Mindful Moments in the Classroom
I selected the most applicable mindful moment practices from my book and adapted these practices for teachers to use with their students. Teachers can readily adapt these mindful moments for students of all ages and abilities.
These Mindful Moments in My Classroom Cards can be used to teach daily practices that will help students reduce their stress and frustration, calm down and relax, elicit a positive feeling and boost their mood, and be kind to themselves and others. Each of the 5 cards has 9 mindful moments for a total of 45 practices in the following categories:
- Mindful Moments for Reducing Stress
- Mindful Moments for Relaxing
- Mindful Moments for Caring for Yourself
- Mindful Moments for Feeling Good
- Mindful Moments for Being Kind
Braking for mindful moments takes mindfulness from an inner practice to an active practice by taking intentional action. Taking mindful moments offers a way to integrate mindfulness and social-emotional learning (SEL) skills while also nurturing self-care. Mindful moments can be used to extend an ongoing SEL or character-education program, such as promoting kindness or gratitude.
The idea of taking mindful moments lends itself to the classroom setting where teachers may not be able to allot more time in their jam-packed schedules. A daily stream of mindful moments can meet students’ fluctuating needs throughout the day and help keep both students and teachers from getting stressed out and slipping into negativity.
In addition to as needed, an ideal use of mindful moments in the classroom is to incorporate them into a routine part of the school day, such as the beginning or end of the day, before or after recess or lunch, or transitions between classes or subjects. Integrating practices that are relaxing, calming, soothing, or energizing as the moment commands can serve to relieve mounting stress throughout the day.
Four Options for Using Mindful Moments in My Classroom
- Taking mindful moments tailored to students’ fluctuating needs throughout the day
By pausing for mindful moments teachers can seize opportunities to “serve the moment” with a mindful practice that is stress-relieving, relaxing, calming, enjoyable, mood-enhancing, self-soothing or energizing.
- Following a practice or theme for a day (or designated period)
Teachers can follow a theme, or do a practice just for the day that relates to some area they want students to pay more attention to. It might be related to a situation teachers want to improve or a value or character strength they want to encourage.
- Setting a daily intention
Setting an intention is a way to kindle an awareness students carry with them throughout the day. Teachers
may want to select a situation or circumstance where students implement a designated practice each time the situation presents itself.
- Establishing daily rituals
Rituals create a shared experience and support a sense of community. They can be incorporated into an already routine part of the day. A daily ritual can be established to begin or end each day or class period on a positive note.
Alternating among mindful moments targeted to what students need at the moment, following a designated daily theme, setting intentions, and establishing rituals can keep practicing mindfulness fresh and novel.
Practicing Mindful Moments
Teachers can do the mindful moments together with their students, or as guided practice if necessary where they demonstrate the practice for their students. Targeted mindful moments can be taught as a coping strategy for students to use when needed. Once taught, teachers can prompt students to use one of the mindful moments they have learned when they are stressed, feeling frustrated, or need a boost.
Another option for utilizing the concept of mindful moments is to create a dedicated space to serve as a “time-in” rather than a “time-out” where the Mindful Moments in My Classroom Cards are posted and teachers can send students to take a break to reflect on their behavior and then choose an alternate mindful action from one of the cards. This offers a non-punitive, solution-oriented behavior intervention focused on problem solving, not fault finding, to support students in making better choices in the future.
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