to get his "mad monster" out and feel like himself again. The kids practiced breathing along with Elmo to help ourselves feel calm. We also learned many of the names we have for different feelings, and how being able to name our feelings can actually help us feel better! This is not just touchy-feely stuff, there are research studies that have supported the idea that when we can name our strong emotion, it no longer has the same power over us. So parents, encourage your kids to tell you how they're feeling, use the deep breathing when needed, and to try focusing their thoughts on happy things. Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lafayette's Mindfulness Program in the news

Valerie Strauss devoted her blog last week to mindfulness in schools.  You may have heard that Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda is about to launch a school-wide mindfulness program.  In an article in the Post about the Whitman program they mentioned that Whitman is the first school in the region to have such a program.  But they didn't know about Lafayette!  We wrote to the paper and right away Valerie Strauss blogged about the Whitman program and then highlighted our program.  She even quotes from our own website!  Mindfulness training is really taking off all over the country and Lafayette is on the cutting edge.  Read all about it here:

If you have any questions about our school-wide mindfulness program feel free to contact Linda Ryden ( or Jillian Diesner (


Linda Ryden
Teaching Peace
Lafayette Elementary School