Life Skills Programs FAQ's
Mind Magic is a life skills education program that is designed to assist young people in developing resilience and a broad range of personal, social and cognitive skills.
We are Life Coaches and have over 20 years of personal development experience between us. After coaching so many people we realised there was a huge need for people to create self-awareness at a much younger age. We realised that if we could teach life skills to small children and prepare them to be the confident and responsible adults of the future, wow imagine what a different world it would be! Our mission is to enrich the lives of children.
This program is about ‘seeing and doing. Children tend to learn from ‘doing’ rather than hearing. So, Mind Magic consists of 8 modules with age-appropriate lesson plans and activities that gives teachers, facilitators and parents the ability to teach the 8 powerful principles of:-
The answer is simple – you make it fun! There are games, activities, songs, discussions and stories that are all ideal ways for children to develop social and emotional skills whilst being creative and having fun at the same time.
Is it true that social and emotional learning is fundamental to a child’s academic learning and motivation to cooperate and achieve?
Yes, children who have social and emotional competencies and skills, find it easier to manage themselves, relate to others, resolve conflict and feel positive about themselves and the world around them. By using this program teachers will note an increase in respect, caring, cooperation, motivation, self-esteem and resilience.
The program was created with respect for how much teachers are already doing. The modules are simple and easy to use and infuse into certain areas of the curriculum and key learning areas. The main benefits to the teachers are:
Children will gain an increase in self-reliance, confidence and enthusiasm for learning. Teachers will also see improved communication skills and increase in tolerance and cooperation.
As well as the benefits to the teacher in the classroom, are there any benefits for the teacher personally?
There certainly are – We discovered that teachers get quite a bit of Professional Development but hardly any ‘Personal Development’ – so we thought it was very important to include this in the program. So, not only will teachers build on their own personal growth by delivering the program to children, we have also included in the manual a-special ‘Teachers Treasure Chest’ section which is a small pep-talk with encouraging advice and words that reminds the teacher how special they are and what an important job they are doing. We also hold training workshops which focus on the teachers own personal development and work/life balance.
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Each lesson is designed to run between 30 to 40 minutes in length and is made up of several smaller activities which can be used alone or grouped together to meet your own time requirements. Parts of the lesson plan can be grouped together for a shorter lesson; however, it is our recommendation that if time permits, the whole lesson plan should be followed to have maximum effect. Each activity has a clock symbol indicating the length of time of the activity.
The lesson plans can be broken into small activities if you only have a short time.
PIP the Positive Inspiring Panda puppet, CD with song and centering/meditations, 2 beautifully illustrated colour story books (PIP takes the plunge & PIPs first day), stickers, certificates, activity/workbook, a Confidence poster & a Whole School approach poster and student assessment tools.
It is important for each teacher, school or school system to look at the needs of the children and develop this program tailored to their particular setting. However, it is our recommendation that the lessons be delivered at least once a week in the recommended order of the manual.
The lessons in this manual may be:
These are a pocket-sized ‘pep talk’ with encouraging advice and wise words that will remind you as the teacher to take care of yourself and renew your spirit and enthusiasm for teaching! We suggest to take a few minutes before each Mind Magic lesson to read these ‘Little Jewels’ and recognize the power you have to change lives. Ponder the question and answer it as honestly as you can.
Identified Theoretical Framework: Mind Magic is a social and emotional learning program based on the principles of Coaching and Solution Focused Therapy (SFBT). The Solution Focused Model is a goal oriented, future oriented, competency-based therapeutic approach that draws its origins from the work of Milton Erickson as well as the team from the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. It was further developed for classroom solutions by Insoo Kim Berg and Steve deShazer at the Brief Family Therapy Centre in Wisconsin, USA. This model of therapy has been very successful with school-based problems such as classroom management, behavioural problems, academic issues, bullying and with at-risk youth.
Green thoughts/words and Red thoughts/words are terms used throughout the manual to replace the words positive and negative. These are words that are much easier for the children to understand and identify with and can be used in any classroom lesson or playground activity. The children will begin to become aware of their self-talk and communication with others and will begin to replace the Red thoughts/words (negative) with the Green thoughts/words (positive).The Whole School Approach poster will help incorporate the Life Skills Programs into your school by being displayed in the classroom, common rooms, library’s and the school office.
The curriculum links for the Mind Magic program are Personal Development Health & Physical Ed and Studies of Society and its Environment.
The Essential Learning’s (QLD only) for the Mind Magic program are Identify and Personal Development (SOSE), Relationships and communicating (HPE), Self Management andResilience (HPE) and Healthy Choices (HPE).
The Social and Emotional learning core competencies are Self Awareness, Social Awareness, Self- Management , Responsible Decision Making and Relationship Building.
Teaching with puppets is one of the easiest and most fun ways to introduce difficult concepts, correct behaviour without being negative and bring warmth and humour to the classroom.
Puppets are inherently interesting, often humorous, and first-rate story tellers. They bring focus and interest to the subject matter, they teach without the students recognizing they are being taught.There are many different ways to use the PIP the panda puppet, it’s all about being comfortable and we suggest to use him for greeting the children as they enter the room, in discussion time, announcing the start of the Mind Magic lesson, leading the song and even helping to tell the story. We have instructions and suggestions at the front of the manual.
Just like the ‘Teachers Treasure Chest’ the ‘Top Tip’ is a pocket-sized ‘pep-talk’ for the children with encouraging advice and wise words that will remind the children to take care of themselves and renew their enthusiasm for positive thinking and action. The Top Tip is displayed in the children’s workbook and it is recommended that the teacher reinforce it within the lesson or as a Gap Filler.
Throughout the program a range of fascinating facts about famous people who have triumphed over adversity to live happy, successful lives. These small stories inspire and motivate the children to believe they can achieve also. ‘Did You Know’ is displayed on the worksheets for the children to read and it is recommended that the teacher reinforce it within the lesson or as a Gap Filler.
The Tool Kit provides a variety of simple tools to assist children to have the ‘confidence’ to deal with certain problem situations and enhance positive interaction with others. Each tool uses a thought process and visualization which gives them strategies and skills to turn negative situations into positive ones. The ‘Tool Kit’ is displayed on the worksheets for the children to read and it is recommended that the teacher reinforces it within the lesson or as a Gap Filler.
Adapting our language to different age groups. The Mind Magic program has been written for children aged 5-9 years, however, the degree of adapting depends on the age and language level of your students. As the teacher, you know your students best and what they are capable of achieving. We have suggestions to simplify the lessons for younger children and these vary from the size of the classroom and the time you will have to the level of support you are receiving in the classroom at the time.
An online training program is being developed and will be available approx October 2009. In service day training programs are being developed and will be available on request from September 2009. In-services can be done on any ‘pupil –free day’ and we would suggest inviting schools as a cluster to get together and share ideas whilst learning in a fun environment. Simply email Kathy and Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org and discuss availability of dates.