A Mindful Awareness Program for Schools
Mindful Choices is a mindful awareness, Social and Emotional Learning program for K-12 students that helps them manage stress and anxiety, increase self-control, and sustain attention. Requiring only a few minutes of mindfulness meditation practice a day, Mindful Choices is an appropriate addition to any school subject, but teachers leading Character Education, Health, Physical Education, or Guidance classes may have the opportunity to go deeper with the lesson plans. The entire program is free-of-cost and available online.
77% of teachers reported improvement in students' self-regulation
77% of teachers reported improvement in students' attention/focus
70% of teachers reported improvement in students' stress/anxiety management
90% of teachers reported improvement in their own self-regulation
86% of teachers reported improvement in their own impulse control
90% of teachers reported improvement in their own stress/anxiety management
Included in the Mindful Choices Program from the Alliance for Decision Education
- Mindful breathing exercises (in audio recordings and written scripts) to incorporate into the daily classroom routine. Guided audio recordings make it easy for you to incorporate mindful breathing exercises into the school day at any time. Just press play, and your students will be led through instructions for proper posture, counting the breathing activity, and concluding the exercise.
- Mini-lesson plans that support deeper understanding of mindfulness-related concepts: self-awareness, empathy, attention to detail, strengthening self-control, and leaving one’s comfort zone
- Ideas for integrating mindful awareness practices into your classroom throughout the year
“One particular day, the tension in the room between me and my students was really high…and I was not exactly a ray of sunshine. So mindfulness popped into my head and I had them all start off matching my breath and then we moved on to the ‘picture someone you love/someone you’re arguing with’ exercise. Once we finished, the classroom felt extremely peaceful and almost all of my students said they felt at peace with themselves and everyone in the room. They also commented on how much more relaxed I seemed!” – Teacher, Vare-Washington School
“I feel this has made me feel much more focused as a teacher and I can already see changes in my students focus after breathing exercises.” – Teacher, Wissahickon Charter School
“I was able to see correlations between mindfulness and academic success.” – Teacher, Fitler Academics Plus School
“The mindfulness program was invaluable to me. Last year, I had a very challenging class and was eager to find a solution to help them focus, concentrate, and think about their actions more…This program has helped bridge the gap between what I’ve researched and what I can feasibly execute during our school day. Having the opportunity to practice freely without judgement and ask questions was also appreciated.” – Teacher, General George A. McCall School
“It has helped me be more self-regulating in the classroom and take a step back and relax when tensions run high with students. It also has worked wonders with my Special Education kids at the end of each class to help them mentally prepare and process the close of one class and the start of another.” – Teacher, Hardy Williams Academy Mastery Charter School
Other studies of students practicing mindful awareness exercises have shown:
- Higher levels of emotional control, optimism and empathy than students who were not instructed in mindfulness span (“Mindfulness Exercises Improve Kids’ Math Scores” –Time, Jan. 26, 2015).
- Reduced behavior problems and aggression among students (“San Francisco Schools Transformed by the Power of Meditation” – NBC Nightly News, Dec. 29, 2014).
- Improvement with metacognition and their ability to maintain attention. These students also showed improvements in memory, planning, and organization (The Mindful Child by Susan Kaiser Greenland).
- Increased impulse control (Sitting Still Like a Frog by Eline Snel).