The Spirited School Counselor

Mindfulness in Schools. Part 3: Curriculum & Resources

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Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in the post below are “affiliated links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item I will receive a small commission. With that said, I only recommend items that I have found useful as a school counselor and educator. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Mindfull3

In my last two posts I have discussed what mindfulness is and what some of the research supporting mindfulness in schools has found. Today I am going to focus on several programs and resources I have discovered over the last year.

This past spring semester I took a course called prevention and intervention in schools. The class focused on using social emotional learning and mindfulness as tools to prevent problems and interventions when necessary.  I also attended a conference session on incorporating yoga into my counseling practice. I mention all of these things because they have led me to this post and to the different resources I will be sharing.
Curriculum

Mindful Schools

MindfulSchoolsMindful Schools “mission is to help lead the integration of mindfulness into education. We are a non-profit organization that offers professional training, in-class instruction, and other resources to support mindfulness in education” (from their website).

I completed their 6-week Mindfulness Fundamentals course a few weeks ago. Through the course I was able to connect with people from all over the world, many who were educators interested in integrating mindfulness techniques into their schools, classrooms and counseling practices. Following the course I found my willingness to share the techniques I learned increasing. My confidence in my ability to share mindfulness, as well as my ability to practice mindfulness had increased as well. The Fundamentals course is just the first step in their training program. They offer several other programs once you have completed their fundamentals course.

You can find a sample lesson on their website and a video of mindfulness being taught in the classroom. You can also try out some of these guided mindfulness exercises. They also share more research and personal accounts of how mindfulness has had an impact. One student quote from their website really stood out to me:

““I was sitting in a party with my friend. Two guys come over to us and they want to fight. My friend has a gun and he’s ready to use it. You know what I did? I’m sittin’ in the party doin’ a body scan. That’s right, a body scan. I breathed. Then I took my friend’s gun and walked out of the party.”
Amar, a GED (high school equivalency) student in Virginia whose teacher attended our 2009 summer workshop”

It gives me goosebumps each time I read this quote. I don’t want to imagine what would have happened if that student hadn’t practiced mindfulness in that moment.

 

MindUP Curriculum

mindup_03The MindUP Curriculum is created by the Hawn Foundation (as in, Goldie Hawn) and has been published by Scholastic. It has also been heavily researched by CASEL and been proven to be effective. This is an integrated program into the classroom and can be incorporated into classroom lessons. According to the Scholastic website, “each lesson offers easy strategies for helping students focus their attention, improve their self-regulation skills, build resilience to stress, and develop a positive mind-set in both school and life.” You can hear Goldie Hawn talk about the curriculum in this video:


MindUP-Scholastic.jpgMindUp has 3 published books that are for 3 different age groups: prek-2, 3-5, and 6-8 grades. You can purchase them directly from the scholastic website, as well as on
Amazon (a kindle edition is available). The price ranges from $15.49 (kindle) to $24.99 (non-sale price). With that said, Scholastic has an excerpt of each book available for review, as well as sample lesson plans:

You may notice that they are all the same lesson, which is true; however, they are adjusted to best meet the developmental needs of the students. The fundamentals of the curriculum stay the same throughout the grade levels because mindfulness, at its core, is the same regardless of your age. The biggest difference is how it is presented.

Below you can hear teacher’s testimonials of how the MindUP curriculum has impacted their class:

 

Resources

There are many books, websites, and apps that can act as great resources as you integrate mindfulness into your personal and professional life. Here are just a few:

Books
Building Emotional Intelligence: Techniques to Cultivate Inner Strength in Children by Linda Lantieri & Daniel Goleman

This book comes with a great CD so it feels like a 2 for 1 deal. This book was written for parents, but I still felt like I got a lot from the book. The first few chapters discuss some of the research and help prepare the reader to practice mindfulness with a child. The last few chapters give a number of ways to incorporate “exercises to calm the body and focus the mind” for different age groups: 5-7 year olds, 8-11 year olds, and 12 year olds and up. The book also comes with a CD with several guided exercises, 2 for each age group. The CD itself has a total playing time of just under an hour. Lantieri posted a sample exercise on her webpage that is available for you to try.

 


The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate by Susan Kaiser Greenland

This book, again, is from a parental perspective but it has a great amount of information to offer and learn from. Greenland’s book is broken into chapters focusing on different aspects of mindfulness: your breath, paying attention, compassion, sensory awareness, and your thoughts. She also incorporates many activities, as well as mindfulness scripts, throughout her book. Greenland has a great section on her website called, “How to” with lots of ideas on how to implement mindfulness practices into your day to day life (or adapted into your counseling practice).

Websites

DVDs

 Apps

 

Thanks for stopping by!
-Elizabeth

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Author: thespiritedschoolcounselor

Hey there! I started blogging about my experiences through graduate school and now have continued as a working school counselor. I am currently working in an elementary school but try hard to keep up-to-date on all things school counselor, as well as topics in education. I hope to share ideas, document what I am doing, network, be inspired, inspire, and collaborate with others through this blog. My professional portfolio can be found here: http://elizabethcranford.weebly.com/ Thanks for stopping by!

2 thoughts on “Mindfulness in Schools. Part 3: Curriculum & Resources

  1. You are my first introduction to mindfulness. Thank you for being so thorough and yet making it “make sense”. I now have a great idea for a grant application to weave it into my school counseling program. Thank you!

    • You are welcome! If you have any questions I can certainly try to answer them but I am only at the beginning of learning about mindfulness. Good luck on your grant application. I was so surprised how much the students liked it (and their teacher, and me too!).

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