Series Creating Success in Middle School: Using Guided Relaxation in the Classroom

Using Guided Relaxation in the Classroom

Lesson Objective: Use guided relaxation to help students focus
All Grades / All Subjects / Mindset
3 MIN

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How could you start incorporating this strategy into your classroom?
  2. How often does Ms. Mechler use this strategy?
  3. What are the benefits of using this strategy?

21 Comments

  • Private message to Hope Reynolds

 

I like the idea of having students think about mindfulness and training their brains to calm and regulate their emotions while thinking logically. Students have many stressors in their lives and they can become anxious and unable to learn because of these stresses. Many times, they don’t want to talk about it but providing them with a tool to manage stress and learning to self-regulate with their own bodies is huge. Mindfulness helps them to find a calm place, regulate their breathing, and focus on the positive instead of their struggles. I would like to try music to compliment the process. I like to play music during student work time and pairing it with practicing mindfulness could increase students’ academic productivity.

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  • Private message to Michael Stires

I could incorporate this idea in my classroom by being able to start out the class with taking 5 minutes to be able to allow students to release and relax. Having relaxed students engages their brain to be better trained in their development to take a second to reset. The benefits from this strategy allows the students to forget what may have happened in the hallway or what’s going on in their life and take a minute to create self-awareness of themselves in their current state of mind.

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  • Private message to Avery Baird

Keeping the students relaxed can help them to learn better and train their brains. This is a technique I will use when teaching preschool students. These are sessions that the students will look forward to in a time that they can relax and have a little bit of time to stop worrying about the things going on around them. This teacher does a great job in guiding the students and helping them be mindful of being positive, calm, and not stressed or worried.

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  • Private message to Hope Reynolds

 

If teachers started teaching productive mindfulness in the younger grades then by the time they are in intermediate grades and dealing with larger emotional issues they would have a tool they could use at any time. So instead of throwing chairs and supplies when they are frustrated, worried or stressed they have an opportunity to de-escalate in a positive long lasting way.  The early we teach them these wonderful tools the easier they become and the more natural and familiar to students. I have 4th graders this year and I will be implementing practicing mindfulness everyday. 

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  • Private message to Stephanie Sanantonio

I love the idea of implementing mindfulness into the classrooms. I feel as though today students get extremely stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed and this is a way to implement calmness throughout their body and take the focus off of the negative and create more positive feelings. Mindfulness helps bring their minds/brains to a calm place and focus on their breathing and body rather than a situation they are feeling worried about. The students are learning how to live in the present rather than again worry about the future or worry about something that happened in the past. Mindfulness helps students to think logically and make better decisions. It also helps them to react calmly in a situation rather than get angry and react impulsively. Mindfulness would really benefit students if it was implemented at a very young age because as they grow they will learn how to shift their brain into a more positive and calm realm rather than more anxious and stressed. Also, students are very energized and excited, which can sometimes impact their classwork. Coming back from a lunch period, gym period, or even after a test can calm the students and help them keep homeostasis within their bodies.

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  • Private message to JoAnna Mills-Sampson
I teach preschool students with special needs and I use an adapted relaxation technique in my class. First I dim the lights, play quiet music (Tim Janis is great), then tell the students to sit on the carpet criss cross applesauce. I softly model taking a deep breath ( the kids imitate me) then I blow the air out very slowly. I inhale another deep breath as I Circle my arms up. The students imitate my actions. I slowly exhale the breath as I bring my arms down in front of my like in yoga. Then I sit quietly with my hands on my knees, I tell everyone to close their eyes and I count very slowly to 5 or 10. Then I open my eyes (the kids usually have their eyes open but they are sitting very quiet). At this point. I tell them what we are going to do next. It can be story time, circle time, music, writing., etc. there are times I use this strategy when we come in from recess or just to calm the students down after we have down an activity that may have hyped them up. It works and I have found it is an effective strategy to get the students focused. A great behavior management technique for preschoolers.
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Transcripts

  • Speaker 1: Go ahead and sit up nice and straight. You're going to listen to my voice. Close your eyes.

    Speaker 1: Go ahead and sit up nice and straight. You're going to listen to my voice. Close your eyes. Today we did a focused breathing activity, which is called a body scan. Let's start our focus at your feet. I want you to wiggle your toes. Focus on your toes. This was something that they have done before. And then all the way up to your lower back. Focus on going down your arm to your wrist and now to the palm of your hand. I help them bring their brain to a place where they're not thinking about what's going on outside their heads. They're really having to use their brain to focus on these different places of their body. Back up your right arm to your elbow and up to your shoulder. We practice probably two or three times a day. Can anybody tell me why we do that?

    Speaker 2: To be ready for the next thing.

    Speaker 3: To live in the present and focus on our breath.

    Speaker 4: Train our brains.

    Speaker 1: It's a great way to train your brain for moments of anxiety, fear, just as a way to calm the brain. It helps you to get yourself to a place where you're thinking logically. Really, you're taking your focus off of whatever that exterior thing is that's bothering you. Focus on your jaw, your mouth. I love the idea of starting the first day of school and getting those children used to the routines and procedures. It can be shortened, or it can be lengthened. And it just kind of depends on what your needs are with your students at that time. Up to your eyes. I want them to walk away with knowing that they can use this strategy in general-- when things are exciting, when they're worrying about something, or events that we're going to. See if you can see the back of your eyelids. Maybe there's something back there. So having that strategy of saying, "Ok, ok. I'm going to calm down, and I'm going to bring myself where I am right now," wherever you are, and then you're there. And out the top of your head and then you can slowly and gently open your eyes. Great focus. It's good for the teachers too.

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