I’m going to share with you how I use Headspace in the my elementary art classroom!
First off if you are a teacher or supporting staff at a school, then you can get a Headspace subscription for free! Below you will find a link to the sign up and the blurb about this subscription from the website!
Why do I use Headspace in my classroom?
I first tried this idea out last year. At the beginning of every class, and starting with the first day of art, we do 1 minute of mindful breathing along to one of the Headspace videos. I start this breathing first day with 1st – 5th grade. I plan to add it in with Kindergarten this year once we have our routines and expectations down a little better. For the first day of art class I will pick two videos and let the class vote on one. I feel like this gets them excited and also encourages a start for us being a class community through this voting process. I inform them that starting with the second class I will be drawing names and throughout the year everyone will get a chance to pick a video for the class to breathe to.
My idea with this was that 1 minute of mindful breathing would get us all connected and focused before I start an art lesson. We also say an art class mantra together after the breathing activity which I will share in about in an upcoming blog post so stay tuned!
After doing this for a school year, compared to not doing it in years prior, I feel like the atmosphere of my classroom has changed. We start off class calm and centered now and almost ALL students participate. Even the 5th graders who at first thought it was “silly” participate and get into it. I like to remind them that it is just for 1 minute and that they can let their mind wander or rest, whichever they prefer. I also tell them to keep in mind that this is our chance to let go of what has happened before art or to channel that for an artistic purpose.
Here is how I present the breathing each class.
Whatever slideshow I have created for the art rotation based on my lesson, I add in this breathing slide and my mantra slide to the beginning. This year I am calling it “Minute of Mindfulness” and the students have taken a liking to that. I am so excited to introduce it to our Kinder friends this year, as I feel much better about it, knowing the impact it has had and that it is MEANINGFUL for them. The students who were with me last year got excited when they saw the slide appear in my art intro and they then expressed excitement when they saw there were new options like Star Wars!
For the slide I use an image icon from each 1 minute video that is available on Headspace. That way the students can see all their choices when it’s their turn to pick. I then add a link to the correlating video below the image using the title.
*You could also link the video to the image I believe, if that works better for you!
Here is a highlight of the NEW Star Wars themed 1 minute breathing videos!
Below is a link to my google drive folder that contains all the image tiles, like the ones I have in my slideshow, for the different 1 minute breathing videos!
There are plenty of other great videos for just kids as well as for anyone that could be implemented in a classroom setting! I just gravitate to the 1 minute videos for this particular routine/activity since they are cute, quick, and the kids can focus on them for 1 minute successfully! This year I plan to use some of the longer videos from the site as needed. For example if the class is getting too rowdy or if we just want to get re-centered and focused as a class we can do some mindful breathing!
Should you utilize Headspace in your classroom?
100 percent yes I think you should! I feel these 1 minute videos are suitable for ANY age group, even the littles can get into it. It all depends on how important and fun you make it for them. I really believe adding this into our class routine has improved our focus as a whole. Not to sound selfish, but it’s also great for me as the teacher! I love getting a minute to let go from the last class before, and refocus for the new one. Even if you are a self contained teacher and you never “switch classes”. We all can use a minute of mindfulness to take a brain break!