“Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment.” Jon Kabat Zinn, founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR)
- Mindfulness is accepting our present thoughts, feelings, and body sensations without judgment.
- Mindfulness can result in both physical and mental health benefits.
- Quick Mindfulness exercises (from Counselor Talk, August 2018)
- I have purchased Yoga for Classrooms. It costs $30-totally worth it! It is a series of chair and standing yoga poses that take 1-2 minutes to teach. I begin every lesson with one of these and the students (and teachers!) love it! I would also recommend getting a Tibetan singing bowl. There are youtube videos to teach yourself how to use it and it is another tool that the students enjoy.
- I have found the book, Calm Classroom, by Jai and Joy Luster to be a great resource.
https://www.amazon.com/Classroom-Manual-Audio-Downloads-1st-8th/dp/0984242309/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535638703&sr=1-1&keywords=calm+classroomI have also done a lot of work teaching our teachers to do mindfulness practices. This way it happens every day, sometimes multiple times a day. One of our objectives for our Lilly Grant is to have each teacher have a copy of Calm Classroom.We also a Mindful Moment Room to help children calm down, and teachers have a calming areas in their classrooms.A lot of our mindfulness practices also come from the Holistic Life Foundation in Baltimore. Here is a link: https://hlfinc.org/Another resource is mindyeti.com. There are free videos to use.We have done a lot with mindfulness practices at our school, and it has spread to the other elementary schools on our district (Beech Grove)
- I give this Grounding Exercise to students who struggle with anxiety and have them tape it to the inside of their agenda books. During College GO! Week, I do a meditation session with seniors. I also send out the Grounding Exercise during Suicide Prevention Week to all students and parents.
- From Hendry Park Elementary School principal, Lisa Bauer, on a mindfulness room [Counselor Talk, Sept. 2017]:
“We hired an instructional assistant to supervise the In School Support Room. We have forms that the teacher and IA fills out with the behaviors the student is displaying, previous actions taken by the teacher, when the teacher will return for the student, calming strategies used, academic work completed and the time in/time out. This data is charted and a copy sent home with parents to keep them informed. Sometimes students need to take a break and get away from all the stimulation in the classroom. They may be in the room for 10 minutes to an hour. Master Shepherd (a master Tae Kwon Do instructor) works with them to regain self control, self respect, and respect for others. Sometimes they play checkers and talk about moves made and relate it to the incident at hand. We have a small tent in the room that some students like to go into and read or chill. We have classical music playing and a relaxing scent in the difusser. The classroom has 3 study carols and 6 desks/chairs. Our Emotionally Disabled classes go daily to take movement breaks as Master Shepherd leads them through a Tai Chi workout. Master Shepherd has a hand held radio that teachers use to call him to come to their room to escort a student. If he has multiple students, I will escort the student or cover the room. All of our IAs are CPI certified…Our staff met on several occasions and discussed the purpose of this student resource room and a quick to mark documentation form…The intent is to restore a positive teaching and learning environment and be an alternate location for disruptive students to calm down and reflect on the inappropriate behavior.”
- I would preface any mindfulness work that is has nothing to do with religion…just to be safe.
