Welcome to my mini course. Understanding and Integrating Age Appropriate Mindfulness Activities
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My biographical information
A SUNY Brockport graduate with a degree in health Sciences, business, and a concentration in general and inclusive education (grades 1-6). I started my career as a special education teacher in the 6th grade. After a year of experience I transferred schools and become a teacher of Health and Family and Consumer Sciences. This is my second year teaching Health and Family and Consumer Sciences, which is now a blended course at my school. Also, I am currently a graduate student enrolled in the CDIT program at SUNY Albany, and am in my final semester. I hope to use my degree in the future to teach teachers how to effectively use technology within their classrooms.
My personal information
I enjoy spending my time hiking, running, camping, or traveling with my two dogs Riesling and Kaela. I am a BIG Pittsburgh Steelers fan and attend their games as often as I can. I also enjoy reading, especially when it is somewhere warm and sunny.
About Table of Contents
This mini-course will focus on how mindfulness can change a classroom environment. Learners will look into how the brain changes when practicing mindfulness. Learners will also recognize how it results in a healthier mental state. Lastly learners will understand age appropriate mindfulness activities for an elementary, middle school, and high school classrooms.
Learners will be able to
- Explain how mindfulness changes the brain
- Attempt personal mindfulness practices
- Integrate age appropriate mindfulness activities for the classroom for students K-12th
Part I: Intent Studies suggest that mindfulness techniques calm the mind and body, and reduce the negative impacts of stress. The result of these benefits is that mindfulness keeps students engaged, academically on track and decreases unwanted behaviors (Semple,2017). Despite these known benefits teachers are receiving limited training and are undereducated about mindfulness. The lack of training and education have resulted in teachers not understanding how mindfulness changes the brain, and how to effectively implement it into their classrooms. The lack of teacher education then results in students having limited knowledge about mindfulness.
Initial impression: -There is a lack of understanding of how mindfulness changes the brain -Teacher who would like to implement mindfulness are unsure how to -Students have limited knowledge about the benefits of mindfulness In order to validate or correct these impressions information needed to be collected from both teachers and students, regarding their understandings of mindfulness in the classroom.
Part II: Gather Information
In order to assess the need for this mini-course on mindfulness, a survey was sent out to 13 teachers who taught grades k-12. Another survey was given to 38 students to assess their understanding of mindfulness. The teachers were from 4 different districts within Monroe County, to see a range of teacher's understanding across districts. The students are grade 7-8 and from the same district. I think understanding students misconceptions will help teachers understand the best activities for students within their classrooms.
Link to Survey Questions
Teacher Survey: Pre-filled link to survey
Student Survey:Pre-Filled link student
Please note that as of 05/07/20, new survey data coming in will not be accepted. The above link is simply to showcase the questions/format of the survey given.
Part III: Survey Results Link to survey results with diagrams
The study proved that a majority of teachers have received mindfulness training, but not to a degree where they feel confident to implement it into their rooms. The survey data also reported that even if teachers have received training on mindfulness they did not know how the brain relates to mindfulness. 100% of teachers reported they would incorporate mindfulness into their rooms if they knew more about it.
The students that were surveyed are in district where there is an emphasis on mindfulness as a district goal. Although the goal is new data may not be representative of the general population of public schools. A bit over half of the students within this schools concluded that they knew what mindfulness was and they understood the benefits. Only a small portion of students did not know about mindfulness. I found this data to not be helpful for the purpose of the mini-lessons designed for teacher purpose.
Analysis of the Learner and Context
This course is planned for teachers K-12th who have an interest in learning more about mindfulness and the benefits that it can have on the brain/learning. Educators k-12th will find the course to be especially beneficial if they anticipate to incorporate age appropriate mindfulness activities into their classrooms.
The participants within this mini-course should have a level of expertise in teaching for grades k-12. Participants may teach different content, ages, and have other different students demographics, but they have a knowledge of how to serve as educators for their student population. The course is designed with the assumption that participants have limited to no understanding of mindfulness.
Within this mini-course participants will read, watch videos, and participate in mindfulness activities. Finally, participants will develop age appropriate mindfulness activities to incorporate into their own classrooms.
Throughout the duration of this mini-course participants will...
- define mindfulness
- explain the impact of mindfulness on the brain
- practice and document two mindfulness activities
- create two age appropriate mindfulness activities that can be used for their designated area of speciality in education k-12
- 1.1 Watch videos to define mindfulness
- 1.2 Reflect on the science of how mindfulness changes the brain and then interpret the benefits
- 1.3 Define mindfulness and the benefits for the brain
Unit 2:How can someone be mindful?
- 2.1 Familiarize with a variety of mindfulness practices
- 2.2 Develop and document mindfulness practice
Unit 3: What are age appropriate mindfulness activities for students k-12?
- 3.1 Review material elementary mindfulness activities
- 3.2 Review material middle school mindfulness activities
- 3.3 Review material for high school mindfulness activities
- 3.4 Create two age appropriate mindfulness activities within their education discipline.
Semple, R. J., Droutman, V., & Reid, B. A. (2017). Mindfulness goes to school: Things learned (so far) from research and real‐world experiences. Psychology in the Schools, 54(1), 29-52.