As technology in the classroom becomes more and more prominent, we should always be thinking about new ways to use it and how students can learn from this technology.
I’m not only talking about English classes and History lessons. I’m also talking about teaching our students how to use technology to improve their organizational skills, clear their minds, and alleviate stress and anxiety.
Yup, I’m talking about social-emotional wellbeing.
And I’m talking about teaching our students mindfulness.
The key thing to remember about mindfulness, particularly in the classroom, is that it is not all about meditation. While the two are very much intertwined, meditation and mindfulness are not the same thing. Mindfulness in the classroom means promoting social-emotional wellbeing.
For children, mindfulness includes games and activities, stories and songs about making friends, building healthy relationships, learning about emotions and how they affect you and those around you, building self-esteem, positive affirmations and visualization, dreaming big, healthy living, conflict resolution, and positive communication. The list goes on and on and on.
This is the same for teens, although mindfulness for teens also moves toward more meditative techniques.
Want to learn more about using mindfulness apps in the classroom? Sign up for my online course Creating Mindful Classrooms!
I’m a huge advocate for social-emotional learning in the classroom. I think it should be an actual class, added to the core curriculum, that students have to take. There are so many increased demands and pressure on our students- and not just at school. But our society has changed and our education system has failed to change with it.
Students are less able to control their emotions, manage their stress and anxiety levels, and develop healthy relationships (particularly with the rise in social media). It is important that we teach our students how to do all of these things in order for them to grow into happy, healthy, well-rounded adults.
But anyway.. even if social-emotional learning isn’t part of our education system, there are still ways that it can be incorporated into the classroom, including the use of mindfulness apps.
Mindfulness apps can help students to learn about things such as self-control, managing their emotions, bullying, time management, and how to better focus. All of which lead to improved cognitive ability, higher grade scores, as well as improved self-esteem and interpersonal relationships.
This is not an exhaustive list of the benefits of mindfulness. For a full list of benefits, read my essay about yoga and mindfulness in the classroom.
“There are so many increased demands and pressure on our students- and not just at school. But our society has changed and our education system has failed to change with it”.
Mindfulness apps are great for the classroom. Even if you don’t have time to have a full mindfulness session in class, simply having the lulling sounds on in the background while students are writing an assignment or test may help students to feel more relaxed and more confident in what they are doing.
*Looking for a class activity? Check out my “Mr. Grinch” activity!
In the classroom, mindfulness apps can be used…
- when students are upset or acting out. Have a “Mindfulness Corner” (or “Calm Corner”, whatever you want to call it) where students can relax in a quiet place using a mindfulness app as a guide to relax and regain control of their emotions.
- during recess. For example, it is raining and your students cannot go outside for recess, give them a mindfulness app or play a mindfulness game so students can learn about an aspect of social-emotional wellbeing
- anywhere!! Mindfulness can really be incorporated into the classroom in so many ways. The possibilities are endless. You just have to see them. Take any opportunity that comes your way. Check out my resources pages for more ideas, games, and other activities about this.
Now, to the apps! I’ve compiled a list of mindfulness apps for kids, teens, and adults for you to try. And the best part? They’re (mostly) free!