Wednesday, October 14, 2015

YouthLight Book Review: The Legend of The Regulators and The Secret List: The Keys to Learning Self-Regulation

The concept of self-regulation has to do with the mindful, intentional, and thoughtful behaviors of children. It also refers to the capacity to control one’s impulses, both to stop or start doing something (behavior, emotion, thought).   
At first, I was a bit concerned about where the story in this book was going. The concepts are also explained in a manner that may be a little advanced for all elementary students and you may find greater success with late elementary or 6th grade. What I like about this book is that it is a bit interactive. Younger students can find clues within the illustrations (which I found myself doing) and practice auditory skills by making a sound when they hear a certain word repeated throughout the story. However, it is a very long book for an elementary classroom lesson. It is nearly 40 pages in length. So perhaps, it is a story that could be shared with a student individually; in addition to creating a classroom lesson from it...which definitely needs to be taught over a few lessons. On another note, it could easily be made into a great small group, for it has discussion questions, activities, and a chart of how to understand and teach self-regulation. Finally, if you have a annual theme or skill you teach your students for the year, then this book could definitely be used for that. 

If you are unsure of what self-regulation is, it is a great tool to teach children. The skills they can learn from this way of being can assist them for the rest of their adult lives and create enriching experiences. To find out more, please visit the author's website Self Regulation Station.

It truly is an extraordinary topic!

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

YouthLight Book Review: Squirmy:Learning to Be Mindful

When I was working on my PhD in counseling, the professors would talk to us about learning how to be fully present. I totally understood that concept as it related to working with clients and students; as well as other facets of my life. Soon after graduation, mindfulness was all the rage. It was everywhere. And everyone had a spin on it. I soon tuned it out. Then I started hearing about yoga for students/children...then, mindfulness for children. I was not sold. HOWEVER, this book helped me to understand how mindfulness or being fully present, can work for children. It's a great story of a little caterpillar who cannot wait to be a butterfly. She wants to be one so bad, she forgets to enjoy the here and now. The author does a great job of simplifying what can be a complex subject. It's an awesome resource for early elementary grades; for the print, pages and illustrations are large and sure to help those children who need a little assistance with awareness or noticing and appreciating their surroundings. It is a wee bit long, so you may need to break it up over two lessons if you are short on classroom lesson time or your audience's attention spans are short.

It's an extraordinary lesson!

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