Calm – Meditation and Mindfulness Made Easy
Previously named App of the Year by Apple, Calm is the most popular app for meditation and mindfulness. Their guided meditations are the perfect introduction to mindfulness. Their Nature Melodies, Soundscapes, and Focus music tracks provide great background sound in many classroom settings. It’s available on iOS, Android, or via a web browser.
The Calm Schools Initiative
The folks at Calm are generously offering their paid subscription service to teachers for free. Just fill out a quick form, and they’ll email you an access code. You’ll also receive a link to download an on-boarding document with tips for getting started, and best practices for bringing mindfulness into your classroom. Once enrolled, you’ll also have access to Calm Kids programs; specifically designed for students (Pre-K – High School).
“Through mindfulness education, kids can develop a lifelong capacity for greater self-awareness, concentration, patience, and resilience.”
– The Calm Schools Initiative
Benefits of Mindfulness in the Classroom
I copied and pasted my highlights from this annotated bibliography of mindfulness education research. Please note: this is not an exhaustive examination of the research and the source is now a few years old, but it provides a great starting point for examining the benefits of mindfulness in the classroom and meditation for kids.
decreased in anxiety and depression
reductions in anxiety symptoms and behavior problems
reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and somatic distress
reductions in depression
reduce and prevent depression in adolescents
Blood Pressure & Sleep Quality
beneficial impact upon cardiovascular functioning in adolescents with high normal blood pressure
overall decreases in blood pressure and heart rate
decreases in tiredness and aches and pains
improvements in multiple dimensions of sleep quality
decreased class absences
increased feelings of calmness, relaxation, and self-acceptance
Improvements in self-esteem, and relationship quality
significant increases in optimism
reduced rates of rule infractions, and suspensions
improvements in emotion regulation
positive impact on problematic responses to stress
significant effects in promoting self-regulation among preschool children
greater empathy, perspective-taking, emotional control, optimism
decrease in negative social interactions
improve specific aspects of executive function, including emotion regulation
reduction in aggressive behavior
Focus and Attention
fewer attention problems
help students learn to focus and pay attention
improved academic performance
Mindfulness Benefits for Teachers
significant improvements in teacher well- being, efficacy, burnout/time-related stress
reductions in stress and burnout as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression
You can find additional information on mindfulness in the classroom in my #TeachDifferent Reading Roundup.
Share Your Thoughts on Mindfulness in the Classroom
Do your students practice mindfulness in the classroom? Share your tips, thoughts, questions, and ideas in the comments below or on Twitter.