• Stress-management for students (and teachers): activities to reduce stress (new ideas each week!)

    Stress is a natural part of everyday life.
    Students' stress is highly connected with their daily routine at school, at home and within their community.

    Helping your students to cope with stress may improve students’ concentration and enhance overall academic performance during your lesson.

    In this topic I invite you to explore existing activities and teaching instruments to reduce stress in the classroom
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    What do you use and what is really working?

  • A Moment for Good

    Start your lesson with inviting students to take a minute to reflect on something positive that has happened or something they feel grateful for. This reflection can take various forms, such as writing it down, sharing with a partner, or participating in small or large group discussions. Larger group discussions are particularly effective for younger elementary students.

  • 60 seconds of silence

    Before starting your lesson ask all student to sit calmly for 60 seconds allowing them to prepare for learning.

    You can ask your students to focus on a specific sound, a detail in or outside the classroom, an abstract picture you provide or guide them to focus on their breathing.

    For younger elementary students start with 15 seconds and gradually extend the time. For upper elementary students try to start the “focus” activity with 20-30 seconds.

  • 3 Breaths Practice: ask your students to take three slow, deep breaths at regular intervals, before the new lesson starts or whenever you see anxiety or tension in your class. Provide students with calming breathing technique and add visual signals to prompt them to begin breathing.
    This beneficial practice can also be adopted by staff members for stress relief and relaxation.

  • Powerful Listening:
    Make a sustained sound with a bell, wind chime, or any other object that creates a lingering sound.
    Ask your students to listen attentively and raise their hands once they can no longer hear the sound.
    Once everyone agrees that the sound has ceased, set a timer for one minute. Encourage the students to sit in silence during this time.

    When the tme is up, invite them to share their observations about what they heard during that quiet minute.

  • Body Scan

    Invite your students to focus on their bodies. You can make this activity together with the group. Make sure you are feeling centered with both feet on the floor.

    Then you can play this video and ask your students to follow the instrucions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLoK5rOl8Qk

    You can also guide your students yourself without the video.

    Notice when and where you are feeling tension or when your breathing is shallow and practice Three Breaths exercise to help you feel more relaxed.

  • Mindful Reflection
    Dedicate time at the end of each day or week for students to reflect on their experiences with mindfulness practices. Encourage them to share their insights, challenges, and observations, fostering a sense of community and mutual support.

    You can give your students supporting questions to activate their reflection process. Give them a question, allocate some time to think individually, then invite students to share.
    Here are some questions that can be used:

    • Something I learned today (this week) …
    • I am curious about…
    • I am looking forward to tomorrow because…
    • Something I’ll do (next, later today, this weekend, before the end of the week, etc.)…
    • A question I still have is…
    • I had the best feeling today when…
    • Something from today that I am grateful for/thankful for/appreciative of is…
  • Nature Walks

    Take students on nature walks around the school campus or nearby outdoor spaces. Encourage them to observe their surroundings mindfully, paying attention to the sights, sounds, and sensations of nature.
    Afterward, facilitate a discussion about their observations and feelings.

  • Guided Visualization

    Lead students through guided visualization exercises where they imagine themselves in a peaceful and serene environment, such as a tranquil beach or lush forest. Encourage them to engage all their senses in the visualization to evoke feelings of relaxation and calm.

  • Mindfulness Art Projects

    Provide opportunities for students to express their creativity through mindfulness art projects, such as mandala coloring, doodling, or mindful painting. These activities encourage self-expression, promote relaxation, and enhance focus and concentration.

  • Mindful Eating Exercises

    Engage students in mindful eating exercises where they savor a small piece of food slowly and attentively, using all their senses to explore its texture, taste, and aroma.
    This practice promotes mindful eating habits and encourages gratitude for nourishing food.