- I use Yoga for Classrooms at the start of each of my classroom lessons. The kids (and teachers) really enjoy it and I find when working with individuals it is easier because they all have a basic understanding of body posture and deep breathing. We as a district are getting ready to put a mindful space in each of our buildings to help students self-regulate and I think having this basic skill will allow our students to use the space more effectively. (Counselor Talk, Sept. 2017)
- This is my first year using meditation with students. I’ve been doing lessons with the AP students first in the hope that I’ll eventually make it to the lower grades and the gen ed students. I do the lessons in a classroom for 5 consecutive days (1 week). I ask the teachers if they want to do the exercise at the beginning or the end of their class. I spend about 8 minutes on Monday explaining meditation to the students (their perceptions of it, using it as a coping skill, explaining the breathing as “smell the flowers, blow out the candles”, etc.) and doing the exercise. (I also mention that they may feel silly doing the exercise but that’s okay! It’s their first time and they can try again by re-focusing on their breath.) On Tues-Fri, it takes about 3 minutes and we just do the meditation exercise. On Friday, I’ll ask them what they thought (What did they think of it, what changes did they feel, etc). The two teachers who have volunteered their class have really liked it (the teachers have participated too) and one class has even asked to do it every day for the rest of the year – very encouraging! (Counselor Talk, Sept. 2017)
- I kept my time in the room short in an attempt to value the teachers’ instructional time, to show the difference 3 minutes can make, and keep the kids engaged. (Counselor Talk, Sept. 2017)
- We do brief mindfulness activities before ISTEP, but that’s it. Some teachers use mindfulness in their classes. ISTEP teachers and students really like the mindfulness activities prior to ISTEP. (Counselor Talk, Sept. 2017)
- IYI (Indiana Youth Institute) has titles available from its library focused on mindfulness as it relates to specific issues like anxiety, anger, depression, stress, and/or trauma. For more related topics, try searching the catalog for mindful* (using the asterisk will get you mindful, mindfulness, etc.). The IYI library can be accessed here
- Here is the link I use. It’s 3 minutes long: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evJHBLldMsE (Counselor Talk, Sept. 2017)
- Calm.com (schools)
- Book, Sitting like a Frog by Eline Snel (available on Amazon.com)
- Book, Brain Breaks for the Classroom by Scholastic (available on Amazon.com)
- “60 Brain Breaks Cards” by Rachel Lynette (available on Teachers Pay Teachers)
- “Calm Down Kit on the Go” by The Autism Adventures of Room 83 (available on Teachers Pay Teachers)
- Article, “How the Brain Changes when You Meditate” by Jennifer Wolkin. https://www.mindful.org/how-the-brain-changes-when-you-meditate/
- Article, “Can Teaching Kids Mindfulness Replace Discipline?” by Sandi Schwartz: https://www.mother.ly/parenting/can-teaching-kids-mindfulness-replace-discipline
- Holistic Life Foundation: https://hlfinc.org Programs in Baltimore Schools that have reduced suspensions to zero in schools with a Mindful Moment Room.
- Website: https://mindyeti.com Several free resources for mindfulness practices. There is an option to pay a fee to access more resources. There is also an option to buy a license for a whole school.
- Article “What Is Mindfulness?” https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition
- Rainbow Breaths on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O29e4rRMrV4&t=148s
- Go Noodle has a lot of mindfulness resources in addition to rainbow breath: Melting, Bring It Down (available on youtube.com)
- Use an expanding ball (Hoberman sphere) to help students learn how to take deep breaths. Available on Amazon.com
- Use essential oils for calming. Lavender and orange are very good for calming. Use on cotton ball in a Ziplock for individual use or in a diffuser for whole-room use. You can also use lavender baby lotion for students to use on hands and even for a touch on their tip of nose for smelling.
- Hot chocolate or chocolate chip cookie breath: Hold hands as though holding a cup of hot chocolate or a warm chocolate chip cookie. Take a deep breath to smell the hot chocolate or cookie. Then exhale to cool the hot chocolate or cookie. Continue until at least three deep breaths are taken. Then use imagination to drink the hot chocolate or eat the cookie!
