Introducing Mindfulness to your Intermediate Students

As students get older, it is easier for them to understand mindfulness. While they are more likely to understand mindfulness, intermediate students may be more reluctant to participate in it. For this reason, I recommend demonstrating a variety of mindfulness activities so that each student can find what works for them. I think that a good activity to start with is Mindfulness and the art of chocolate eating (the chocolate can be replaced with raisins if you wish to use a healthier option.) While students enjoy a treat, they begin to learn and practice the foundations of mindfulness. This website offers several other activities for children at this age. It is important to choose activities that give students something to focus on. Whether you use chocolate eating, breathing buddies, or any other activity that you find, it will serve as an anchor. Students  focus on their anchor so that their minds wander less frequently. Keep in mind that mindfulness takes practice. It isn’t reasonable to expect your students to be able to stay focused on the activities for more than a minute at first.  With guidance and practice, they will be able to keep their thoughts in the moment for longer periods of time and quickly bring them back when they begin to wander.

References:

“Mindfulness and the Art of Chocolate Eating.” Meditation in Schools , MindSpace , http://www.meditationinschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Mindfulness-and-the-Art-of-Chocolate-Eating.pdf.

Roman, Kaia. “7 Fun Ways To Teach Your Kids Mindfulness.” Mindbodygreen, 2 Apr. 2015, http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18136/7-fun-ways-to-teach-your-kids-mindfulness.html.

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6 thoughts on “Introducing Mindfulness to your Intermediate Students”

  1. I really like this activity! I really believe in the act of being mindful and this is a great activity to refer to if you were to do it near the start of the school year. I’m wondering how it might go over in primary classes and if it would even work. I could see my students eating the chocolate instantly but it might be worth a try! Thanks for the resource!

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  2. Thanks for the fantastic resource Hailey!! I loved the website, and would love to try out a few of these with my 4-5’s! I have bookmarked it on my laptop for future reference!
    I I think the bell one would be really interesting to do with my class, as it will get introduce them to mindfulness and be a sooting activity before we transition into something else. I don’t believe my class really practices mindfulness, and it would be something I would like to talk to my sponsor teacher about to see if she would be open to trying it out and letting me implement it.
    I’m curious to know what strategies you’ve used with your classroom? I know you have primary grade students, but maybe I could adapt some of your strategies to my intermediate ones as well! Which mindfulness techniques seem to work best in your opinion?

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    1. I haven’t had the chance to fully introduce mindfulness to my students but I plan on doing this during my upcoming practicum. However, I have started using guided breathing during transitions or when it becomes necessary. A Hoberman sphere is an excellent tool for these activities because I can demonstrate when students should breathe in and when they should breathe out. I encourage them to find where they can feel their breath the most. This may be their nostrils, their chest, etc. Then I tell them to focus on that spot. This serves as an anchor to keep their minds from wandering. I have found that doing this calms them down and helps them refocus. This activity only takes a minute or two and it can work with any age group.

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    1. Absolutely. I’ve started using some short activities with my grade ones and twos. The type of activity and the length of time spent on it would change as students get older. Mindfulness in the classroom has gained popularity over recent years so it is likely still unfamiliar to many intermediate students. I believe that the earlier children learn it, the better.

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