why mindfulness?

My sponsor teacher last year was really into incorporating mindfulness into her classroom. Whether it was just playing peaceful music quietly in the background while the students did their work, or sitting on the carpet taking mindful breaths and listening to a chime before starting a new activity.  Students seemed to really grasp the idea and I believe that even if they were just doing it to impress the teacher, it obviously was having an effect on their well-being. I think that mindfulness in a classroom is most helpful with anxiety or disruptive behaviour.

Letting the students have extra time to wind down from one activity and transitioning into another by sitting peacefully and focusing on their breaths, gives them that time to think about how they may need to recharge or how they may better themselves for the next activity.

Here is a link to a starter lesson on mindful listening. https://e7n7r7a7.stackpathcdn.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/starter-lesson.pdf

7 Replies to “why mindfulness?”

  1. This is something I very rarely think about. I’m way too caught up thinking about planning and what I am supposed to be doing. Do you find mindfulness practices something you use during transitionary periods or all day?? Thanks for the link 🙂

    1. I find I would mostly use it during the transitions to and from the carpet (if there is a carpeted area in the room), obviously more for the primary grades. In last years practicum, if students were showing that they were upset in a situation or frustrated while doing their work, we would let them go over to the carpet and practice their belly breathing.

  2. Cool Topic Steph! Mindfulness is a very important thing to incorporate in classrooms but I feel like it often gets over looked with busy schedules and different energies all over the classroom. Mindful exercises can help bring the class together and set the day for success, change individuals energy levels to match their learning needs, and provide the down time students often don’t get at school or at home. Cool topic, I can’t wait to learn more. Thanks for the link!

  3. Mindfulness is a concept that is embedded within the intermediate curriculum. However, I think just breaking it down simply like you have, using moments and capturing time is just as valuable. We as educators, see time as a limit, our students see it as endless, and allowing them to sit, in the time, at their pace can help adjust them to a moving day. Like the lesson you’ve added as well.

  4. I did a similar morning routine in the grade 1 class I was in this past practicum, where the students focused on their belly breaths and ‘planting their roots’ it seemed to help a lot, and provide a point of calm to refer back to when it got a bit chaotic in the classroom. I haven’t really thought about implementing any of this in the 6/7 class I am in now, but I think if I introduced it slowly and minimalistically (calming music or closing eyes to make connections), I think it could really be helpful to their learning and ability to focus. Do you think that you might also include yoga? Or do you think that might be too much stimulation?

  5. I really like this topic, Steph! I think mindfulness in the classroom is super important. Often students can be over active and wild, which it is definitely important for them to be active and have brain breaks, but I also think that when we are teaching, it is beneficial for students to be calm and mindful of what is happening. I also appreciate how to attached a link to a starter lesson, that is very helpful because I often struggle with where to start! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I found your article very informative and eye-opening. Mindfulness is oftentimes neglected when planning lessons or units but it is an important aspect of a students mental health. It sounds like adopting activities that insight mindfulness in students can be very beneficial to the overall classroom environment!

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