Students at Dorothy Moses elementary start their day with calming exercises

Published: Apr. 21, 2019 at 4:22 PM CDT
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Mornings can be tough, for adults and kids.

For elementary students, it can be difficult to transition from the playground to the classroom. And if a child is feeling anxious, or even sad, learning can be impossible.

The kids, and staff, at Bismarck’s Dorothy Moses Elementary have found a great way to tackle mornings and prepare themselves for a day of learning.

It’s the beginning of the school day and students in Mrs. Owens’ second grade classroom know exactly what to expect each morning. They sign in, greet their teacher, and soon it’s time for announcements.

“Good morning, it is Wednesday,” Moses secretary Kristin Meidinger says over the school intercom. Kristin Meidinger is the voice behind the announcements.

“I used to write it all down, but I don’t anymore. It’s just whatever kind of mood I’m in. It pumps me up, and it pumps up the staff too I think. I get to be a goofball and I can get away with it. Have to pump them up and to get them excited to be at school,” Meidinger explained with a smile.

But Meidinger’s job is more than just getting kids pumped up. She also uses her morning announcements to get kids ready for a day of learning. The Moses morning announcements always end with a calming technique.

“The calming technique of the week is I can do dots,” explained Meidinger.

“It brings up from up here, and up here might be a good feeling, we’re coming off the playground or from phy ed. When we are up here, not really ready to learn. Do somethings to calm our body and ready to learn. Walking through building at 8:40 during announcements is my favorite part of the day. I like to walk through the classrooms and see them go through that routine and move into that state of learning. Our students are much more equipped to deal with some difficult feelings and problem solve,” says Tracy Famias, assistant principal.

Teachers use calming techniques throughout the day to ensure what starts as an awesome day, ends that way too.

Staff members say these calming techniques work great for adults too. Many say they find themselves using them throughout the day, at school and at home.