Mindfulness Newsletter

September 2018--#mindfulAISD

Mindfulness Resources Featured in This Newsletter...

  • Research on Boosting Teen Memory
  • Retreat for Middle School Girls
  • Mindful Music Moments
  • Professional Learning
  • For Families
  • Equity
  • Books of the Month *NEW SECTION*
  • Technology
  • Athletics
  • SEL Newsletter & Blog
  • Mindful Happenings in AISD

The italicized points above will be recurring themes in each mindfulness newsletter. Resources will be provided that directly relate to those themes. Please feel free to email me suggestions for what to include in future newsletters.

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.

Research: Boosting Teen Memory

Check out this article that highlights research on mindfulness and teen memory. From the article: "If you tend to forget your homework or are easily distracted, take heed. A new study shows that teens can improve their memory with a practice known as mindfulness meditation."

Shout out to Teresa Coomaraswamy, PreAP & IB Biology Teacher at Anderson HS, for sharing this article.

Mindfulness Retreat for Middle School Girls

Please share this flyer with middle school girls who might be interested. They are offering scholarships if cost is a deterrent. Email anitastoll@gmail.com with questions.

Using Yoga and Mindfulness to Lower Stress and Anxiety

A Skill Enhancing Retreat for Middle School Girls (ages 11-13)

This one day retreat will help girls learn ways to feel more calm, centered, and confident in the midst of change, uncertainty, and the many pressures of being a teen girl in a media-saturated and fast-paced world.

Shout to Hilary Simon, SEL Specialist, for sharing this opportunity.

Mindful Music Moments

I recently learned about Mindful Music Moments. Below is a bit about their program. They said they're willing to offer scholarships/discounts if money is a deterrent. I'm always advocating for those discounts & scholarships for AISD schools. :)

"We work in partnership with world-class music organizations including the Austin Opera to curate our playlists and select our music. Then each day, usually played over the PA, students, teachers and administrators listen to a 3-minute excerpt of music along with a mindful prompt … so noticing your breath while listening to Beethoven or using your imagination to see yourself as an everyday hero while listening to Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. The entire experience is around 4 minutes long."

If interested in more information, click here.

Mindfulness Professional Learning through HCP

“Mindfulness in Schools” HCP course (feel free to print & post this flyer on campus).

All will be held at the Blanton Museum of Art in classrooms above the cafeteria. These classes are open to ALL AISD staff. Thanks to a generous donation from a community member, teacher & librarian subs will be paid for by the SEL Department. That generous donation ensures that 17 subs can be covered for each session, so sign up soon to reserve your spot. More classes will be offered in the Spring too!

Mindfulness Series

Section #: 88374--October 2nd, 8am-11am, Mindfulness 101 (beginner)

Section #: 88974--October 2nd, 1pm-4pm, Mindfulness 101 (beginner)

Section #: 88380--November 1st, 8am-11am, Mindfulness 201 (intermediate)

Section #: 88976--November 1st, 1-4pm, Mindfulness 201 (intermediate)

Section #: 88384--November 29th, 8-11am, Mindfulness 301 (advanced)

**There are NO prerequisites for 201 & 301. Choose which level you think you should attend based on your knowledge and expertise with mindfulness. For 301, it's preferred that you have at least one full year of practicing mindfulness in your classroom.

Integrating Mindfulness

Section #: 88387--October 25th, 8am-11am, Culturally Responsive Mindfulness

Section #: 88975--October 25th, 1pm-4pm, Culturally Responsive Mindfulness

Section #: 88385--November 29th, 1-4pm, Mindfulness & The Arts

Mindfulness for Librarians

Section #: 88379--October 3rd, 1-4pm, Mindfulness for Elementary Librarians

Section #: 88381--November 14th, 1-4pm, Mindfulness for Secondary Librarians

Mindfulness for Counselors

Section #: 88382--December 6th, 8-11am, Mindfulness for Elementary Counselors

Section #: 88383--December 6th, 1-4pm, Mindfulness for Secondary Counselors

Mindfulness for Families

Check out this Heart Mind Online article that has some easy to implement mindfulness activities at home. The article mentions young children, but I think most of the activities are appropriate for all ages. Feel free to share this article with your families, or even share this whole newsletter. The more the merrier!

As a reminder, you can always find family resources on bit.ly/mindfulfams.

Mindfulness & Equity

Mindfulness & Equity are deeply connected through self-awareness. Equity is a crucial component of education that help us reach ALL of our students. It's also a priority in the district and at the base of the SEL 2.0 wheel.

"How To Change the Story About Students of Color" is an important article featured in Greater Good Magazine. Dena Simmons, the author, explores how educators can inadvertently harm students of color—and what we can do to bring out their best. This could be a powerful article review for your team and/or staff.

Shout to Sarah Stone, SEL Specialist, for sharing this article.

Mindfulness Books of the Month

Mindful Technology

Tips From Teens on Reducing Screen Time

This blog entry from "Screenagers" filmmaker Dr. Delaney Ruston has some great tips about reducing screen time. Why are these tips great? Because they come from teens themselves. Listening to our youth is incredibly powerful. You can sign up for this weekly blog using the link below.

Shout to Sarah Dille & Sharon Laidlaw, Technology Design Coaches, for recommending the Tech Talk Tuesday blog subscription.

Mindfulness & Athletics

The Best Mental Game of Baseball

A video from ESPN about Evan Longoria, baseball player for the San Francisco Giants, and his mental approach to the game. Mindfulness is a great mental strength training practice that is utilized throughout all levels of athletics.

Shout out to Jacob Anderson, Lanier Athletic Director, for sharing this video.

SEL Newsletter & Blog--The Power of Connection

Mindful Happenings in Austin ISD

Here are a few mindfulness highlights from across the district. Email me or tag your tweets with #mindfulAISD so I can highlight your work in future newsletters.

Morning Check-Ins at Blackshear

Check out this sweet morning mindfulness check-in from Melissa Stamnes at Blackshear.
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1st Grade Mindfulness Leaders at Guerrero-Thompson

Check out these 1st grade mindfulness leaders in Mrs. Doucette's class at Guerrero-Thompson. Student mindfulness leaders are the best!
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Dr. Cruz Visits Baldwin's Mindfulness Room

On the 2nd day of school, Dr. Cruz visited Baldwin Elementary and stopped to check out their mindfulness room.
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Mindfulness Studio Coming Soon to Eastside Memorial

Excited to announce the creation of a mindfulness studio at Eastside Memorial in their library. They just scored a donation of paint from Home Depot too! They plan on working on it during an upcoming Keep Eastside International Beautiful community work day. Let me know if you're interested in helping in any way.
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Mindful AISD on Austin 360 Podcast "I Love You So Much"

I had the honor of being a guest on the Austin 360 podcast, "I Love You So Much" to discuss SEL & mindfulness in AISD. It should be available online soon.
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Mindful Classrooms: The Educator Guide

Those of you who are using Mindful Classrooms: The Educator Guide, I recommend Weeks 3-6 for September. As a friendly reminder, the book will be published by Free Spirit Publishing soon and I won't be able to give away free copies once that happens. AISD staff, sign up for a free electronic copy of the book while you can in the support form at the bottom of this newsletter.

#mindfulAISD archives

Mindfulness Newsletter Archives (One link to access all newsletters from 16-17 & 17-18)

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