Mindfulness

Developing an expanded self-awareness, through focused attention on the present moment, of the unfolding experiences of one's body, and from this center of calmness, actively serving others with empathy and gratitude.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

After discussing the impacts of everyday stress, students practice a variety of mindfulness exercises designed to reduce stress and increase calmness, attention, and self-awareness.

Method Components

As students undertake a writing activity, the educator leads them through mindfulness practices to reduce stress and increase calmness, attention, and self-awareness. These practices can be conducted individually, in small groups, or in whole-group instruction.

Mindfulness practices and activities

Practicing mindfulness involves setting regular times, especially at the beginning of the school day, to sit silently and focus on breathing, relaxing, and letting thoughts and feelings come and go without holding on to them. Examples of mindfulness techniques include:

  • Mindful Breathing: Focus on the physical body sensations of each breath, how your body feels as you take air in and let it out, where tension is, and what it feels like to relax it away.
  • Mindful Body Awareness: Focus attention on a particular part of your body ankle, neck, back, legs, shoulder, or another part noting how your awareness of that part of your body changes over time.
  • Mindful Seeing: Look intently at a single object and notice how, as time goes on, you see things about the object you've never noticed before.
  • Mindful Thinking: Without any goal in mind, watch how your thoughts come and go, how you linger on certain thoughts, how thoughts move from one to another.
  • Mindful Eating: With each bite of food, spend quiet time fully sensing all the flavors and textures of each bite, how different foods feel, smell, and taste differently.
  • Mindful Walking: Walk slowly in a quiet outdoors area and focus on what you hear, see, and feel with each step you take.
  • Mindful Check-ins: After completing a mindful exercise, each student checks in with a quick summary of how he or she feels, what he or she is thinking about, and what he or she is looking forward to.
  • Mindful Journals: At the end of each mindfulness exercise, students write reflections on what they experienced, including such observations as:
    • How the experience felt
    • What their thoughts were during and after the exercise
    • Something that they are particularly grateful for after the experience

Suggested preparation

  • Students discuss how stress affects their everyday life, where stress comes from and how it affects their thinking, feelings, behavior, and ability to learn and list effective ways to reduce stress.

Suggested review

  • Students discuss how practicing mindfulness has changed their thinking, feeling, and attitudes, especially their ability to focus attention on tasks and to be more empathetic and supportive of others.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

Though research on the effects of mindfulness practices with students is still in an early stage, recent studies indicate that there are a variety of positive effects from these practices, decreases in symptoms of stress and hostility and increasing attention, relaxation, self-esteem, social skills, and sleep quality, all of which have a positive impact on increasing the ability to focus on tasks, improving regulation of emotions and, relaxation, and supporting deeper learning.

Resources

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

Following are the items you must submit to earn this micro-credential and the criteria by which they will be evaluated. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1, 3, and 4 and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview questions

(200-word limit for each response)

  • Activity Description: What kind of project activities did you and your students engage in to become more proficient in applying mindfulness strategies to improve learning? Please describe the learning activities and strategies you used.
  • Activity Evaluation: How do you know your students increased their proficiency by engaging in the mindfulness activities and what evidence did you collect that demonstrates these learning gains?

Part 2. Evidence/artifacts

Please submit work examples from two students (such as links to writing, audio, images, video, and other media) that demonstrate progress toward the mindfulness competency, including such items as examples of the mindful activities the students experienced and their reflections on them, short videos or audio recordings of student check-ins after the mindfulness exercises, student reflections on how their ability to focus attention has changed since doing mindful exercises, and other relevant items.

Part 3. Student reflections

For the two students whose work examples were included above, submit student-created reflections on their experience of the mindfulness activities. Use the following questions as a guide (200-word limit for each reflection):

  • How did the mindfulness exercises help you feel less stressed and better able to focus your attention on things?
  • How did the mindfulness experiences change your attitude about who you are and how you can be kinder and more helpful to others?

Part 4. Teacher reflection

Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as a guide (200-word limit):

  • What was the impact of engaging your students in the mindfulness activity?
  • How will experiencing these project activities shape your daily teaching practice in the future?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Requirements

Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for Mindfulness
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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