How to seamlessly integrate mindfulness into any classroom with tech tools
Friday, May 10, 2019
Today’s educators recognize that they are not just teaching a subject; they are teaching life skills to students so they can successfully navigate academic, career, and social-emotional challenges as they arise. Integrating developmentally appropriate mental health and wellness strategies into all content area subjects is increasingly as commonplace as integrating study skills strategies.
Did you know that teaching well-being and preparing students for careers have not always been perceived to be mutually exclusive goals? Founding father John Adams said, "There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
How can educators today integrate mental health and mindfulness into the classroom? There are free, engaging tech tools that are many educators’ go-to resources!
GoNoodle is a website, smartphone and smart TV app with a compilation of interactive videos encouraging movement and mindfulness for kids and adults.
The "Melting" video provides an engaging visual of body relaxation. While it’s geared toward younger children, the strategies are helpful for any age. Many people struggle with staying focused during relaxation sessions, and the video is beneficial to follow along and to keep a strong visual aide in mind while relaxing one’s body.
Sign up at no cost on GoNoodle and find more videos on mindfulness, body relaxation, deep breathing, and more in the "Flow" section.
Stop, Breathe, Think is an app available for iOS and Android. The app provides a guide to meditation and mindfulness training used to shift attention and develop focus, kindness, gratitude, and compassion. With guided meditation, self-assessment, measurement tools and reminders, Stop, Breathe, Think (SBT) is useful, helping users develop and support a mindfulness routine.
Users can begin with a check-in, "How are you?" The app guides the user to pause and survey themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. From their SBT will recommend several guided meditations that may be beneficial. Clicking on preselected meditation such as "Joy" or "Gratitude" will allow the user to listen to soothing voices and be taken through an exploration of the concepts of the title.
The guided meditations last between 1-15 minutes depending on the concept. Upon finishing, users can "favorite" or "share" the meditation; check-in to monitor emotional or mental change; view their progress; or pick another track.
With the use of these tech tools, educators don’t have to experts in mental health and wellness. They don’t have to worry about the right "wording" to guide students through a relaxation or deep-breathing exercise and have the opportunity to be the guide and learn alongside students rather than being the sage on the stage.
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