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Monthly Archives: July 2016

Teaching Mindfulness to Student, Here Its Tips

mindfulnessBy what method would we be able to fabricate the nature of care in our youngsters, our classrooms, and our schools?

The Oakland-based Mindful Schools program, of which I am a prime supporter and co-executive, shows youngsters in broad daylight and private rudimentary, center, and secondary schools how to be more aware of their musings and activities. As of the fall of 2009, Mindful Schools had acquired our five-week class care preparing to more than 7,000 youngsters in 26 schools, 22 of which serve low-wage kids. The program is common, to a great degree savvy, and uses short, intuitive activities that are customized for youngsters. Both quantitative and subjective reactions from instructors, principals, and understudies have shown that our program incredibly enhances the classroom and the general school environment.

Here are a few rules that Mindful Schools has made for instructors who need to join care into the school day, or for any individual who needs to instruct care to kids, in light of our encounters with Mindful Schools.

# Purpose

Because this is a tool that students can utilize throughout their life, it is important that the connotation of “mindfulness” remains accurate. Mindfulness, when applied appropriately, includes the qualities of awareness (paying attention to one’s experience through the senses and the mind); of non-judgment (not labeling things “good” or “bad” but rather observing with a neutral attitude); and of stillness in heart and mind (though the body may be moving). Although it may be tempting to use mindfulness as a disciplinary tool, mindfulness should not be used to demand a certain behavior. It inherently includes the quality of acceptance.

# Have your own mindfulness practice

This will make you more effective at teaching mindfulness. We can only offer what we have developed ourselves.

# Choose a time for mindfulness

We are creatures of habit! Try to always practice mindfulness at the same time. Many teachers find mindfulness helps their class settle down after recess or after lunch. Of course, you may do it more than once a day.

# Create the environment

Make it clear that mindfulness is a special time: clear off desks, perhaps move to the carpet, or have all chairs face the front of the room. Ask students not to take bathroom breaks and refrain from talking and moving for a little while.

# Get the students involved

The best way to make sure you remember to do mindfulness is to enlist the help of your students. Create a rotation schedule for “who gets to ring the mindfulness bell.” If you practice mindfulness at the same time every day, pretty soon you won’t have to remember—whoever’s turn it is will remind you!

# You share.

Because children respond well when we relay our own experiences, you can share with the students if, how, and when you are using mindfulness in your life. If you share a recent story of when you were overcome with emotion or used mindfulness to help you deal with an emotion, they can hear how it is applied.

# They share.

Many young students like to share what they’ve noticed or experienced during mindfulness, or maybe something that was challenging or distracting. Sharing also allows others to be aware of things to notice while practicing mindfulness that they may not have heard otherwise.

# Practice every day!

 The sooner you begin integrating mindfulness exercises into your daily classroom routine, even for just a minute at a time, the quicker it will become a part of the classroom culture.

# Use the instructions and script below

for a daily mindfulness lesson; it can be done in just one or two minutes. If you like, you can get more creative and add more in-depth lessons, or practice for longer periods. You can do the same thing every day. A simple lesson to repeat daily is one minute of mindful listening and one minute of mindful breathing.

1. “Please get into your ‘mindful bodies’—still and quiet, sitting upright, eyes closed.”

2. “Now place all your attention on the sound you are about to hear. Listen until the sound is completely gone.”

3. Ring a “mindfulness bell,” or have a student ring the bell. Use a bell with a sustained sound or a rainstick to encourage mindful listening.

4. “Please raise your hand when you can no longer hear the sound.”

5. When most or all have raised their hands, you can say, “Now slowly, mindfully, move your hand to your stomach or chest, and just feel your breathing.”

6. You can help students stay focused during the breathing with reminders like, “Just breathing in … just breathing out …”

7. Ring the bell to end.

Fostering Flow in Classroom

It’s each instructor’s fantasy to have understudies who draw in profoundly with their lessons, need to learn for learning’s purpose, and perform at the highest point of their potential.

As it were, educators need their children to discover “stream,” that sentiment finish submersion in an action, where we’re engaged to the point that our stresses, feeling of time, and reluctance appear to vanish.

Since analyst Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi (who initially instituted the term) began considering stream, it has been connected to sentiments of bliss and elation, and to crest execution among specialists, researchers, competitors, artists, and numerous others.

Stream is significant in school classrooms too. Look into by Csikszentmihalyi and others has found that stream extends learning and empowers long haul enthusiasm for a subject.

But how can teachers encourage flow? Although the constraints of today’s classrooms can make it challenging, here are some research-based tips for injecting more flow into education.

# Challenge kids—but not too much.

One of the central conditions for flow, according to Csikszentmihalyi, is that an activity be challenging at a level just above one’s current abilities. If a challenge is too hard, students will become anxious and give up; if it’s too easy, they’ll become bored. It’s important to find the sweet spot, where the activity is difficult enough to challenge students without overwhelming them. Students may require a lesson to be scaffolded—breaking it down into manageable pieces—in order to find the right balance.

# Make assignments feel relevant to students’ lives.

Research has shown that when students understand the relevance of a classroom activity, they are more likely to engage in it. Whenever possible, it can help for teachers to point out how an activity connects to students’ own lives, or encourage students to discover the relevance for themselves. In a 2009 study published inScience, researchers Chris Hulleman and Judith Harackiewicz found that when low-performing high school science students were instructed to write about how a lesson was relevant to their lives, these students showed greater interest in the subject—a fundamental part of flow—and got higher grades than students who didn’t participate in the writing exercise.