- Article: “Mindfulness in the Classroom” by Juliann Garey. https://childmind.org/article/mindfulness-in-the-classroom/
- Article “Breathing Exercises” by Liz Bragdon. https://move-with-me.com/self-regulation/4-breathing-exercises-for-kids-to-empower-calm-and-self-regulate/
- Article: “10 Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Students” by Sarah Rudell Beach. https://leftbrainbuddha.com/10-ways-teach-mindfulness-to-kids/
- Video: “Mind in a Jar”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNmMH6tqiMc
- “Feeling the Breath Mouse” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3c0ihnWWbk&t=1s
- video: “Mind the Bump–Mindfulness and How the Brain Works” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNCB1MZDgQA
- Article: “Does Mindfulness Really Work in Schools?” by Emily Deruy: https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/05/testing-mindfulness-in-the-early-years/483749/
- Article: “Classroom Mindfulness in Real Life: A Portrait” by Jey Ehrenhalt: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/classroom-mindfulness-in-real-life-a-portrait?utm_source=Teaching+Tolerance&utm_campaign=b40d1dfbc2-Newsletter%3A+When+a+First-Grader+Is+Called+a+Racist&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a8cea027c3-b40d1dfbc2-83292611
- Article: “Your Breath Is your Brain’s Remote Control” by Crystal Goh: https://www.mindful.org/breath-brains-remote-control/
- Article: “Mindfulness in Schools–Relaxation and Awareness”by incompassinged: http://www.incompassinged.com/2017/10/13/mindfulness-in-schools-relaxation-and-awareness/
- Article: “Does Mindfulness Meditation Really Make you Kinder?” by Jill Suttie: https://www.mindful.org/does-mindfulness-meditation-really-make-you-kinder/?utm_source=Mindful+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8c5232a067-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_07_30_01_43&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b4e0293689-8c5232a067-44666187&mc_cid=8c5232a067&mc_eid=c57bf1ca01
- Article: “How to Avoid a Poorly Designed School Mindfulness Program” by Jamie Bristow: https://www.mindful.org/4-signs-poorly-designed-school-mindfulness-programs/?utm_source=Mindful+Newsletter&utm_campaign=87f9399bca-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_27_01_40&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b4e0293689-87f9399bca-44666187&mc_cid=87f9399bca&mc_eid=c57bf1ca01
- Video: “Just Breathe”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVA2N6tX2cg
- Video: “Jewel Shares Mindfulness Practice”: https://www.mindful.org/singer-jewel-shares-mindfulness-practices/
- Video: “One Minute Breathing Exercise”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0FZlT3Uk30
- Article: “Mindfulness in Education” by Caren OstenGerszberg: https://www.mindful.org/mindfulness-in-education/
- Article: “Why Mindfulness Belongs in the Classroom.” by Michelle Kinder: https://www.mindful.org/why-mindfulness-belongs-in-the-classroom/
- Article: “A Glimpse at a Mindfulness Class for Children” by Katie Grimesey: https://www.mindful.org/a-glimpse-at-a-mindfulness-class-for-children/
- Article: “Raising Baltimore” by Cartsen Knox (Holistic Life Program in Baltimore schools): https://www.mindful.org/raising-baltimore/
- Book: Mindfulness Skills for Kids and Teens by Debra Durdick (available on amazon.com)
- Video for very young children about how to take deep breaths: “Sesame Street: Common and Colbie Caillat: Belly Breathe with Elmo”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mZbzDOpylA&t=62s
- Article: “Meditation Rekindles Students’ Energy, Focus” by Lauren Barack: https://www.educationdive.com/news/meditation-rekindles-students-energy-focus/543930/
- Website: Kate Beddow. Mindfulness resources and sign up for free newsletter. https://www.katebeddow.co.uk/ Also, find her on Facebook. Sometimes there are free lessons on Facebook.
- Article: “Students Learn that Active Bodies Lead to Active Minds” by Anna Oberthur: https://www.edutopia.org/active-bodies-active-minds-students-move-to-learn
- Article: “Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices” by Dr. Lori Desautles: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/brain-breaks-focused-attention-practices-lori-desautels
- Article: “Dance Makes Learning Memorable” by Laurel Zahrobsky and Ralph Covino: http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol14/num14/dance-makes-learning-memorable.aspx?utm_source=ascdexpress&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Express%2014-14
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This post was created by Trudi Wolfe on June 9, 2017.