I am excited to introduce Tammie Meehan. Tammie has written our very first guest post on the Growing With Gratitude Blog. Tammie is a Victorian Leading Teacher and co-director of AusMinds. AusMinds provides resources to educators, families and communities to build learning relationships so that their young people can learn the importance of developing a growth mindset and how to use the language of growth mindset on their journey to success, in school, at home and in their local communities.provides resources to educators, families
Tammie’s post focuses on mindfulness. She shares resources and activities that she has used with her students.
Enjoy the article.
I am always looking for ways to help my young students grow into well-rounded human beings, who have developed skills that help them to cope with the in’s and out’s of daily life at school, at home and in the wider community. I have already developed a Growth Mindset culture in my classroom and school, using resources and videos that I have created for AusMinds. It seemed obvious to me that the next step in our evolution was to introduce the idea of mindfulness to my students. We can develop our students’ ability to believe in themselves through a Growth Mindset, but they also need to have strong values and become mindful otherwise they run the risk of being very successful people who might not worry who gets in their way.If you pay attention to this in the media, you will see evidence of this happening in society almost every day.
Since the beginning of the year I have trialled a variety of mindfulness programs that are available to any teacher or parent on the internet for free or very low cost. Programs that get the nod of approval from myself need to be easily accessible, can be used for students of all ages; including young children, and are fun and engaging.
My top three so far in my journey of discovering mindfulness are:
Why are they my top three?
Go Noodle promotes the idea of giving your students ‘Brain Breaks’ throughout the day. Brain Breaks come in a variety of forms and are developed, according to Go Noodle, “to help kids channel their physical and emotional energy for good.” My student’s favourite character Maximo, takes the students through a variety of yoga poses and engages them through his witty banter. They also love dancing with ‘Disco Brain’ and the Zumba Kids.
Go Noodle Brain Breaks are a great way for my students to transition between activities during the day. The fidgeters can get up and be active and for young children, this is very important. The Maximo yoga videos are a great way to settle them back into learning following recess times.
Smiling Mind is ‘meditation made easy’. It’s a new Australian online software that can be found online or on their app. It is a tool that teachers or families can use to help give a sense of calm, clarity and contentment to children and adults. My young students cheer when I tell them that we are going to make our ‘minds smile’, usually after lunch recess. I find that the program helps them to tune themselves into their own bodies, calms them down and makes them more self-aware. The aim of Smiling Minds is to create ‘happier, healthier and more compassionate young people’. That reason in itself is good enough for me and my students!
I have been using Brain Gym for many years, I like to use it occasionally to mix up our mindfulness education and add a bit of spice. My students enjoy doing the PACE program.
P for being Positive
A for getting Active
C for Clarity of thinking
E for Energetic
PACE features 4 different exercises that will only take approximately 10 minutes to move through with your students.
- Drink water
- Brain Buttons
- Cross Crawls
- Hook Ups
I find that my students are ‘switched on’ after doing Brain Gym and this is an excellent activity to do after they have been outside at recess, transitioning from one activity to another or first thing in the morning to start the day off.
Please leave a comment and share any mindfulness activities that you have found effective in the classroom or at home.