MINDFULNESS IN THE CLASSROOM
Helping students become thankful and return kindness to others will not only add to the quality of your classroom environment, but it will help your students to be a better human being!
Here is a list of gratitude activities to add to your classroom:
If you already have a meditation practice in your classroom this is an easy addition to your already existing routine. When in meditation, instead of focusing on the breath, direct the students to visualize friends and family members and think of how they are grateful for that person. They can also visualize items and aspects of their lives that they are grateful. If you do not have a meditation routine in your class, see my blog post on how to start one How to Incorporate Mindfulness into The High School Classroom.
This is a very fun and easy activity. If you’re a teacher, you have access to bulletin board paper. Find an empty wall area in your classroom, tape up some bulletin board paper and write I AM GRATEFUL FOR….. Then let the kids do the rest. Give them some markers and let them fill up the paper. Keeping this up all year long gives the students a constant reminder of things for which they can be grateful.
Gratitude journals can include any type of writing about gratitude. This can include making lists, responding to prompts, writing stories or narratives about things they are grateful for. Journals can be done as Do Nows, as part of your journaling routine, or as a separate lesson on gratitude. Have fun with this and be creative.
I first saw these when I watched The Secret. Students collect and bring in a small cleaned rock, or you can collect and clean them yourself. Have students paint and decorate them with positive saying about gratitude. They can keep the rock as a reminder to be grateful or give them away to spread the positive message of gratitude.
Positive Text Tuesday
It is hard to control cell phone use in the classroom!!! This is one way to embrace its use as a means of spreading positivity and kindness. On Tuesdays, I dedicate the first 3 minutes of class to allowing students to send positive texts to their friends and family members. I tell the students not to let the person receiving the text know its a classroom assignment. Don’t be surprised if your students report that they receive odd responses to their texts. Usually, a parent or grandparent responding “What’s wrong?” or “Are you OK?” I tell my students that these responses should be used as a reminder that they should openly express their gratitude more often.
Old-Fashioned Thank You Notes
Everyone likes to be appreciated. Have your students create thank you cards for a member of the school staff. Make sure to remind students to thank all the staff members that help them in school, not just the teachers. Make sure to include support service staff, custodians, admins, etc.. Then deliver the notes. We have a teacher who does this every year for her Teen Leadership course and it’s so nice to look into my mailbox and see the letters. I usually display them behind my desk.
Encouraging Note Cards
Index cards are inexpensive. Have students look up positive quotes, write them on the index cards and decorate with crayon, marker, or colored pencils. Students should make 2-3 cards. Post one card from each child on a bulletin board in the classroom and have them give out the rest to other students, family, or friends.
If you don’t have any wall or bulletin board space, create a Gratitude Garland with string and cardstock. Cut cardstock into strips and fold in half. Have students write something they are grateful for on each half. Fold the cardstock over the string and stape into place. Hang string across a section of your classroom.
One-Minute Mindfulness Cards
One-Minute Mindfulness Cards
I created these cards as a quick and easy way to incorporate mindfulness into the daily classroom. Each card has a mindful activity that can be done for one minute. These cards can be purchased at my Teachers pay Teachers Store The Mindful English Classroom or My Etsy Store The Mindful Goods Store