Mindfulness: now more than ever

In my last post, Online Learning: Start with Connection then think learning I mentioned the need to think about adding mindfulness activities to your online lesson plans. Here are just some ideas of activities you might include in a choice board for the week. Special thanks to Melissa Rosa for sharing many of these with me.

  • Journaling: Have students journal. Here are some ‘Questions for Connections’ that you might use.
  • Practice being present, like this activity of mindful eating from “Teaching our kids (and ourselves) mindfulness to get us through the coronavirus anxiety” by Linda Ryden. When finished have them post what they ate and three words that described the experience.

    Mindful eating: Try to eat something and really pay attention to it with all of your senses. What does it look like, sound like, smell like, feel like, taste like? Try to eat it really slowly and notice everything about it. This practice can help you to slow down, stay in the present moment and feel gratitude for food.

  • Take a free Mindfulness Class from Mindful Schools and prepare to teach the class one thing you learned when we get back to school.

  • Take a moment and do some breathing activities such as these suggested by the website Coping Skills for Kids: 
    • Breathe in like you are smelling a flower, breathe out like you are blowing out birthday candles
    • Arms up and breathe in, arms down and breathe out
    • Pretend your belly is a balloon. Breathe in and make the balloon bigger, then breathe out and make the balloon shrink.
  • Or have them watch one of these videos by Melissa Rosa:

As I’ve said before make sure you think connection during this uncertain time.  Connection to our students is critical. For more great suggestions check out ‘Learning is Social, Emotional and Academic’ by Lorea Martenez. In this article she shares ideas such as sharing an encouraging message with them every morning, giving them ways to share their stories and ideas to show them their stories matter, or simply including suggestions on how they can celebrate their work and give themselves ‘a pat on the back’.

As we continue through this trying time, give your students opportunities to see themselves in a positive light, to practice being in the moment. Empower them to be able to tell their own stories and share the good they see in this world.

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