Mindfulness Newsletter

December 2017--#mindfulAISD

In This Month's Newsletter...

  • AISD Staff Appreciation Gift from Meditation Bar
  • New Mindful AISD Videos
  • Research Supporting Mindfulness
  • Picture Books That Teach Mindfulness
  • HCP Spring Mindfulness Courses--Now Available!
  • Social & Emotional Learning Newsletter
  • Mindful Happenings in AISD

Reminder: For more regular mindfulness updates, please follow me on Twitter, @mrbutler629. I post regularly, providing tips and highlighting mindfulness happening across the district. Also, feel free to use #mindfulAISD when posting about mindfulness.

Meditation Bar has kindly extended their gift to AISD staff until the end of December. The deal is...

  • One FREE class (Coupon Code: AISDFREE)
  • One $10 class (Coupon Code: AISD10)

Their weekly class list can be seen here. Enter the appropriate coupon code (see above) when signing up online. Bring your AISD badge with you to verify you're an AISD staff member.

Be sure to thank them for their support of AISD in person and/or on social media: Twitter/Facebook

New Mindful AISD Videos

Below are videos recorded around the city with brief guided mindfulness sessions. These practices are beneficial for all ages.

5-4-3-2-1: Bringing attention to our senses can help us focus on the present (3 min.)

Happy Memory: Focusing on a happy memory can help reduce stress levels (3 min.)

Loving Kindness: Sending kind thoughts to a loved one, a group, and ourselves helps us get in the habit of positive thinking (4 min.)

All of these videos can also be found on the #mindfulAISD YouTube Playlist. Remember, you can also add these to your GoNoodle account and use mindfulness to help your champ grow stronger.

5-4-3-2-1 Mindfulness Exercise

Research Supporting Mindfulness

A recently published article talks about a study which found that mindful children (ages 6-17) have more brain flexibility. The article comes from the American Mindfulness Research Association. They regularly post about mindfulness studies.

Additionally, Greater Good Magazine compiled a group of studies involving mindfulness in schools.

Picture Books That Teach Mindfulness

Enjoy this compilation of books that teach mindfulness. Thanks to Barbara Pitts, 3rd Grade Teacher from Gullett Elementary, for sharing this resource.

Below are details for HCP Mindfulness Courses this Spring. All the Fall courses filled up pretty quickly, so sign up as soon as you can if you're interested. SEL will pay for teacher subs.

Intro to Mindfulness--Elementary

  • When: January 25th 8:00-11:00am
  • Where: Baker Room 308
  • Section #: 86673

Intro to Mindfulness--Secondary

  • When: January 25th 1:00-4:00pm
  • Where: Baker Room 308
  • Section #: 86672

Elementary Mindfulness Leaders

  • When: February 15th 8:00-11:00am
  • Where: Baker Room 302
  • Section #: 86675
  • Prerequisite for this course: Intro to Mindfulness from Nov. or Jan.

Secondary Mindfulness Leaders

  • When: February 15th 1:00-4:00pm
  • Where: Baker Room 302
  • Section #: 86674
  • Prerequisite for this course: Intro to Mindfulness from Nov. or Jan.

Mindfulness for Elementary Counselors

  • When: March 27th 8:00-11:00am
  • Where: Baker Room 308
  • Section #: 86679

Mindfulness for Elementary Librarians

  • When: March 27th 1:00-4:00pm
  • Where: Baker Room 308
  • Section #: 86680

Intro to Mindfulness--Elementary

  • When: April 17th 8:00-11:00am
  • Where: Baker Room 308
  • Section #: 86677

Intro to Mindfulness--Secondary

  • When: April 17th 1:00-4:00pm
  • Where: Baker Room 308
  • Section #: 86678

Social & Emotional Learning: Giving Back

The Social & Emotional Learning monthly concept is "Giving Back." Check out the newsletter below for ideas and resources.

Mindfulness in Austin ISD

Here are a few mindfulness highlights from across the district.

Stretching to Start Class at Sadler Means YWLA

Mrs. Wartel starts class with mindful movement. What an awesome way to use transitions to set the tone for the rest of the class period. See tweet for more.
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Volma Overton ECP Mindfulness at Home

Students at Volma Overton ECP were given a paper with a mindful breathing exercise (similar to image below) to take home and teach family members. Once they get initials from family members who have been taught, they bring the form to the library and can receive affirmations and/or mandala to color. School-Home Connection ftw!
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Mindfulness Room at EDAEP

The amazing staff at EDAEP have been very intentional about shifting away from punitive consequences to a more proactive, understanding and compassionate approach to behaviors. Their mindfulness room is a perfect example of the important work they're doing to truly help their students and provide tools the students can use when they return to their home campus.
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Paredes MS Counselors Check-In

Counselors at Paredes Middle School check-in with their students about their Mindfulness Exercise Diet Sleep (MEDS) as a way to support the whole child. See tweet for more.
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LBJ Student Mindfulness Leaders

LBJ has been working on a consistent Stress Relief time for staff & students at the end of their lunch time. Recently 3 students volunteered to lead these mindfulness stress relief sessions. Such awesome leadership! They're now doing the sessions every Tuesday afternoon from 12:10-12:25. See tweet for more.
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Mindful Stretching at Harris Elementary

Harris Elementary is no stranger to mindfulness thanks to the leadership of Chrissy Dollar. She recently posted photos of students doing some mindful stretching on some new mats that were generously donated by the Andy Roddick Foundation. See tweet for more.
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Positive Affirmations at Clayton Elementary

Kristina Yoder created some positive affirmation cards for her students. They use the cards as a reminder to be kind to themselves, and even incorporate them with their breathing sometimes. Example: Breathing in, "I am," Breathing out, "loved." See tweet for more.
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Mindful Classrooms: The Educator Guide

For those using Mindful Classrooms: The Educator Guide, I recommend using Week 15-17 during December. This is a flexible recommendation though. Use what works best for you and your class. AISD staff can sign up for a free electronic copy of the book in the support form at the bottom of this newsletter.

#mindfulAISD archives

November 2017 Newsletter (Free Retreats, Class Dojo, Teens, Mindful AISD in the News)

October 2017 Newsletter (Videos, Meditation Bar Gift, Mindfulness Challenge)

September 2017 Newsletter (Mindfulness Videos)

August 2017 Newsletter (Starting mindfulness from Day 1)

2016-2017 Newsletters (One link to access all newsletters from last school year.)

Sign Up for Mindfulness Support

If you haven't filled out the #mindfulAISD Google Form (below) and want to highlight your work and/or receive mindfulness support, please check it out. It only takes a moment to complete. Know someone in AISD interested in mindfulness? Send them this newsletter for them to fill out the Google Form.


James Butler

SEL Mindfulness Specialist