I have shared a lot about my experiences of bringing mindfulness to the classroom in my blog. As I visited my 9 and 10 year old friends again today my belief in the power of mindfulness to change lives for the better is solidified. However, in today’s blog I want to share a few ideas I have used in both elementary and high school classrooms. I remember when I started out I appreciated not having to reinvent the wheel and having a variety of exercises for teachers to choose from based on what was happening in their space. Note: You really must teach both mindful sit and mindful breath before doing other mindfulness exercises.
Making Space: 3 Senses Exercise
The 10 Count
I used this mindfulness exercise with students in a written class as they began their research paper. The teacher said that students in the past had struggled with sustained attention during periods of work time. In this exercise, rather than focusing just on your breath, you close your eyes and focus your attention on slowly counting to ten. One breath is made up of an inhale and exhale. If your mind wanders from the focus on your breath you acknowledge the thought without judgment and begin counting again starting with one.
After getting students into their mindful sit ring a bell and ask the kids to listen closely to the vibration of the ringing sound. Tell them to remain silent and raise their hands when they no longer hear the sound of the bell. Then tell them to remain silent for one minute and pay close attention to the other sounds they hear once the ringing has stopped. After, go around in a circle and ask the kids to tell you every sound they noticed during that minute. This exercise is not only fun and gets the kids excited about sharing their experiences with others, but really helps them connect to the present moment and the sensitivity of their perceptions. (Source: mindbodygreen.com)
As I look out my window at the beautiful Fall day I am reminded of the importance of purposefully focusing on the present moment. Before we know it the gorgeous colorful leaves will be gone along with the smell of fresh cut grass. My challenge to you this week is to take a mindfulness moment to notice the beauty of the season.