Mindfulness Practices: Take 5ive
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a research-based tool that starts with purposefully bringing focus to thoughts, emotions, physical feelings, and environment, with kindness and without judgment. Mindfulness exercises can be integrated into the school day to increase personal wellness and positive feelings, reduce reactivity and negativity, and improve overall classroom culture.
Learning to pause during the day allows for automatic, conditioned patterns to be broken, setting the stage for increased self-awareness, a requirement for self-regulation and impulse control.
In the classroom setting, the use of mindfulness practices can contribute to:
- Improved focus and attention
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Increased feelings of kindness
- Increased ability to manage emotions
Watch the brief video below for an introduction to mindfulness and the Take 5ive mindfulness activities.
Take 5ive Videos
The videos in Take 5ive offer three types of guided exercises:
- Exercises to develop focus and attention skills
- Exercises to cultivate everyday kindness strategies, including compassion and gratitude
- Exercises to reset and attune the mind-body connection through movement
The practices are designed to be projected or pulled up on a screen, enabling the class or group to engage together. Most of the exercises feature calming nature scenes, with voiced instructions throughout the practice, and some of the exercises are movement-based practices that can be used when space allows.
Take 5ive videos are designed to be used in low stress environments so the skills developed can be utilized later during times of increased stress. Suggested times to use the videos include:
- Before starting a new lesson or project
- Before or after transition times
- Before or after a test
- Whenever there is a need to reset or calm down
The Take 5ive practices are organized into two age groups:
- K4 through 8th grade
- 6th grade through 12th grade
This overlap of age groups allows you to select the appropriate practices for your class or group. In the K4 through 8th grade group, there are specific practices aimed toward K4 through 1st grade students.
Building Self-Awareness and Resilience
Take 5ive practices are aimed at increasing self-awareness during mindful periods, and are designed to help students find healthy ways to self-regulate. Students who have experienced toxic stress or trauma may not be able to sit quietly with their thoughts during these practices. However, with repeated use, these students may build resilience through mindful awareness exercieses.
For students in these situations, it may be helpful to provide alternative choices, such as:
- Moving about or doing another activity quietly
- Opting out of participation
If you notice a child is dysregulated or upset after using these practices, create a safe space for them to go to afterwards, and offer a trusted adult for them to talk to about the experience.