10. Small-Group Responsive Services Narrative
The groups were chosen based on the data I received from teachers and parents.
One group I determined there was a need, the group was named the Mindfulness/ Relaxation Group. The group runs for a total of ten weeks from early fall through winter for weekly sessions. The students within this group were chosen based on the fact that many first and second grade students were entering the year with many signs of anxiety and fear. The transition from kindergarten to first grade is full of changes for these students. The children move to a new building, have all new teachers, as well as new support staff. Students making this transition show signs of fear when entering this new environment at this young age. To address this need, the Mindfulness/ Relaxation group was formed.
In reflecting upon the data results, I have used the information to conclude that there are simple, yet effective ways to deliver my groups in a way to see greater success. A way to demonstrate true ownership of the lesson is to allow students to turnkey what they've been taught to other students. For example, I can have the second graders teach the first graders in group different ways to practice mindfulness for purposes of relaxation. This will both empower the second graders and inspire the first graders in this practice of mindfulness.
I have decided for the next year of group, I will adjust how I collect data in my pre and posttest. I see now that both the quality and quantity of questions needs addressing. I would like to create more of a balance between close-ended and open-ended questions. For example, I would ask for definitions of mindfulness, peace, relaxation, to later have the students connect these three terms together as the group lessons unfold. As an open-ended question, I would ask how the practice of mindfulness can enhance their daily lives and how they can use it in times of stress or unrest.
ASCA Mindsets and Standards for this small group focus on self-management skills. Students will be able to demonstrate self-discipline and self-control. Students will also be able to demonstrate effective coping skills when faced with a problem. These are the focus for my small group because they allow for students to manage their emotions and reactions in an independent way. Fostering this independence at this young age helps build a foundation for future success in a larger world.
My lessons in small group are beneficial in that we work more closely in a small group setting. The students feel more comfortable to grow in their mindfulness under my guidance. Results indicate that they are able to absorb the lessons and activities and fully utilize them in their daily lives. Based on results, the lower scores on the pre-tests informed me that there is a lack of mindfulness being addressed on a larger school-wide scale. This information allows me to reflect on my core curriculum and full-class lessons. In looking at these pre-test scores, I have decided to add a touch of mindfulness to more of my lessons throughout the year, to address this lack.