MILENTOS WEEK: Class of Madame Fichet (CE1 à L’école de la Forêt)
Jane Vrettos, a British Teacher, directed 4 sessions of her Milentos programme.
This is a project which she is putting in place in English schools and offers fun activities and games to improve the following skills:
- Improve concentration and memory
- Improve balance, posture, agility and coordination
- Strengthen social skills
- Boost confidence, self-discipline, self-esteem and sense of identity
- Teach relaxation and positive thinking
We started each session with a “PowWow”: we used an object (a PowWow tool) and passed it around the class. Whoever had the tool had the opportunity to talk while everyone else listened. The questions all focused on the meaning given to the activities or the expectations of them (what do you think we are going to do? And why?)
Then we did exercises: “brain aerobics”; they involve a variety of exercises to: stretch, relax, energise, balance and focus the body and mind – and also lateralising exercises to help the left and right side of the brain to function effectively together. Sometimes the rhythmic exercises are made to music.
We also did a wide variety of games including:
Parachute games to learn to cooperate with each other and work as a team
Contact and communication games with each other to learn to take into account others through verbal and non-verbal messages (for example eye contact, and other communication)
Songs in French and English to understand: the body’s needs for water, better understand our emotions, develop self-esteem and memory.
On a serious note, we sat in a circle, discussed with the group as a whole:
Balloon Game to help reduce negative emotions:
We had to write our fears on the balloons and burst them
And sometimes we worked in smaller groups, for example for the game of positive stones, when we discussed own positivity, and also the positivity of others:
On each stone was written a positive affirmation that the students had to finish orally:
“I like being helpful to …” – “I’m good at …” – “I’m getting better at …” – “I like being kind to …” – “I’m clever when …”
We have learnt to say “Positive Affirmations” rhythmically, while clapping and stamping, and playing other games to instil the positivity into our minds:
We had a nutritious snack during two of the sessions: this is a social activity, and everyone learns to fuel the body and the brain with the right kind of food:
Each session, the Relaxation was the final activity, during which students learned relaxation techniques, visualization and positive thinking. And the affirmations used in the sessions; especially “I can, I can, I can”