Hey teachers! Did you know that you can use Flow Learning for more than just Sharing Nature? I use Flow Learning for EVERYTHING in my classroom. Trust me, it’s worth it and here’s just a few of the benefits you’ll receive:
What the Teacher Gets:
You will remain energetic all day and go home refreshed
You will win the trust of your students and the keys to motivating them
You will experience personal growth and joy
What the Students Get:
They will love school
They will take initiative to teach themselves and each other
They will experience greater awareness of their own learning processes
So now you may be wondering how to implement Flow Learning. Well, celebrate, because you are probably doing some of the steps already. For the first several years of teaching, I could not get beyond the Awaken Enthusiasm phase. I felt like I was a one-lady show all day, every day. The kids loved it, but I was one tired teacher by the end of the day!
Slowly, but surely, I began to develop my awareness of and respect for the flow of energy of the group. As my sensitivity grew, I was able to guide the class or follow their cues into the next steps of Focusing Attention and Direct Experience. As this began happening more and more often, a wonderful harmonious experience of learning began to occur. Deep moments of quiet awe as well as moments of shared inspiration began happening for students and myself more and more frequently. Friendships, trust, cooperation, and harmony have also developed through this process. I am now, no longer surprised when the children bring up the very subject I was planning on teaching that day during morning circle or a during recess through a game they invent!
Joyful learning is now the norm in our classroom. The great thing about energy, is that when the majority of the class gets swept up in a positive direction, it will sweep up even the heaviest, habitually negative, of students to a higher or lighter level of attitude and behavior than they normally gravitate toward.
Enough of the philosophical… Let’s get practical!
“Now children, take out your math books and turn to page…”
Can you hear the groans? I can! Wow, what a way to kill the enthusiasm! Let’s try again with Flow Learning:
Awaken Enthusiasm: Get the kids moving physically and mentally and get them to experience a place of ease, no tension, and fun, and with a level of competition that is appropriate for your class (for some classes, that can be none!). Perhaps you’re playing a memory game or you throw down a bunch of cards on the floor and have the kids pick up a certain sum or difference. Perhaps they are practicing skip counting. Sometimes I have my kids create an obstacle course in the classroom where each obstacle is the next number that we are skip counting.
Focus Attention: Now that the energy is flowing, get it directed. Think about what makes math fun and inspiring to you, pick up your next activity from there. You could make a cooperative challenge. Maybe it is geometry or symmetry in nature. Find multiples in tree leaves or create them with dominoes. Perhaps it is patterns and how numbers relate to each other. Play a math facts or mental math game as a group.
Direct Experience: Children love to make discoveries. If you are learning multiplication, have them become detectives that are looking for multiples patterns on the 100s chart, color them in, name them, and compare them. They can work alone or in partners. You will be surprised when the kids begin having “Ah Ha! Moments” as they discover things that you didn’t even see! At this point, the energy will be focused and active. You can give children individualized challenges at this point or move into further skills practice. You can tune into each child and where they need particular growth or you may want to take a quiet moment to recognize their strengths.
Share Inspiration: This can take many forms. Some children who are so completely absorbed in the experience, may be quietly and deeply enjoying the experience that they have just had in themselves. Some children will want to share. As the teacher, we know that math is a great vehicle to develop communication and critical thinking because explaining something is the best way to really know it. However, it is also important to maintain your sensitivity here and respect what is occurring for the individual.
As we approach the last term of this school year, I can say with the confidence that only experience can bring, my classroom of eleven 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders and I are deeply flowing together in the joy of learning. Over the course of the year, individual and collective growth has flowered in all areas from academics to personal development. When “Flow Learning” is used for everything in the classroom, the classroom experience becomes, more and more, one of harmonious and centered energy. This is when true learning happens, for students and teachers alike.
Check out MORE about Flow Learning and Sharing Nature Here
Check out EVEN MORE about Flow Learnig and Education for Life Here