Is this what you were thinking? Well, maybe we can teach students to meditate in school but if meditation is too controversial then a better way to support our students is to teach MINDFULNESS! Here are some links I’ve collected with resources and videos to help your students practice mindfulness. There’s a wave of articles, blog posts, news stories and youtube videos showing people how to improve their life, their work performance, and their well-being by practicing mindfulness. It’s really as simple as paying attention, complete attention and focus, to whatever it is that you are doing at the moment. Think about it, in the age of “multi-tasking” where we are trying to do more in less time with laptop, tablet, smartphone, and maybe even TV on and music playing, it’s no wonder mindfulness is big!
At our middle school we take the first ten minutes from our 2nd period class to have homeroom time. Each week we try to stick to a set schedule of activities for homeroom.
Mondays we all read from the book Boys in the Boat, relevant to us here in WA state and a great book to teach traits such as perseverance, growth mindset, and the value of effort and hard work.
Tuesdays we have announcements made over the intercom by students.
Wednesdays we share inspirational videos and messages to keep us all going and working hard and learning.
Thursdays is our mindfulness day where we practice things such as mindful breathing, mindful eating, mindful walking, mindful coloring, and other cool exercises such as a Peace4Kids balance exercise called the MELT (see instructions for the MELT below).
Fridays is our acknowledgements day and one of my 2nd period’s favorite. Kids take turns acknowledging anyone who has demonstrated any of our Peace4Kids traits that week. It has been an incredibly positive way to end our week and kids show some wonderful gratitude and appreciation for all the good things they do to help each other. (Personal aside here: I am so happy that students are doing this and getting pleasure from telling each other, “thank you,” instead of receiving an certificate, award, ticket, pizza party or Shrute Buck!)
Homeroom time has been nice and my 2nd period class has come to expect the things we do. The mindfulness activities we’ve done have been met rather well. Just about everyone tries all the mindfulness exercises we’ve been doing and they’ve enjoyed paying attention to simple things we take for granted such as breathing and coloring. It’s always quiet and focused during mindfulness exercises, and, shhhh, some of them have been guided meditations and everyone did it and many, if not all, liked it. 🙂