# Encourage choice.

When students are given an opportunity to choose their own activities and work with autonomy, they will engage more with the task. In a 2000 study led by Aaron Black of the University of Rochester, students who sensed more teacher support for autonomy felt more competent and less anxious, reported more interest and enjoyment in their work, and produced higher-quality work in their class than students who didn’t believe they had as much autonomy.

# Set clear goals (and give feedback along the way).

Csikszentmihalyi has found that a fundamental condition for flow is that an activity should have clear goals, which provides structure and direction. This has also proven to be true in the classroom, especially when students help define their goals. And as students progress toward these goals, research suggests it’s also important for them to receive ongoing feedback along the way. This doesn’t necessarily mean that teachers must interrupt a students’ process, but it does mean that students must be aware of how (or whether) their efforts are moving toward the goal. By receiving this kind of feedback, students can adjust their efforts in a way that helps them stay in flow.

# Build positive relationships.

Education researcher David Shernoff, of Northern Illinois University, has shown that positive peer and teacher-student relationships increase flow. It can sometimes take more time to build these relationships, but some subtle strategies can go a long way, such as by communicating respectfully toward students and making clear that their input is valued. For instance, Alex Angell, a history teacher at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California, says that during class discussions, he’s careful to let students complete their thoughts and then use his own body language—eye contact, leaning toward them—to show he’s heard their views.

# Foster deep concentration.

A bedrock of flow is feeling completely absorbed by an activity, and that often requires a state of deep concentration. This may be hard to facilitate in a classroom, particularly in middle or high school, where periods are relatively short. But if it’s possible to allow, students will reap real rewards from working without interruption. Research by Kevin Rathunde of the University of Utah, conducted with Csikszentmihalyi, found that flow was higher in Montessori schools than in traditional schools because of the more flexible schedules of Montessori schools—students who are fully concentrating on a task are not interrupted as often.

# Offer hands-on exercises.

Flow research, like other education research, has shown that hands-on activities often get kids more engaged in their learning than more passive activities. Making things, solving problems, and creating artwork tend to induce more flow than lectures or videos, as long as the materials students need to complete the assignment are readily available.

#Make ‘em laugh.

Humor is a great way to engage kids in any setting, especially the classroom. It helps encourage flow not just by geting kids’ attention and keeping them engaged but by modeling enthusiasm for a subject. A teacher doesn’t have to be an actor or comedian to engage kids, but it helps to speak their language. When Shernoff and others explored what types of activities induced flow in high school classrooms, they found that teachers who used humor and showed enthusiasm for the lesson could even turn a lecture into an engaging activity.

Encourage Kindness in Student Tips

When I was an educator, toward the begin of every school year I couldn’t endure to attempt all the classroom administration tips I’d gotten over the mid year, persuaded that now I had in my pocket the most recent strategies that would make my classroom a warm and safe place to learn.

I realized that one of the keys to a minding classroom was urging understudies to show kind, accommodating—or “prosocial”— conduct toward each other. Analysts have found that understudies who demonstrate this sort of conduct: 1) make more prominent scholarly progress, 2) have more companions, and 3) grow better associations with educators.

Some of the time my new methods succeeded; bunches of times they didn’t. In any case, as I’ve adapted more about the exploration of prosocial conduct, I’ve been charmingly amazed that it may be a great deal less demanding to empower generosity among understudies than I suspected.

For instance, in a 2010 study published in the journal Psychological Science, 18-month old infants were shown photos of household objects, like a tea-kettle. The photos each featured one of four backgrounds: blocks, two dolls facing each other, a single doll, or two dolls facing away from each other.

Turned out the background choice decisively influenced behavior: The infants who saw the dolls facing each other were three times more likely than the infants who saw the other background images to spontaneously help a person in need.

All it took was a gentle reminder of our human connectedness to prompt kids to reach out and help someone else.

When I read this study, I realized that I already had been doing a lot of things that encouraged positive connectedness in the classroom—just like most teachers. But this study and others have pointed me to a few simple, effective, research-based tips for consciously nurturing kindness among students—tips that teachers can start to implement on the very first day of school (if not before!). Here are four of my favorites:

# When setting up your classroom for the year, hang posters of people interacting with each other. As that study demonstrates, even a subtle image of two people looking at each other can create a sense of connectedness and foster kindness. Such visual cues also let students know that you value this kind of behavior.

# Greet students on the first day of school—and every day after that—as they enter the classroom. Students are more likely to behave with kindness if they feel a sense of belonging. Astudy of 158 tenth- and twelfth-grade students found that those who felt connected to their teachers and other students scored higher in empathy—a building block of prosocial behavior.

# From the first day of school to the last, use a positive, warm tone of voice. Forget the advice to not let them see you smile til Christmas. Students’ prosocial skills increase when they are part of a caring classroom. Modeling kind speech with students tends to have the happy effect of students speaking kindly to each other.

# To build community in your classroom, give your students chances to help each other.Giving students the opportunity to practice prosocial behavior is one of the most effective ways to promote it. For example, when having them work in cooperative learning groups—an instructional technique that allows small groups of students to work together on a task—inform students that part of their responsibility as members of the group is to help one another. Scientists have found that students who engage more in cooperative learning are more likely to treat each other with kindness.