Sharing MindfulnessPosted by Carlene Gordon
Our fourth graders are fully engaged in the benefits of mindfulness! Each day in the classroom, we start by opening all the windows, turning off the lights and ringing a chime to signal “Two minutes of mindful listening”. During these two minutes, students are encouraged to practice a recently learned breathing technique or affirmation. We use “square or triangle breathing”, “4:8 breathing” or “heart and belly breath”. Through the use of affirmations, students are learning to offer kind words to others and especially to ourselves. We began thinking of a loved one and then repeating silently in our minds, “May you be happy…May you be healthy…May you be safe…May you be strong”. Then we practiced this same matra focusing on ourselves. Students brainstormed more possible personal affirmations as well, “You are brave…You are kind…You are generous…”. Students were asked, “How do you feel after silently repeating an affirmation to yourself?” The responses included: “I feel safe, I feel calm, I feel ready for the day…”
Later in the day, at lunch time, our fourth graders combine mindfulness practice with leadership skills. Each day, two fourth graders ring the bell and announce to the student body what the chefs have prepared for lunch. Afterwards, the fourth graders lead the dining room in a breathing technique, yoga pose or affirmation before the food is served. This has served as a terrific way to center ourselves, take a moment to breath, acknowledge gratitude and realign for our afternoon at Unquowa. We are so proud of the commitment and leadership and mindfulness skills fourth graders are developing and sharing.
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