We are so fortunate to have a mindfulness program at St. Mark School. Please review the past two session curricula to see the great skills that our students are beginning to learn to master! It's so exciting to see them taking this training so seriously as we all know that it can be life changing over time!
St. Mark School
January 18, 2017
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde
Thank you Mary Ann for inviting me to the staff retreat.
Thank you Evita for our conversation about writing workshop.
Mindful listening is when we let go of our own ideas to truly hear another person's perspective. We often have impressions of people we like and don't like. When we learn to see beyond our judgements it allows us to be more friendly and positive. The other part of mindfulcommunication is mindful speaking. This means being mindful of what's going on inside and being brave enough to share it with others. When we speak our truth and truly listen, true friendship and relationship occurs.
Present Moment Conversation
Often times when we talk to someone, we talk about something that has already happened or something that is going to happen. Today we are going to talk about what is happening in the present moment. What we are experiencing right now in our bodies. We can share what we are experiencing using our five senses, sensations, and emotions.
Let's put our mindfulness bodies on and take a few anchor breaths.
Let’s begin by practicing mindful listening. Open up your ears and listen to all the sounds around you. Listen to sounds far, near, and right beside you.
Now scan though your bodies from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Notice any sensations you are experiencing...cold, hot, tingling, sore, pain...
Now check into your emotions. Notice any emotions you are experiencing...happy, sad, worried, excited, nervous...
Now notice all three...what you hear, sensations, emotions...
Slowly open your eyes, wiggle your fingers, wiggle your toes, and bring some movement back to your body.
Turn and talk to your partner and mindfully communicate something you see or hear in the present moment
“In the present moment...I see the playhouse, I see the TV, I see the planets, I see the poster, I hear music
“In the present moment...I hear whistling, I hear you talking, I hear birds singing”
Turn and talk to your partner and mindfully communicate something you hear or feel in the present moment...
“In the present moment...I heard a bucket...yawning, I feel calm, I noticed my belly my heart beating fast scared feeling, I heard a siren wind yawns, I feel calm and happy, I feel a tingling in my stomach, I feel different emotions...mad and sad thinking about the past...but when I think about the present moment I feel normal”
“In the present moment...I thought of an elephant standing on a small boat, I was thinking about my dog, I feel annoyed by the desk, I see my friend sleeping”
“In the present moment...I feel tired...I felt awake at the beginning and tired at the end, I hear thumping, I hear the heater, I hear laughing, I see pretty pictures in my head, I see a space adventure in my head”
“In the present moment...I feel tapping on my head, I feel tingles in my foot, I hear the heater...annoying, I feel energetic and relaxed, I noticed I wanted to move, I feel tired and exhausted”
“In the present moment...I feel hot wanted to move, I hear fidgeting...kids yelling, sensations felt like raindrops...pressure, emotions...body tired mind engaged, I failed...my mind was all over the place” ***you didn’t fail...the practice is noticing when your mind wanders and bringing it back
“In the present moment...I feel mad...my crush, sore...I got the flu shot and played last night, tired and sad...my dog is not doing well, sad...my uncle is not doing well”
“In the present moment...I feel stressed out, I feel worried about the test, I feel tired”
Today we practiced mindful communication by having a present moment conversation. We talked about what was happening in the present moment using our five senses, sensations, and emotions. We also practiced mindful listening. We discovered that sometimes it's hard to hold our thoughts and listen to another person talk.
Next week we will practice mindful listening by reflecting back what we have heard.
St. Mark School
January 25, 2018
“You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible.” -Bob Marley
Thank you Frank for sharing the conversation you had with 8th grade about mindfulness.
Thank you Toni for sharing your interest in teacher training in mindfulness in education.
Rose and Thorn
Fostering relationships and social environments in which we can be authentic helps us be ourselves and let go of stress. With this lesson, we learn to communicate authentically and listen mindfully. Listening mindfully means that we pay close attention and reflect back what we heard. This can create a true sense of connection and trust in a classroom.
