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Mindsets, Mindfulness and GoNoodle

Last Fall, we had an interesting speaker, Dr. Dan Siegel, come to speak at a joint faculty meeting. He spoke about mindfulness and how to embrace its tenets to enhance how the teenage brain works. One point he made that spoke to me, was the importance of spending time reflecting and relaxing. After his talk, I started leading my students in mindful meditations (breathing) before assessments.

This fall, our speaker Carol Dweck, spoke to our faculty about fixed vs growth mindsets. While her research isn't directly tied into mindfulness, her focus on the importance of the process and not just the outcome, follows the spirit of mindfulness: balance is key to well being. My (naive) hope is that my students will focus on learning and growth, and not merely on outcomes and grades. I hope that they will leave middle school as good people, and not just good equation solvers. Perhaps an effort driven, balanced-well-being environment is a lofty (hippy-ish) goal, but one I (the hippy algebra teacher) is after.

All this was on my mind, when the GoNoodle website popped up on my twitter feed. While the site is targeted at an elementary audience, I like the idea of using the Airtime game to guide breathing exercises with my classes. Check it out!

It looks like it is free to register and use up to a point. I don't plan on using its full capabilities in my 8th and 9th grade classes, though, so I am not worried.

Do you know of any other visual meditations online that are suitable for middle school kids?