The Write Stuff on TPT

Powered by Blogger.

Best Children's Books to Teach Mindfulness

It's been a while since I first introduced the way I teach mindfulness to students in the classroom.  Because people were asking me and were just unsure where to start, I created my Interactive Mindful Notebook  to help others teach mindfulness too.

Since that time, I have received many emails about the set and such wonderful feedback about how teachers are using it in their classroom, homeschool Moms are using it at home and mindfulness trainers are using it in their sessions with kids.  This does my heart good!!! I didn't realize that something could have such an impact. It was initially difficult to wrap my head around trying to figure out just exactly what I do to help kids be mindful. It was so philosophical but I managed to make it more practical so that everyone could use it and create mindful classrooms around the world. And create they did! Probably the best part was hearing how kids were getting along, classroom management issues were lessened and kids were really experiencing growth mindset like never before.  I was happy to hear that teachers were having such positive feedback from parents too, just like I had.

One question that I have received a few times this year is: what books do you use to introduce and teach children about mindfulness?  I wrote a blog post of Best Books to Teach Good Character All Through the Year  which are books I use in my classroom that help to get kids ready for mindfulness but not one on mindfulness books so here you go! Click on the pictures to see more.

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.)

Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda by Lauren Alderfer is by far my favorite book to teach mindfulness to kids.  Monkey asks Panda how he is always so peaceful and happy. Panda tells monkey all the things he does during the day. Monkey says he does them too but is not as happy or peaceful as Panda. Then Panda asks Monkey what he is doing when he does each one. Every time, Monkey explains that as he is doing one thing he is also doing or thinking of another. This is how Panda explains that doing one thing at a time is important to be mindful and happy.

What Does it Mean to Be Present? by Rana DiOrio is a delightful book about noticing, waiting and focusing on things and teaches kids to be present.

The Lemonade Hurricane by Licia Morelli is a delightful book about two very different kids: one calm and one not so much!  It points out that they both do many things during the day but one takes a break and the other doesn't. This book shows how one sibling teaches another how to be still.

Listening to My Body by Gabs Garcia helps children to notice and name their feelings and physical sensations that come with  those feelings. While I haven't read this book yet, it was recommended to me and would be perfect for my unit on mindfulness.

I hope these books give you a great start to teaching kids about mindfulness through children's literature.  As I was writing this I found this GREAT shirt and thought of you all reading this post on mindfulness. Isn't it clever?  (And so true!)

Think like a...Real Life Learning Series (Part 2)

Hi everyone,

I was thinking long and hard about some of the best learning experiences I've seen over the years and it's always been the ones where kids have had choice. Sometimes kids know what they are good at and other times they listen to others to tell them.  It's been my experience that kids need to be taught what to look for.  I don't necessarily mean in a look and see way, but more in a self reflection way.    Why is this important?  When kids become more reflective and are given opportunities to try new things and/or practice things that they like doing, their learning soars!

Real Life Learning

If you take a kid to school, what do you hope they will learn?  School is a complicated place, especially these days.

Really, the list of things you hope kids will learn at school is HUGE!  (As a teacher, the list of things that we want kids to learn seems ENDLESS.)

We want kids to learn to read, write, be able to do math, learn about the world and cultures, learn about Science and nature, technology, the arts... the curriculum list goes on. But wait - we also want our kids to be kind and have good character, not to mention have a growth mindset. As teachers we know that home support is vital in helping children to develop and learn.

Instead of being overwhelmed with everything I want my students to learn, or I am required to teach, I focus on the main goal of school: learning how to think and learning how to learn.

The best way I have found to do this is to teach with integrated units and use an inquiry approach to learning. When I teach this way and embed social and emotional learning throughout the day, students rise to the challenge of independent learning freeing me up to spend more 1-1 time with students and work on their thinking and communication skills.

When I first began teaching, integrated units involved picking a theme (apples, Halloween, butterflies) and integrating reading, writing and math into this unit.  The less effective integration of math into an apples unit would be a page of addition questions with apples to color on it.  The more effective one would be weighing apples, sorting apples, measuring the distance around an apple - which one is larger? These units were a lot of fun and the effective units helped students to learn all about that theme.

But the world is evolving and changing and school needs to change too. I want my students to become creative and critical thinkers.  I want them to be problem solvers.  I want to believe in their strengths and abilities and provide learning opportunities that will help them through the inquiry process for deeper learning. Keeping your classroom environment up to date and moving along with your desire to teach your students how to think more deeply about their learning will help to engage your students in their learning.

So what does this look like in a more practical way?
Back to Top