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co-founder I am Bullyproof Music

This is too fabulous for

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This is too fabulous for words. I REALLY love what you've suggested here and can't wait to share! To show how much I agree, I could link to our "Monkey" video, our "Monkey" blog, our "Monkey" everything but I don't want to hijack your space with our monkeys. Please just know your deep wisdom is highly appreciated by this peanut gallery.

Director, Antioch Center for School Renewal

When I used to teach theatre,

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When I used to teach theatre, we would spend time on the idea of the "internal monologue"- the interior script running in a character's mind that impacted how he or she reacted to what was going on in the scene- both in word and in action. One of the exercises I had them do was write an internal monologue of their own, just tracking the thoughts and feelings they experienced for one 15 minute period of the day (they got to pick when). When we talked about what they noticed (and some kids shared excerpts), they were surprised to find how many of them were thinking the same things.

It also reminds me of some of the mindfulness work my colleagues are doing, since so much of mindfulness is about being aware of what's happening (internally and externally) right now- not what we expect to happen or wish would happen or are afraid will happen. Being fully present in the moment really helps kids to avoid the thought holes.

Great post- I can't wait to share it!

MA/TCP student at URI, Kingston, RI (Elementary Ed)

Thank you for the feedback!

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Thank you for the feedback! I have a particular student in mind, and my first thought is to have this student try illustrating his thoughts in a comics-style format when next feeling challenged/anxious.

Founder and Chief Storyteller at GoStrengths.com

Re: Scaffolding for Younger Students

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@Lauren - great question. Students K-2 are definitely capable of absorbing these concepts. In terms of scaffolding, a great place to start is self-awareness--specifically, the concept of self-talk. Younger students are fascinated to learn that everyone has thoughts running through their mind which they may or may not verbalize. When I teach to a group this young, I like to show them animations or comics which have characters with thought bubbles over their heads. Students can then think of themselves like one of those cartoon characters with a hovering thought bubble. They can then learn to pause and catch their thoughts (visualizing using a net to catch their thoughts can make it fun and easy to practice). Awareness of self-talk sets the groundwork for moving into deeper learning concepts such as thought holes.

Lauren, I love your question because I believe we should start young with a lot of these concepts. Kids have a great capacity for emotional intelligence, even at a very young age. :)

MA/TCP student at URI, Kingston, RI (Elementary Ed)

How to Scaffold for Younger Students

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Hello Renee -

I really like the ideas and approach in this article. I agree that developing an awareness of and learning to choose our own thoughts is empowering - I'm interested in your thoughts for how this type of approach might be scaffolded for younger students who are exhibiting some of the thought hole patterns, i.e. K-2?

Gifted Education Specialist

I agree with Renee that

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I agree with Renee that judging *accurately* is more important than wearing rose colored glasses. Only through seeing ourselves accurately are we motivated to be better and can we understand how to be better.

Founder and Chief Storyteller at GoStrengths.com

It's about accuracy. :)

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@Melanie, it may come off as "positive thinking," but I think it's more about "accurate thinking." Students can learn to collect as much evidence as possible (much like a trial lawyer would do when presenting a case in court) to paint an accurate picture of any challenge they face. In this, they may still have a negative interpretation of a situation because it's actually pretty negative! That's fine as not everything they go through will be joyful/happy/positive. The great thing in practicing the 3Cs is they learn there may be blind spots in their initial perception of an adverse situation and then they have tools to bring themselves back to a more realistic interpretation.

Educational Consultant/Author, Southern California

To summarize

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Accentuate the positive.

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