How to Create a Nurturing and Mindful Classroom
The Mindful Educator Workshop that I attended this summer through my Fund for Teachers grant at Omega Institute has helped me shape my classroom into a mindful atmosphere. A little lavender or orange oil, closing the lights and only using natural light from the window, and daily meditation helps my classroom become a calm and soothing place to focus and learn.
Pleases see the advice below on how to create your own nurturing environment from the classroom.
From The Mindful Education Workbook: Lessons for Teaching Mindfulness for Students by Daniel Rechtschaffen
“We want to cultivate conditions where we and our students can thrive. The physical spaces we create for our students can inspire them and regulate their nervous systems. We have the capacity to change the school experience with the lighting we use, the formation of chairs, the schedule, music we play, and other factors. The following are recommendations for us to create a peaceful, engaging, and fun learning environment. The best way to create a mindful space is to see how the environment affects our own nervous systems. Then we can ask our students questions and track how the different environment affects the classroom. As mindful teachers, we are gardeners with precious seeds.
*Shift the seating into a circle or another configuration that is conducive to relaxation and group cohesiveness.
*Create a peaceful atmosphere by changing the lighting. Bright overhead lights are generally overbearing. Get as much natural light as possible.
*Creating a landscape of sound for different moments in the day can be very helpful. Soft ambient music during study times can be inspiring. Upbeat music can also be wonderful in moments where the students need to move their bodies and have a break.
*Create an area within the room that can be a space to relax and regulate. Students can self-refer to this space when they are feeling dysregulated, rather than viewing it as a punishment zone. The area can have art supplies and other soothing things to help them calm down.
*Put up images of inspiring figures or beautiful art and nature. Bring a sense of home and vitality to the classroom with color and art.
*Bring in plants and other natural things. If the class can spend time outside, even better. If not, then bringing in some plants or animals is a great way to connect them with nature.
*Natural scents can be relaxing for students and help create a nice environment. Natural essential oil diffusers are a subtle way to create a nice scent in the room and are generally non-allergenic.
*Stress toys and other nondistracting ways for students to work out some tension in the midst of a lesson are a great addition. Some students need ways to move their bodies and regulate themselves, and we can find ways to help them do this without interrupting others.
*Taking recommendations from students about how they would like the room is important. Ask them what would help them relax and feel inspired. Ask them what in the room isn’t working for them. ”
While creating a nurturing classroom environment it’s important to include mindful activities and practices. These One-Minute Mindfulness Cards, Positive Affirmation and Growth Mindset Affirmation Bookmarks can help you get started.
Click here to learn more about Mindful-Activities- One-Minute Mindfulness ActivityTask Cards
When do I have time to include mindfulness into my classroom schedule?
It only takes a minute with these One-Minute Mindfulness Activity/Task Cards
Practicing mindfulness is proven to develop happier and healthier individuals. Taking time to practice mindfulness is a tool that allows students to develop greater self-awareness, self-regulation and increased focus.
Many studies have shown that practicing mindfulness exercises have positive benefits for children. It can increase attention span, develop social skills, enhance focus, promote happiness, and improve mental and emotional health.
Try these easy and fun exercises. Great for all subjects and school support staff.
28 activities that include gratitude, mindful movements, compassionate heart, physical focus, mindful listening and more.
4 cards per page. Just print, cut and laminate.
♥ Whole Group Instruction
♥ Learning Stations
♥ Individual Counseling
♥ Brain Breaks
♥ Staff Professional Development
♥ Start of Class
♥ End of the Day/Class
♥ Before a Test or Quiz
♥ Indoor Recess
♥ Mentor Sessions
Click here to learn more about Mindful Activities – Growth Mindset Affirmation Bookmarks
Mindful Activities – Positive Affirmation Bookmarks
Mindful Activities – Growth Mindset Affirmation Bookmarks/Positive Affirmation Bookmarks ☺
Affirmations are more than just statements that make us feel better about ourselves. Research has shown that daily affirmations can lead to an overall better quality of life. People who recite daily affirmations are usually more optimistic, positive, self-confident and maintain a well-rounded lifestyle.
How Can You Encourage Students With Growth Mindset/Positive Affirmations?
Positive self-talk helps students with self-esteem and self-acceptance. Encourage your students to create positive self-talk and growth mindset with these bookmarks.
♥ Works with any classroom reward system.
Positive affirmations have been proven to improve optimism, strengthen mental resilience, make individuals happier and more productive; as well as boost self-confidence and self-acceptance.
Share bookmarks with students, teachers, staff or anyone you would like to encourage!
Just print, cut and/or laminate.
Growth Mindset Bookmark Download Includes 432 Sheets !!!
24 Different Bookmarks
27 Printable Color Bookmark sheets
27 Printable Black & White sheets
If you are interested in other ways to bring mindfulness to your classroom check out my other blog posts.
THE BIG LIST OF MINDFULNESS IN EDUCATION RESOURCES
TEACHING MINDFULNESS IN THE CLASSROOM – STARTING WITH OURSELVES – OPENING TO EMPATHY
4 MINDFUL LISTENING ACTIVITIES FOR THE CLASSROOM – IMPROVING LISTENING SKILLS
5 STEPS TO TEACHING MINDFULNESS IN THE HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM – FOCUS
HOW TO INCORPORATE MINDFULNESS INTO THE HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM – WHEN DO I HAVE TIME?
BECOMING THE MINDFUL ENGLISH TEACHER – THANK YOU MARY! FUND FOR TEACHERS