Planning For It

Why Do This?

  • Remember Power helps students to remember directions, follow steps in the correct order, and keep track of multiple things at the same time. It helps students to plan and work towards goals over time. Remember Power also helps students (and adults) to multi-task and keep track of multiple goals, tasks, or items at once.

 

When You Might Use This Practice

  • Integrated into a daily or weekly schedule as a routine
  • During a designated SEL block of 10-15 minutes per day for Kernels practice or as time allows
  • During a morning meeting, a transition, after recess, or at the end of the day
  • Throughout the school year to create a supportive classroom community

 

Time Required

  • ≤ 15 minutes

 

Materials

  • None

 

Learning Objective

Students will:

  • Practice memory and attention

 

Additional Supports

 

SEL Competencies

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management

How To Do It

Reflection Before the Practice

  • How well do you remember the multiple things you need to do? What strategies and practices help you to develop your working memory (e.g, making a written list, repeating the information out loud)?
  • Take a few minutes to read the “Remember Power” practice before introducing the game.

Note: Click here to download and print a card version of this practice that can be added to the other Brain Games practices to make an easy-to-use hand-held collection. See the SEL Kernels pack for additional activities.

 

The Big Idea

  • This game is about remembering a series of motions and doing them in the correct order.

 

Instructions

  • Introduce Remember Power to students, if necessary.
  • Say the Big Idea (see above).
  • Have students each find their own space in the room, where they can move around and respect the space of others.
  • Say:
    • We are going to count down from 10 to 1, doing different motions that help us release extra energy to get our bodies and brain calm, focused, and ready to learn.
  • Start the countdown:
    • Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle for 10, 9, 8… (Everyone should be standing, wiggling their whole bodies and making silly noises.)
    • …at 7 and 6 we are getting quiet… (Lower your voice to a whisper as you say this.)
    • …at 5 and 4 our bodies sit silently…
    • …at 3 we take a deep breath and roll our shoulders back…at 2 we take a deep breath and cover our eyes…and 1 and 0.
  • Finally, have students uncover their eyes.

Must do

  • Must require students to remember a series of movements associated with numbers.

Can adapt

  • Change the numbers/motions (e.g., count down from 20 instead of 10, shimmy for 10, etc.).

Adaptations

  • When first learning the activity–and continually with younger students–practice each move one by one: wiggle, get quiet, sit silently, breathe deeply, roll shoulders back.
  • Over time, see if students can remember the sequence without the directions; try just counting down the numbers aloud.
  • After students have mastered counting down from 10-1, increase the challenge level by starting at the number 15 or 20 and inviting them to create new motions for the different numbers.

After the activity, debrief

  • How did you feel playing the game? Did your feelings change as the movements changed–from fast and exciting, to slow and calm?
  • What are other times when it might feel good to do a calming or relaxing activity? (E.g., before you take a ride in a car, when recess is over and we need to get our minds and bodies ready to go inside.)
  • For more debriefing questions, see Brain Games Practice.

Tips for success

  • For emergent bilingual learners, do the countdown in students’ native languages.
  • For students who may need additional support, start at the number five, and assign one motion to each number.

 

Source

This practice is part of the SEL Kernels project developed by the EASEL Lab at Harvard University.

Reflection After the Practice

  • Do you notice students’ ability to remember improving?

The Research Behind It

Evidence That It Works

Children who are able to effectively manage their thinking, attention, and behavior are also more likely to have better grades and higher standardized test scores.

 

Why Does It Matter?

Children use cognitive regulation skills whenever faced with tasks that require concentration, planning, problem solving, coordination, conscious choices among alternatives, or overriding a strong internal or external desire—all key skills for behavioral and academic success.

These skills enable children to prioritize and sequence behavior (e.g., put their pants on before their shoes), inhibit dominant or familiar responses in favor of a more appropriate one (e.g., raise their hand rather than blurt out the answer), maintain task-relevant information in mind (e.g., remember the teacher’s request to wash hands and then put coats on before going outside), resist distractions, switch between task goals, use information to make decisions, and create abstract rules and handle novel situations.

“The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.”
–Rumi