A Mindful Classroom

Sommer Blohm & Gina Cuthbert

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is paying attention here and now with kindness and curiosity.

Mindfulness includes:

  • Becoming aware of the breath
  • Noticing thoughts as they pass through the mind
  • Feeling the various sensations of an emotion
  • Attending to the body at rest and in motion
  • Noticing what happens in the body when there is stress
  • Paying attention to all the sounds in the room
  • Feeling the stomach rise and fall with each breath
  • Watching the thoughts that arise when there is boredom
  • Choosing to respond rather than react to stressful situations
  • Practicing sending kindness to oneself and others

Teacher Self Care

Self care strategies for teachers from Edutopia

Self care for teachers from Mindfulteachers

Mindful Games for Younger Students

  • Try this Spider Man script to help younger kids gain focus.
  • Practice with a Breathing Buddy. Check out this video.
  • Blowing bubbles: Use deep breaths in and slow breaths out. Witness the bubbles (with your eyes, then with your body) as they float away. Using a pinwheel works in a similar fashion. Kids focus on the movement of the pinwheel. Take note of the rise and fall of the belly, how fast the breath leaves or enters your body.
  • Texture bag: Place various known items in a bag. Allow each child to reach in the bag and describe what they are holding then guess what it is.

Many Examples of Mindful Excercises in an ES classroom

Inner Kids Video

The Minfulness Bell

  1. Sit in your mindfulness body (still, quiet, upright, eyes closed).
  2. Place all your attention on the sound you will hear. Listen until the sound is completely gone.
  3. Ring the bell or have a student ring it.
  4. Raise your hand when you no longer hear the sound.
  5. When most or all have raised their hands, ask students to slowly, mindfully, move your hand to your stomach or chest and just feel your breathing.
  6. Help kid focus, "Just breath in....just breath out..."
  7. Ring the bell to end.

Other Mindful Practice Ideas

Listen to the Sounds Classroom Mindfulness Practice

A 4 minute audio to practice anytime.

Giant Strides

Sit tall but don't strain yourself.

Lift one foot off the ground & stretch your toes upwards. Breathe in as you raise your foot. Then slowly lower your foot as you breathe out. Breathe in as you raise the other foot, again raising your toes up toward you as fully as possible. Lift your feet eight times. Wait ten seconds.

Imagine you’re taking huge strides over hills and mountains, like a giant. The movement is slow and powerful, your immense body covering miles with every step.

Remain sitting tall in your seat. Raise the heel of one of your feet, keeping the ball of your foot firmly on the floor. Then press the ball of your foot down into the floor. Breathe out as you press the ball of your foot down for a couple of seconds. Then relax, release the pressure on the ball of your foot, and breathe in. Lower your heel. Press and relax eight times, first one foot, then the other. Wait ten seconds. Then repeat the sequence.

Tense and Let Go

1. Lie on your back or sit in a relaxing position.

2. Spend a few moments paying attention to your breath.

3. Scrunch your toes as tight as you can, hold them for a second or two, then let them rest. Now tense both feet, and when you let them relax, imagine they are very heavy.

4. Squeeze all the muscles in your legs. You might find your legs lift off the ground a tiny bit. After a few seconds, let your legs relax, and feel them settle comfortably into the ground.

5. Pull your belly button in for a few seconds, then let your belly get very soft. Relax your back into the floor.

6. Scrunch your shoulders up to your ears, then relax them down.

7. Make your hands into fists, and squeeze all the muscles in your arms. Like your legs, your arms may come off the ground a little. Now rest your arms by your sides with your palms facing up.

8. Close your eyes tightly, scrunch up your nose, and squeeze your lips together. Hold your face like this for a few seconds, and then let it relax. Take a big breath in then let out a deep sigh through your mouth.

9. Now pay attention to your whole body. If any part isn’t relaxed, tense it up, then let go, until you’ve relaxed each part of you.

Resources Other Teachers Find Helpful

http://www.shambhala.com/sittingstilllikeafrog (Julie Turner, worked with grade 1 students)