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Joseph Selbach, front, 11, and Matthew Moschetti, 11, read during David Gaines' fifth-grade class Thursday at Sandrock Elementary School. Gaines earned his master's degree in contemplative education and completed a thesis on using silence as a tool for empowerment and reflection in the classroom.

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Sandrock Elementary School 5th-grade teacher uses contemplative education

Taezsa Pacheco whispered each word as she read "The Mystery of the Golden Train" to herself. Another student plugged his ears with his fingers as he silently mouthed words. While fifth-grade teacher David Gaines worked with a small group in the corner of his classroom at Sandorck Elementary School, the rest of his students exuded a calm, quiet energy as they worked their way through the book on their own terms.

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