Today we are going to practice mindfulness of our emotions
Let’s put on our mindfulness bodies and take a few mindful breaths
Let’s begin by checking in to see what is happening in our hearts
Check the emotional weather patterns in your body, observing if you feel happy, sad, stressed, angry, excited, or a mixture of feelings
We will be sharing what is happening in our lives with each other
We do this by telling one rose and one thorn
You can share one thing that has happened recently that you feel good about and one thing you don’t feel good about
You can always pass or choose to share just a rose or a thorn
One person reflects back what they heard...repeating the rose and the thorn
“Rose...Sea World with my mom, Thorn...bit by my hamster”
“Rose...get to go to my cousin’s house in FL, Thorn...ran and fell and scraped my knee”
“Rose...my brother gave me hugs”
“Rose...my brother hugged me, Thorn...I fell down”
“Rose...I got a guinea pig, Thorn...my hamster bit me”
“Rose...I went to the dentist and got a teddy bear”
“Rose...sister hugging me, Thorn...tripped on a rock on my scooter and fell down”
“Rose...pushing my brother on a swing, Thorn...when he throws mud at me”
“Rose...walk my dog, Thorn...when I play with him and he walks away”
“Rose...dad sleeping with me, Thorn...smack my head on the table”
“Rose...watch my iPad, Thorn...when I don’t feel good”
“Rose...yesterday I had dinner with a friend
“Rose...I was filmed on camera and I might be on TV
“Rose...playing rugby with my best friend, Thorn...he’s going to be on a different team”
“Rose...having a sleepover, Thorn...my little brother pushes me off the bed at night”
“Rose...having a sleepover after my birthday party”
“Thorn...my dad left and is not coming back until Saturday, Rose...I get to hang out with my family over the weekend”
“Rose...Universal Studios, Thorn...sprained ankle”
“Rose...Little Mermaid Musical”
“Rose...LaBrea tar pits, Thorn...I’m hungry”
“Rose...practice for the musical”
“Rose...first musical practice”
“Rose...got to spend the night with this class and the 3rd grade class, Thorn...someone is not actually my friend”
“Rose...got to walk to Islands with my mom and had a giant brownie, Thorn...my brother was annoying me”
“Rose...got a new iPad, Thorn...my sister deleted a bunch of apps
“Rose...my aunt is having a baby in NY on the 27th, Thorn...I don’t get to go”
“Rose...I get to go to Universal Studios for the first time, Thorn...my mom and dad aren’t going”
“Rose...proud of how our basketball team is doing”
“Rose...got together with 2 of my good friends, Thorn...the Patriots are going to the Super Bowl
“Rose...I get to go to my cousin’s birthday party in San Francisco”
“Rose...I got a new bike for my birthday and I get to ride to my favorite store, Thorn...we are moving”
“Rose...feel good about the sports I’m playing...tennis, lacrosse”
“Rose...feel good about math fixing my grade, Thorn...my great grandma is not doing well she is hallucinating”
“Rose...feel closer to the people in my class, Thorn...too many things going on at once tired”
How does is feel to share? What is it like to listen? How does it feel to have your words repeated back to you?
Find a person at home or at school to share a rose and a thorn with...share with your family around the dinner table.
Next week, we will practice mindfulness by questioning our assumptions.
St. Mark School
February 1, 2018
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” -Anais Nin
Thank you Elizabeth for letting us borrow a toy for TK.
Thank you Theresa for responding to a need and holding space for 8th grade.
Questioning our assumptions helps us open our mind and hearts, understand other people’s perspectives, and develop empathy. Students learn about their limiting beliefs, biases, and develop greater self-esteem and empathy for others.
Today we are going to learn how to watch our thoughts in everyday life. Everyone has assumptions that can block us from understanding other people and things. For example, we might have tried a type of food, decided we didn’t like it, and decided to never try it again, even though our taste buds can change and it might become our favorite food!
Put on your mindfulness bodies, take few mindful breaths, bring your focus and attention to your thoughts. Notice what thoughts are popping up...
Open your eyes
Watch the objects I hold up
Notice what thoughts and assumptions pop into your head
What did you notice in your mind when you were looking at it?
What did you notice in your emotions?
Do you like it or dislike it?
Do you feel excited, tense, happy, or any other feelings?
“Happy because I like the color blue, happy because I like the color pink”
“There’s a superhero inside, there are flowers inside”
“Cabbage, rotten salad”
“Big blob of different colors, kind of like a balloon, I want to kick it”
“It makes me hungry, it looks like a rainbow salad”
“I want to play with it, cool...epic, a ball that predicts the future, it looks like the ball we have in class, it looks like the Milky Way”
“Gross, dirt, dried up, good, I had it for lunch yesterday”
“Where did you get it, what if you didn’t have it, is it for your dog, handball”
“I want to eat it, it’s delicious, yuck, gardening”
“When I was hit in the eye with a basketball, where did she get if from, I am on a basketball team...I feel glad, I can draw a basketball...I feel happy”
“Phone...fun, I can draw an iPhone, wondering what I do on my phone, someone in class...this person likes iPhones...he talks about them a lot”
“My brother playing his basketball game...I feel happy, wondering why it has lines, wondering why it has bumps, I play basketball...excited”
“My cousin has different phone cases, I wanted to be back in bed playing video games on my phone, YouTube, wish I had a phone, that you were using it 10 minutes ago”
“Anxious...because I want to play, I like how the ball feels when it rolls off my hand”
“I don’t like phones...would you rather be at home on your phone for an hour or with your friends, excited...I want to make my own game, nervous...it makes me think the word is going to be controlled by electronics”
“I thought of the first time I played basketball...I felt nervous and excited”
“I was thinking I wonder what kind of wall paper she has and what kind of phone case she has”
Open sharing of what we are feeling in the present moment.
Today we practiced watching our thoughts by questioning our assumptions. I invite you to take a fresh look at the people and things around you and question your thoughts assumptions about them.
Next week we will help students integrate their mindfulness practice into their daily lives by teaching these practices to each other.