#mindfulAISD (12/5)

Mindfulness in the Austin Independent School District

Week of December 5th

Welcome to the #mindfulAISD newsletter for the week of December 5th. This will serve as a way to highlight the awesome mindfulness work being done across the district as well as offer resources. Have suggestions for material you'd like to see on here? Please email the SEL Mindfulness Specialist: james.butler@austinisd.org


Want to Showcase Your Mindfulness Work?

Send James Butler an email with a brief story and/or photo (if you have photo releases for your students). Or if you're on Twitter, use the hashtag #mindfulAISD and I'll post a link to your tweet on the newsletter.


Scientifically Proven Song for Relaxation

Marconi Union - Weightless (Official Video)

A group from the UK, Marconi Union, worked with sound therapists to create the soothing tune, which also slows breathing and reduces brain activity. There is an article that details all the scientific findings about this song. There is even a version where they looped the song for 10 hours so repeating every 8 minutes isn't necessary.

This could be used in class during a mindfulness break, transitions, or anytime the energy in the room could use a decrease (especially as the semester is wrapping up). I would be curious to see the impact the song could have on elementary school cafeterias. Let me know if you/your school tries it out.

This video, as well as the 10 hour version of the song are on the #mindfulAISD YouTube playlist. Link below.


Mindfulness Tour w/ Dr. Cruz

Last week, I had the honor of hosting a Mindfulness Tour with our Superintendent Dr. Cruz that highlighted work being done at 4 AISD schools. At each school, students were given an opportunity to have their voice heard and talk about mindfulness with Dr. Cruz. The pictures in the "mindfulAISD Happenings" section are from the Tour, but you can find more photos and tweets on Dr. Cruz's Twitter.

Here are some highlights from the Mindfulness Tour...

Becker Elementary

  • Start of the day mindfulness w/ Ms. Dull's 4th graders
  • Mindfulness integrated into circle time w/ Ms. Garcia's Kindergarteners
  • Mindfulness Room (as intervention) explained by Principal Valerie Borchers and Counselor Christine Vick, then Dr. Cruz was given a demonstration on calming techniques by a Kindergarten student.

Webb Early College Prep

  • Chat w/ Mr. Bonet-Diaz (Science) about how he implements daily mindfulness and how he is using mindfulness with colleagues during PLC meetings.
  • Observed an amazing lesson in Mr. Coyle's class (Language Arts ELDA). He integrated mindfulness into his lesson about emotions involved in coming to the US with his students who are immigrants from all over the world. It was incredibly powerful.
  • Mindfulness Brain Break in Mr. Shelton's class (8th grade Social Studies). Dr. Cruz even participated as well!
  • Chat w/ SEL Specialist Hilary Simon and Principal Raul Sanchez about the importance of building relationships and how mindfulness supports Social and Emotional Learning.

LBJ Early College HS

  • Chat w/ Head Football Coach, Andrew Jackson, about how his team practiced mindfulness and the impact it had on the team
  • Chat w/ Student-Athlete, Charles, about his thoughts on mindfulness and how he benefitted on and off the field from the practices.


  • Mindfulness time & explanation from Mr. Moody and his class (9th grade Social Studies).
  • Tour of the Mindfulness Trail led by LASA students, Ms. Rivera and Ms. Butler, who helped create and build the trail.

Huge thanks to the schools, teachers, students, and administration for all their help and support of the Mindfulness Tour.

Previous Newsletters

Links to all the previous newsletters with a highlight or two from each edition.

Week of November 28 (#mindfulAISD YouTube Playlist link)

Week of November 14 (GIFs for deep breathing & Breathing script for HS--Palm the Present Moment by Donald Altman from "The Mindfulness Toolbox")

Week of November 7 (AISD e-Wellness spotlight)

Week of October 31 (Mindfulness Challenge update)

Week of October 24 (Progressive Muscle Relaxation script)

Week of October 17 ("Just Breathe" mindfulness video)

Week of October 10 (Stop Breathe Think App/Site & Curious Not Furious article)

Week of October 3 (Pokemon poses & Mindfulness and the Brain article)

Week of September 26 (Replacing Detention w/ Meditation article & Guided Breathing tracks in Spanish & English)

Week of September 19 (Teacher Self-Care & Connecting Mindfulness w/ SEL: Mind Yeti)

Week of September 12 (KEYE News feature & Helping Teens Destress)

Mindful Classrooms--Week 15

If you're using Mindful Classrooms: The Educator Guide, I recommend using Week 15 this week. It's a very loose recommendation though. Please do what's best for you and your students. If you'd like the free electronic copy of the book, please feel out the Google Form at the bottom of this page.

Photos/stories of Mindful Classrooms being used in class are always welcome and would be great for the newsletter! Email James Butler.


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 about 1 minute 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