About a month ago, I came upon my Long John Silver student sitting on the floor by the blocks in a classic yoga-like pose. You know the one, soles of feet together, opened palms on knees, eyes closed.
“What are you doing?” I asked because I was so curious (!) what he would say.
“I’m doing my ‘peaceness’ move,” he answered……calmly I might add.
“Tell me about that, what is a ‘peaceness’ move?”
“It’s what Ninjas do.”
“And why do Ninjas do this?”
“I don’t know, but they do. It looks like this.”
“Mmm,” I nodded, thinking quickly to myself that I’ve got to capture this and somehow make this a rich discussion because if there’s anyone in my classroom who needs to do the peaceness move often, it’s Long John Silver. “Hey I want to take a picture of you doing this so I can learn it too. And so we can teach the others. And let’s write about it because I want to know what’s going on in your head.” He and I have had discussions about how I can’t read his forehead like a computer, I need him to tell me what’s going on in there.
So I took a picture, and we drew about it in his journal and I explored a little more about this move. He still couldn’t really come up with an answer as to why Ninjas do this move so I said, “So let’s talk about Ninjas, they are really active and strong. If I was a Ninja and I wanted to rest and feel peaceness, I would close my eyes and imagine something happy and peaceful. What do you think about when you close your eyes and do the peaceness move?”
“A sunny day with a blue sky.” So that is what he drew above his self portrait of a figure with pretzel legs – little thought bubbles up to a larger yellow circle surrounded by blue.
Later he taught the whole class the “peaceness” move and we talked about imagining a sunny day. I can’t say this student has repeated his move very often, but at least its something I know is in his repertoire and can be reinforced with time and practice.