Archives for April 2016

Practice Acts of Kindness Series: Classmates

Practice Acts of Kindness Series: Classmates

For this practice, you will need:

  • A piece of paper
  • A writing tool

Teachers: to prepare for the lesson, you might match students up to a student they normally don’t talk to for Practicing Acts of Kindness.

Practicing Acts of Kindness means that we are mindfully taking the time to be kind to another person. This week’s Practicing Acts of Kindness focus is on classmates. A lot of the time we have friends in class we like to hang out with and talk to, but the classmates we focus on in this practice are the ones you don’t know as well or might not ever talk to.

It can definitely be scary to talk or do something for someone you don’t know very well. We are all in this together! Take a moment to be mindful of what thoughts or feelings come up for you when you think of the practice. Once you notice some thoughts or feelings, go ahead and write them down or draw them (teacher can cue depending on developmental appropriateness).

[Optional] Teachers: you might ask students to submit feelings anonymously and have them close their eyes to vote on whether they agree by raising their hands. This practice can help diffuse some anxiety.

To Practice Acts of Kindness today, we will write a note of kindness to the classmate who we are matched with, or draw a kind picture for them. The note or drawing should say something nice about your classmate. It can be big or small, as long as it comes from your heartletters-772504_960_720 and is kind!

Take 5 minutes to write your short note of kindness or make a kind drawing. Be sure to write the name of your classmate somewhere on it. When you finish, wait for your teacher to give you instructions.

Teachers: after 5 minutes, direct students to exchange notes with their matched classmate.

After you exchange your note of kindness, take another mindful moment to notice how you feel after Practicing Acts of Kindness. Today you also got to receive Acts of Kindness! Write down how you feel, and share with your teacher and classmates if it feels okay to you!

Teacher’s Tip: If this practice resonates with you and your students, you can make Practicing Acts of Kindness a regular classroom activity. It is a great way to bring the classroom together and give students the opportunity to communicate with classmates outside of their friend group.

Student’s Tip: You can practice acts of kindness with your classmates as much as you’d like! Notes and drawings outside of class time are a great way to practice. You can also tell your classmates kind things and save paper! The sky is the limit with ways to Practice Acts of Kindness. It can be as simple as giving someone a nice big smile!

Practice Acts of Kindness Series: Introduction

Practice Acts of Kindness Series: Introduction

 

This next series is meant to inspire us to Practice Acts of Kindness. This series teaches us ways to Practice Acts of Kindness with a new person each week, so that we can become experts in being kind. Each practice is meant to be very simple, and can be practiced by anyone!

Over the next few weeks, we will Practice Acts of Kindness with:

  1. Classmates
  2. Teachers
  3. Parents & Family
  4. Yourself!

When we Practice Acts of Kindness, we create something called a Ripple Effect. This means that when we are kind, others might be inspired to be kind too! We all have the power to share kindness, and the most important step is through practice!

Kindness is something that you can practice every day in every way, just like Mindfulness! Just like we are learning to be Mindful, we are also learning to be Kind. When we practice a lot, it becomes a natural part of who we are.

Through this series you will learn simple ways to be kind, and have opportunities to practice it! We look forward to making ripples of kindness with you!

Teachers: Random Acts of Kindness supplies free K-12 lesson plans if you are looking to take your teaching of kindness even further!

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Create your own Mindful Mandala

Create your own Mindful Mandala

For this practice, you’ll need:

  • Colored pencils or crayons
  • A piece of paper for each student
  • examples of Mandalas (can pull up an image on a projector or draw an simple example on the whiteboard)

In today’s practice, you will Create you own Mindful Mandala. It is a combination of the Mindful Coloring practices of Mindful FreeExpression Coloring and Mindful Mandala Coloring that we learned in our last two Mindfulness activities.

As we learned before, a Mindful Mandala is a pattern that is often in the shape of a circle. Sometimes Mindful Mandalas look like big bright suns, or flowers with lots of petals. Sometimes they look like a circle with a pattern inside of it. You get to choose what your Mindful Mandala looks like, because it is a reflection of your own creativity!

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If you feel stuck, here are some steps to begin:

  1. Drawing a small, medium, or large sized circle in the middle of your paper.
  2. Pick a pattern to draw all around the outside of the circle. This can be flower petals, rays of the sun, shapes, or any kind of drawing you feel is right. You can choose to only draw the pattern once, or you can keep repeating the pattern so it makes more layers for your Mindful Mandala.
  3. Pick a pattern to draw inside of the circle. You can draw it around the inside of the circle, or you can fill the whole inside part of the circle with that pattern. You can also choose to draw something that reminds you to be Mindful inside the circle, whatever that may be.
  4. Now it is time to color! Pick your colors and make your Mindful Mandala a unique expression of you! Whatever you make is perfect.
  5. The last step is to gaze at your beautiful Mindful Mandala. Spend a minute or so noticing the colors and shapes and patterns of your Mindful Mandala. This is a Mindful Mandala meditation that you can practice anytime you’d like.

Great work everyone. You have now learned how to Create your own Mindful Mandala! You can make Mindful Mandalas on your own at home or during free time (if your teacher says its okay) and you can play around with different patterns and colors every single time if you’d like. Remember, whatever you create is a perfect expression on your creativity!

Teacher’s Tip: Mindful Mandalas can be tied in to lessons at school. If you are working with a theme and would like to bring these in for a future lesson, you can have your students make a Mindful Mandala with patterns related to your lesson in the classroom.

Student’s Tip: You can Create your own Mindful Mandala whenever you have free time. Another great practice is to try your Mindful Mandala meditation either with a new Mindful Mandala, or maybe with one you have already created.

 

 

Mindful Mandala Coloring

For this practice, you’ll need:

Last week we practiced Mindful Free Expression Coloring. Mindful Mandala Coloring takes some of the tools you learned in Mindful Free Expression Coloring and uses them in a little bit of a different way. You might remember that as you colored last time, you were asked to let go of worries about how your coloring looked, and even to let go of any goals for what your coloring might end up looking like. Mindful Mandala Coloring uses those same guidelines, but this time in the shape of a Mindful Mandala.

A Mindful Mandala is a pattern that you can color or draw to train your mind to be more still and focused. It is also a great way to express whatever is going on inside your mind or feelings through the colors and shapes of the Mindful Mandala.

Mindful Mandala Coloring is a very simple practice. All you have to do is pick out a few colors (or your teacher will give them to you) and give all of your attention to coloring the Mindful Mandala in front of you. If you notice your mind wandering to something else, just bring your attention back to the Mindful Mandala that you are Mandala_monte_verita-1coloring.

While you color: notice how it feels to color; notice how your colored pencil or crayon moves along the paper; notice how the Mindful Mandala changes with your coloring and attention.

Teacher: allow 5-10 minutes to color the Mindful Mandala. Let students know when they have 2 minutes left.

At the end of the practice, ask students to write a sentence about their experience with Mindful Mandala Coloring. After students are done writing, ask a handful to share with the class. If students aren’t at a writing level, then they can just share out loud.

Teacher’s tip: it is optional to play some quiet and relaxing music in the background.

Student’s tip: you can practice Mindful Mandala Coloring any time you’d like. All you need is a paper, pencil and a Mindful Mandala Coloring page. If you don’t have access to a printer at home, ask your teacher if you can print one at the library. Otherwise hang tight until next week, when we will learn about Creating your own Mindful Mandalas.