Self-Regulation: Mindfulness in the Classroom
Every teacher can tell when his or her students are stressed, excited, anxious or simply tired and worn out. This also usually means that we as teachers are going to have a harder time maintaining their attention and keeping them focused. I began to include self-regulation practices in my classroom last year when I taught 4 year olds and after just a short period of time, most of the kids were more comfortable simply sitting quietly, eyes closed, focusing on their breathing. Initally the desire to fidgit, move, or scratch an itch was very distracting! Later my students started taking pride with statements such as, "My ear was itchy but I didn't move!" I saw the shift in their abilities to control impulses and self-regulate through stressful situations. This year I have started it again, usually right after lunch recess because it is later in the day and they have just come in buzzed from running outside. I find it helps to refocus them on classroom learning.
I use a site called: calm.com
The creators of this site have added a feature where you can have both nature sounds and music, just music or just the nature sounds and scenery. Some of my children find the music to be a bit scary so I usually switch to just the nature scenery and sounds. We have gone through two minute guided sessions together successfully now and tomorrow we're going to try five minutes for the first time!
They also have an app which I am hoping to load into the class iPads so children can choose if they want or need to take some time to be by themselves. I plan to arrange a quiet corner and the children can take their iPad and headphones into the corner to go through their own guided session if they choose to.
Here is an article about self-regulation practices in the classroom that I found through @alisoneducates:
Do you see calm.com working in your classroom?