Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness

22 09 2014

A few readings on the importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and mindfulness, along with how the two movements compliment one another:

1. Why Teaching Mindfulness Benefits Student Learning (Mind/Shift) mindshift
2. How Social-Emotional Learning Transforms Classrooms (GGSC)ggsc
3. SEL: Luxury or Necessity? (

4. How to successfully embed a mindfulness program in a SEL context (M.S. Lawlor. Chapter excerpt from:Mindfulness in Adolescence: New Directions for Youth Development, Number 142)new

The Science of Mindfulness

3 04 2014

1. READING: The Science of MindfulnessDr. Daniel J. Siegel on what makes mindfulness beneficial to our health, psyche, and overall quality of life.

2. ARTICLES: New: Mindfulness Interventions with Youth-A Meta Analysis. Also, check out “the Science” section at

3. RESEARCH: American Mindfulness Research Association & Mindfulness Research Monthly

Jon Kabat-Zinn provides a brief introduction to the science of mindfulness.
See the full talk at: The Greater Good Science Center

Dan Siegel discusses the science of mindfulness. See more of Dr. Siegel’s work at: The Mindsight Institute

Mark Williams, Oxford Mindfulness Centre, talks about the science of mindfulness:

Student Behavior and Discipline

27 02 2014




See more at:


Impact of Mindfulness on Teacher Stress and Burnout

8 02 2014

Article Highlights:

1. Can Mindfulness Make Us Better Teachers?
2. Study Shows Mindfulness Training Can Help Reduce Teacher Stress and Burnout

Video Highlight: Dr. Richard Davidson (Center for Investigating Healthy Minds) talks about how mindfulness plays a role in reducing stress and burnout:

Study Spotlight:

Mindfulness for Teachers- A Pilot Study to Assess Effects on Stress, Burnout, and Teaching Efficacy


Should Schools Teach Meditation?

28 01 2014
  • Organization Spotlight: Headstand (From their website: “Headstand is an innovative non-profit organization that works to combat toxic stress in disadvantaged K–12 students through mindfulness, yoga, and character education.”)


Week 8 – The Tree of Contemplative Practices

10 12 2013

Website highlight: – Need some relaxation? offers some help.

Video spotlight: A short animation on mindfulness from GoStrengths, a social and emotional website for parents and educators.

Classroom practice: The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society brings us the Tree of Contemplative Practice. You can use this as a guide for ideas or explore options with students. Here is a link to a blank copy that can be used in the classroom: Tree of Life – blank.


Week 7 – R.A.I.N.

18 11 2013

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHT – Can Mindfulness Make Us Better Teachers? – Huffington Post

VIDEO: Susan Kaiser Greenland, director of the Inner Kids program, discusses a new set of A,B,C’s – Attention, Balance & Compassion:

CLASSROOM PRACTICE: R.A.I.N. RAIN is a mindfulness practice that can be used with any content of mind, but is typically applied to unpleasant, uncomfortable, or upsetting material (the focus here).  RAIN is an acronym that incorporates the core teachings of mindfulness, and instructs us to Recognize, Accept, Investigate, and Not-identify with difficult thoughts, feelings, desires, etc.

Read more about how to apply this exercise at Skillful Means

Week 6 – Three Center Check-In

3 11 2013

Article Highlight: Evidence for the Impact of Mindfulness on Children and Young People Developed for The Mindfulness in Schools Project, this compact summary succinctly provides easy-to-read stats and figures.

Video Highlight: Pam Weiss, founder of Appropriate Response, leads a group of employees in this week’s classroom practice, the 3-Centers Check-In:

Classroom Practice: 3-Centers Check-In (created by Pam Weiss of Appropriate Response.) Using our head, heart and body as our guide, the 3-Centers Check-In provides an opportunity for us to ground ourselves in the present moment:

3-Centers Check-In Guided Audio Meditations (4 or 10 minutes)

3-Centers Check-In Handout

Week 5 – Healthy Mind Platter

28 10 2013

Article Highlight:  Tackling Truancy Suspension and Stress- Edutopia

Video Spotlight:

The Mindfulness Revolution documentary (short version) – a student-run initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, exploring how mindfulness, positive psychology, and character development can transform our education system from the inside out—at the level of the students themselves.

Classroom Practice: The Healthy Mind PlatterThe Healthy Mind Platter has seven essential mental activities necessary for optimum mental health in daily life. You can create different activities to target these domains or have students come up with their own practice.


***Note: For those that want more of the science behind the seven categories, check out the research here: The Healthy Mind Platter

Week 4 – Bell or Chime Activity

20 10 2013

Article Highlight: Mindfulness Meditation for Adults and Teens with ADHD

Video: Richard Burnett, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Schools Project (based in the U.K.) , talks about the many benefits mindfulness can offer and shares his experience in bringing mindfulness into the classroom.

Classroom Practice: Bell or Chime ActivityThis exercise is taken from and may be used anytime throughout the day to bring attention and awareness back to the individual and classroom setting:

A small chime or bell off of the internet (online bell) or phone app (Free Mindfulness Apps) offer an opportunity and reminder to stop, take a breath, come back to our body and focus. There are a couple bell activities to be used with students, which help them to notice their breath, concentrate or bring their focus back to the larger group.
1) The bell or chime may be used as a signal for students to bring their focus and attention, first to their breath and then to whatever is going to happen next in the classroom. To be used anytime, the bell can be an effective method for transitioning between activities (e.g., whenever the bell or chime sounds, all will pause whatever they are doing, and take three mindful breaths before continuing.)
2) With eyes closed, ask students to concentrate on their breath, and know when they are breathing in, or out, or just in between in and out. Tell them that at some point you will ring the bell, and they are to notice whether they are breathing in, out, or in between at the sound of the bell. This activity provides a playful framework for simply noticing out breath for a few moments, and maintaining concentration.
3) Have students close their eyes. The instruction is “When the bell is struck, listen to the sound as it rings and keeps on ringing, and when you can’t hear it any more, raise your hand”. After a few moments of stillness, ringer gently taps the bell, and all listen.