Habits of Mind at Todd

Todd Counselor Kay Brancato works on focus and mindfulness with fourth graders.

This September, afternoon sun and warmth created the perfect setting to take the Mindful Garden outdoors and focus on metacognition. Or, as Briarcliff Manor’s Todd School Counselor Kay Brancato describes it, “Thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking.” 

She got Shelley Graham’s fourth graders ready by having them close their eyes and listen to the Tibetan singing bowl, then guided them through mindfulness exercises.  

Make a fist; how do you feel?  


“Like I want to fight.” 

Put your hand over your heart; how do you feel?  



See someone with extended arms; how do you feel?  

“At peace.” 


Brancato encouraged the students to think about what their body language says to others. She closed by talking about mindfully walking back into the building as buses arrived for dismissal!

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About the Author: Evelyn Mertens