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Mindfulness with Children

An introduction to mindfulness and its implementation in school.

Neena Barreto

on 11 June 2016

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Transcript of Mindfulness with Children


"Mindfulness gives you time. Time gives you choices. Choices, skillfully made, lead to freedom. You don't have to be swept away by your feeling. You can respond with wisdom and kindness rather than habit and reactivity."
-Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
presented by Neena Barreto
What is mindfulness?
What is the history of mindfulness?
How does mindfulness work?
What does the research say about mindfulness ?
How is mindfulness linked to neuroscience?
How can mindfulness help with Common Core?
What does mindfulness look like in the classroom?
How does mindfulness feel?
Who am I?
Elementary school teacher for fifteen years
Working toward certification as mindfulness educator
Mother of three boys
Dedicated to bringing this simple tool into the lives of our children
Non-profit started in Oakland, CA to teach mindfulness in classrooms
Over 200,000 students and 5,000 educators in and 60 countries have received training since 2007
Online and in-person classes
What is mindfulness?

a religious experience
a silver bullet for problems
goal oriented: absence of thought
relaxation exercise
about being calm
disciplinary tool for classroom management
What is the History of Mindfulness?
variations have been used for thousands of years in many contemplative traditions
introduced into secular application in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
has become a renowned mainstream influence in medicine, psychology, corporate environments, law, sports, work with veterans, and now education
a new and rapidly growing field...
How does Mindfulness Help?

Adult benefits in the research
decreased physical and psychological symptoms
reduction in pain levels
decreased depression, anxiety, stress
improved sleep
increased physical and mental ease and well-being
greater energy and enthusiasm for life
increased resonance with others
improved self esteem
-Center for Mindfulness, University of
Youth Mindfulness
Benefits in research
improved focus and concentration
increased sense of calm
increased self awareness (emotions mentionable)
improved impulse control (emotions manageable)
skillful responses to difficult situations
reduced stress and anxiety (ability to calm down when upset)
increased empathy (for self and others)

Mindfulness Research in the news
and the brain
We grow our brains in
particular ways by using
them in particular ways.
The Prefrontal
High level functions
Decision making, planning,
organizing, integrating
intention to pay attention
emotional balance and regulation
body regulation
The Amygdala
Emotional center
THe Hippocampus
Responsible for memory
Stress inhibits:
storing information
recalling information
Mindfulness and the
common core
The experience of turning
everything off, sitting still
and being able to sustain your
thoughts develops the cognitive
flexibility needed for the analytical
skills, critical thinking, and problem
solving that are a hallmark of the
Common Core standards.
Mindfulness at Pioneer Elementary 2014-2015
Short sessions: 15-20 minutes each, 1x per week, 16 weeks, taught by mindfulness coach in 16 classes K-5
Weekly mindfulness for teachers session afterschool
5 minutes of mindfulness at start of staff meetings
Many staff members have taken Mindfulness
Fundamentals course through Mindful Schools
Mindfulness Parent Information Night
Creation of Mindful Professional Growth Haven staff room

...all voluntary!
Pioneer'S Results
94% of students reported that
learning mindfulness has helped
them in their lives, especially with
calming down when upset and
focusing better in the classroom
Pioneer's Teachers Said...
82% of their students benefited
from mindfulness instruction
most noticed improvements in
how students relate with each other,
attention, settling down, impulse control,
and self awareness
all reported that they were able to get more
teaching minutes in, with an average of
21-30 minutes per day
all teachers benefited personally from mindfulness
"When I do it, I'm not
just helping them, I'm
helping myself."
-1st grade teacher
"Contrary to popular belief that if something
is genetically based we're stuck with it for life-
for how can we change our DNA?-even genetically based traits can be dramatically modified by how parents, teachers, and caregivers treat children and by the experiences children have."
-Richard Davidson
What Mindfulness is not...
...and mindful teachers are more likely to
create caring classrooms
Full transcript