3 Easy Ways to Use Mindfulness In Your Classroom

3 Easy Ways to Use Mindfulness In Your Classroom by A Word On Third

Mindfulness is definitely trending right now, but it has huge benefits in the classroom. I hope this trend is here to stay, because there's so much solid research that backs the benefits of mindfulness. It's useful for your students, but it's also useful for YOU! Students learn better when they can focus on the present moment, and you teach better when you can do the same. Here are a few ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your classroom.

1. Teach breathing or meditation.

You don't need to do this for a long time each day--in fact, I recommend the opposite with K-3 students. In my classroom, we usually start every morning (right before morning meeting) with a 1-3 minute meditation. We use my personal account on Headspace. I like Headspace because there are mini meditations and kid's meditations.

I'm not being paid to say this--I just REALLY love Headspace! I think it's important to model using mindfulness along with your students. It can be tempting to get those papers together or just check over those few worksheets before teaching, but modeling mindfulness shows students that you value it.

If you don't have Headspace or aren't interested in a personal account, you can always use the Mindfulness brain breaks on GoNoodle or read guided meditations to your students. Click the picture of the book below to be taken to an Amazon link of my favorite book.

2. Use yoga during brain breaks.

We all know how important it is to incorporate movement into the day. Why not try a few yoga poses with your kids? There are tons of free YouTube channels with short 3-5 minute yoga videos for kids. Of course, GoNoodle has a yoga channel too. I love to play this 10 minute video if we have indoor recess.

Yoga is not just movement, though; it's all about being aware of your breath and the sensations in your body. Sometimes being aware of those things causes you to be aware of emotions you may not have realized were present too. When you do yoga in your classroom, which again, I recommend you model doing alongside of your kids, help direct students to pay attention to their breathing and bodies.

3. Teach and implement positive time out.

Responsive classroom has shared so many articles about the benefits of teaching time out in a positive way. It's not a punishment; it's supposed to be a tool to help children regain a sense of calmness. Here's a great video for how to introduce it in your classroom.

Again, as I mentioned in every other post, you should model using the take a break chair yourself as often as you need it. I have students practice it often too. Time out is a place for everyone. Use it at the first signs of student misbehavior, students getting off task, or simply students needing to cool off. It's not punishment--it's helping your students not to feel overwhelmed!

These are EASY to implement and make such a big difference in my classroom. It helps to create an environment of respect. When we teach students to honor themselves and their needs, everyone is happier! Do you use mindfulness in your classroom? If so, how? Please share with me below in a comment!

By the way, do you film a news report with your students for their families? Every week, my students write and film a news report in one class period. We practice important literacy skills, but it serves a purpose--to inform our families of what we're learning each week! I am hoping to start my news report this week. If you are interested in learning more about how you can do this in 40 minutes or less, click here or on the picture below. By the way, fancy editing is optional--NOT mandatory!!

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