I began using a “Mindful Minute” one day a week in my health classroom to give students a chance to “arrive” and provide them with another tool to use for their mental emotional health. As an introduction to mindfulness, I asked the students if they had ever used mindfulness and then shared this video Mindful Minute- Arrive. At first, we just practiced being still and focused on our breath. Sometimes we would listen for a certain sound such as the classroom clock or the rattle of the door. If students lost focus, I told them they could imagine that “thought” as a cloud that they could blow away, a balloon they could pop or something to put in a stream and let it float away. I also googled unique pictures to project and use as a visual for our mindfulness. This morphed into using my own pictures taken when I am out walking/hiking in nature. The students have always been interested in where I was and oftentimes I am just in the backyard. From that, students are now taking their phones into nature and capturing their mindfulness that is then shared with the class! It has turned into a really neat project that is building connections, practicing mental health and getting students into nature. Try it! It will only take a minute!
I also recommend this article, 3 Teaching Exercises for Mindfulness in the Classroom.
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Pair this blog post with the following:
Practical Mindfulness by Leah Lipschitz
Put on Your Own Mask: Secondary Trauma in Education by Stephanie Kelln
Book: Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness by David Treleaven.