Austin ISD Mindfulness Newsletter

December 2019--#mindfulAISD

Featured This Month...

  • Personal Practice -- Liberate Mindfulness App & Holiday Mindfulness Ideas
  • Professional Learning -- **UPDATED** Spring Professional Learning on HCP!
  • Staff/Campus Mindfulness -- 22 Mindfulness Exercises, Techniques & Activities for Adults
  • Classroom Implementation -- Mindful Coloring
  • Books of the Month -- A Morning With Grandpa & A Still Quiet Place For Athletes
  • Mindful Happenings in AISD -- Kinder Mindful Moment in Spanish, Retreat, Mindfulness PD
  • Related Newsletters & Blog -- CP&I and SEL

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.

Photo: Zilker Holiday Tree (credit:


Liberate Mindfulness App & Collective Ideas for Winter Break Mindfulness

Liberate is an amazing free mindfulness app for and by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community. There is a rich collection of guided meditations and talks from Teachers of Color. All are welcome to download and experience the awesome offerings. As a white person, I am thankful for the opportunity to learn perspectives of those with different lived experiences than my own. Additionally, the mindfulness community in the US is largely portrayed in media as white so I'm very thankful for this app because representation matters. Shout out to my friend and SEL colleague Amber Pleasant for introducing me to Liberate.

Additionally, with Winter Break around the corner, I've created a google doc for people to contribute their plans & ideas for mindfulness over the break. I could give suggestions, but I think having a collective list of ideas for people to peruse would be amazing. If you put an idea on the doc with your name, email and campus, you'll be entered into a raffle for SEL Coloring Books (English & Spanish) and fun gel pens for coloring courtesy of Mindful Classrooms.

Reminder: Headspace and Stop Breathe Think offer FREE subscription services for educators.


Spring Semester Mindfulness

The following Mindfulness Professional Learning opportunities are going to be offered in the Spring on HCP...

*The "cohorts" above require attendance for all 3 dates listed. Those in italics have Isolating Race PD from Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiviness as a prerequisite. Those in bold are PLED eligible.


22 Mindfulness Exercises, Techniques & Activities for Adults

Here's an amazing compilation of 22 Mindfulness Exercises, Techniques and Activities for Adults from Psychology Today. With the semester wrapping up and end of semester drag potentially setting in, these could serve as solid ideas for a mindful moment during team/faculty/PLC/department meetings.


Elementary Resource

Here's a resource that discusses How to Explain Mindful Coloring to Kids, as well as a link to thousands of different coloring pages.

Secondary Resource

Coloring isn't just for young kids. Here are 7 Benefits of Coloring (it says for adults, but it's very applicable to teens), as well as a link to thousands of different coloring pages.

Books of the Month

Suggestions to add to your classroom or school library if you don't already have them.

A Morning With Grandpa by Sylvia Liu

From Amazon: "Mei Mei s grandpa is practicing tai chi in the garden, and Mei Mei is eager to join in. As Gong Gong tries to teach her the slow, graceful movements, Mei Mei enthusiastically does them with her own flair. Then Mei Mei takes a turn, trying to teach Gong Gong the yoga she learned in school. Will Gong Gong be able to master the stretchy, bendy poses? Winner of the LEE & LOW New Voices Award, this title celebrates, with lively spirit and humor, the special bond between grandparent and grandchild and the joy of learning new things together. Readers of all ages will want to try out some tai chi and yoga too!"

A Still Quiet Place For Athletes: Mindfulness Skills for Achieving Peak Performance and Finding Flow in Sports and Life by Amy Saltzman, MD

From Amazon: "Are you looking for unique ways to "get into the game"? To enhance your training and find focus? You aren’t alone. Increasingly, athletes and coaches—from amateur leagues to professional football champs to Olympic athletes—are incorporating mindfulness practices into their training. That’s because mindfulness can help you lower your stress levels, connect with the moment, and mentally bounce back after setbacks. So whether you're a sports enthusiast or a professional athlete, mindfulness can also help you deal with physical aspects of training, such as fatigue, aches, pains, injury, burnout, and exhaustion."


Click on images below to open tweets/stories.

Kinder Mindful Moment in Spanish

AISD Staff Mindfulness Retreat

Mindfulness 101/201 PD

Additional Resources

CP&I and SEL Newsletters & Blog

Check out this month's Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiveness Newsletter and Social Emotional Learning Newsletter & Blog

Compilation of Mindfulness Resources for Educators

Free App Subscriptions, Research, Articles, Videos & More.

Mindful AISD Newsletters from 2016-2019

Every Mindfulness Newsletter from the last 3 school years.

Happy To Support In Any Way Possible....

James Butler, M.Ed.

Austin ISD SEL Mindfulness Specialist

2014 Austin ISD Teacher of the Year

Author of Mindful Classrooms: Daily 5-Minute Practices to Support Social-Emotional Learning