As the children enter a new grade level, I encourage new opportunities to support mindsets and habits that will support my students in and out of the classroom.
It all starts with a simple intention. It’s important to remember that intentions are very different from goals. Intentions are not necessarily linked to tangible outcomes – it may just be an attitude that the children would like to work on and commit to for the day or week.
A few times a week, we practice a mindfulness technique to bring meaning and motivation to our day! Sometimes we do it to start our day in a positive way; sometimes we do it in the middle of the day when we are feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, and other times we do it at the end of the day when we want to end the day feeling calm and relaxed.
Mindfulness has helped my students regulate their behavior and focus on learning. When I see they are feeling frustrated or extra tired during a particular lesson, I stop in the middle of the lesson and say “its mindfulness time.” The children absolutely love it and look forward to a few minutes of quiet time at their personal space and with the lights off.
Once the kids feel that they can actually calm themselves even just through a simple breathing technique, it’s a ‘wow’ moment, for me and for them. My goal as a second grade teacher is to teach the students self-awareness and self-regulation.
Here is an example of a short mindfulness technique we have done in our classroom:
Sit up straight and comfortably.
Close your eyes.
Feel your feet flat on the floor.
Relax your shoulders.
Feel the air moving in and out of your nose.
Ask yourself: “What is my attitude for today?”
You may use the following prompts to help you explore this question:
What do I need to do to take better care of myself today?
How can I be more compassionate toward myself and my peers?
How do I want to feel throughout the day?
Set your attitude/intention for today.
For example: “Today I will worry about my own needs, be kind to myself, and have fun with my friends.”
Take a deep breath in, hold, and exhale slowly.
Notice how you feel.
Slowly open your eyes.