Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2013
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Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

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Sesame Street winner teaches kids how to keep calm and carry on

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Teachers say (4 Reviews)
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Grades
Pre-K-1 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Kids will relate to the everyday problems and learn strategies for dealing with them.

Cons: Belly-tapping and bubble-popping run a bit long for young attention spans.

Bottom Line: Highly effective tool for whole-class instruction or one-on-one intervention.

Although Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame is designed for parents to use at home, teachers can use it in class as well. Teachers or counselors could work with kids individually or in small groups, using the scenarios to model calming and decision-making strategies. Teachers could also use it as a whole-class, culture-creating activity. They could start the school year with a mini-lesson a day on how to handle a frustrating situation, working on breathing, thinking, and doing. The class could adopt the phrase "Breathe, think, do" as a reminder to themselves when they're getting frustrated. After working through the five scenarios, kids could work in small groups to create skits about frustrating situations not included in the app, showing how they could work through them using the "breathe, think, do" technique.

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Sesame Street's newest human resident, Mando (introduced in the fall of 2013), narrates while kids and a blue monster together tackle everyday frustrations -- like struggling to tie shoes, dealing with separation anxiety, taking turns, and going to bed -- and learn how to deal with them. Students must work through one problem before unlocking the next. Animated video clips show the blue monster's problem, then kids tap his belly to help him breathe deeply and calm down. When the monster is calm, students tap thought bubbles, which produces three possible strategies. Students get to choose which strategy the monster will try and then see him do it in another animated video clip. The technique of breathing, thinking, and doing is reinforced throughout.

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Kids will identify with each of the five problems, and they'll not only learn to calm down with deliberate deep breathing, they'll also be introduced to three possible strategies for working through each problem. While waiting for a turn on a slide, for example, kids learn they might sing a song, count items around them, or ask a grownup for help. The parent section includes even more tips for helping kids develop resilience by giving them tools for solving everyday problems. Every detail is backed by research. Most scenarios include an option for going to an adult for help, so kids will learn to try to solve their own problems, but still know they can go to a parent or teacher for help.

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Adorable, familiar Sesame Street characters engage kids, who'll have fun actively helping the blue monster deal with problems.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
4

Kids are empowered to choose how the monster deals with each situation; strategies will transfer into their personal toolbox for dealing with similar situations.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
4

Verbal instructions walk kids through each step. Language options include English and Spanish.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
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Featured review by
Adrienne D. , Early childhood provider
Early childhood provider
5
Wonderful for Young Children Ages 6 Months to 6 Years Old

My overall opinion is that this is a great application to help educate the students on new techniques to keep the fighting to a minimum, It was almost like having an extra arm because if something started in the classroom while I was working with another student then I would say "Breathe and Relax like Elmo" and they would remember the tool and correct the problem among themselves.

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