The Butterfly Project
Metamorphosis: Critical Thinking for Children
Metamorphosis: Effective Thinking (grades 2-3) Vision:
IT ALL BEGINS WITH GRATITUDE
“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child. “ -Carl Jung
We live in an era of vivid dynamism. Our children have more opportunities and resources than any generation before them. And while there may be some complexity in teaching them to effectively communicate in this decade of texts, blogs, and tweets, a journey begins with the first step. For us, that first step is GRATITUDE.
Gratitude has a natural amplification effect. When we begin our communications with gratitude, it is reflected all around us and returned to us in abundance.
“As I reflect on my 12 years as a teacher and the 350+ I’ve been blessed to work with, I think about what I could’ve done better. Children came to me as young as 4 and 5 years old with issues that adults struggle to handle. Death of loved ones, divorce, abuse, and the never-ending cycle of stress. No matter what issues they come in with, my job is to teach them to the best of my abilities. Besides reading, math, writing, social studies, and science…I teach them how to communicate, how to handle anger, how to foster positive relationships, and how to problem solve. I have limited resources, but using personal knowledge and experiences I do my best. I want my children to succeed in my classroom as well as in the real world. A program like, Metamorphosis: Effective Thinking (grades 2-3) isn’t just a want, it’s a need. My students need this foundation to build their lives on. I am a true believer in fostering life long learners. My students need skills to reduce and handle stress, anger, etc. This isn’t something you learn from TV, a computer, or video games. It’s something that needs to be taught and implemented on a consistent basis.”
-Angela: Elementary School Teacher in Mesa, AZ
Spatial awareness relates to the ability to orient oneself in space. It is knowledge that most children will develop naturally as they engage with the world at large. Spatial awareness is developed with little thought or effort, and as with any behavior, practice makes permanent.
“The only source of knowledge is experience” -Albert Einstein
Spatial awareness is both psychological and physical. Because it is a part of our overall perception and is linked directly to motivation, it can be a powerful education tool. The Metamorphosis: Critical Thinking for Children curriculum was built with this understanding. Our 12-week program includes mindful movement, challenging children to experience a broader perspective in terms of their impact on the immediate environment, the very space around them. The physical exercises are merely an infrastructure for children to safely experience a deeper knowledge of themselves. When our kids understand themselves, they will better understand one another.
The benefits of mindfulness are many, not the least of which are better self-regulation and higher levels of concentration, culminating in greater self-confidence.
Scientists and scholars, like those at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness are forging ahead in this relatively new arena of study. Mindfulness is becoming a mainstream subject of interest and initiative in this country, and professionals from a wide variety of practices are turning their attention to the benefits of mindfulness training in schools. Metamorphosis: Effective Thinking (grades 2-3) is the answer to our need for a mindfulness curriculum at the elementary level, right here in Arizona. Introduced as early as 2nd grade, and incorporating a variety of methods, including: open discussion, storytelling, movement, and meditation techniques, Metamorphosis gives children an opportunity to decompress, de-stress, and renew their sense of confidence.