School Newsletter

Smore Templates: Yoga and Mindfulness in the Classroom

Dr. Kara Stern
2 min read
Smore mascot, face profile, and text saying Mindfulness in the Classroom.

Coming to class prepared is important, and part of what we do as teachers is coach students to arrive prepared: with a pencil, with a notebook, with a completed assignment, so that students are ready to learn. Readiness to learn, though, might have more to do with mindset than with pencils, which is why schools are finding that a few minutes of mindfulness at the start of the day or the class is increasing student achievement. Simply put, mindfulness is the practice of teaching students to calm their thoughts — it is mental and emotional preparedness for learning.

Our goal is to simplify your life by creating grab n’ go templates filled with engaging resources for lessons and units. This template takes a dive into how to introduce mindfulness and yoga to your students.

Getting our minds prepared for learning

The first section of the template introduces mindfulness. First up, 5-minute activities for elementary students. If you prefer a deeper dive, we’ve got an article laying out the value proposition for mindfulness, how to get started, and how to pitch it to parents. Lastly, there’s a set of exercises for remote classrooms.

Focus the breathing; focus the mind

The next section offers some ways to incorporate yoga into your classroom. First off, some research about why yoga benefits learning. Beloved by many, YouTube yoga teacher Adriene has a practice just for the classroom. Check it out, or better yet, try it out! Then, have a listen to K-12 educator and yoga school founder Dr. Terry Harris describe how introducing yoga transformed his St. Louis, MO school district. Eager to learn more, we interviewed Dr. Harris for Snack-Size PD, our YouTube show for over-Zoomed educators. We end with a meditative practice for teachers. Breathe. You got this.

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Dr. Kara Stern

Dr. Kara Stern began her career as an ELA teacher, then shifted into administration as a middle school principal. Dr. Stern is a fervent advocate for equitable communication and family engagement. She spent five years as Executive Director at Math for America, where she designed the professional learning community that exists to this day. An unexpected move to Tel Aviv launched her into the world of EdTech where she became the Director of Education Content for Smore and then the Head of Education Solutions at SchoolStatus. Outside of work, she indulges her love for reading, devouring two novels weekly, with a particular fondness for heists and spy stories.

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