[Editor’s Note: This article was first published on the TCEA TechNotes blog.]
Mindfulness, meaning mental presence and reflection, is a popular practice across the U.S., incorporating tools to help people think clearly and critically, calm their minds, and be more productive.
Many teachers also believe mindfulness can help students feel more relaxed and focused, not to mention make them less likely to engage in disruptive behavior than those who don’t meditate or undertake other mindfulness practices. Research shows that mindfulness practices can have a generally positive effect on students, though it’s not yet clear whether those outcomes are caused by specific practices or simply giving students the chance to take a breath during a busy school day.
In one study, students said they spent one-third of their study time feeling worried, stressed, or stuck. A variety of factors could cause those feelings, but the decision to make your classroom a more mindful one could help students learn valuable stress management skills. Here are six mindfulness apps that might help your students be more present, relaxed, and productive.
6 mindfulness apps to try in your classroom
One of the advantages of Stop, Breathe & Think is that it gives customized meditations based on how you’re feeling at that moment. First, users go through a brief survey about their current state, then receive meditations to match the results. Students can take part in the activity even if they only have about five minutes.
Depending on the age of your students, there is a kids’ version of the app intended for young people from 5-10 years old. Also, the app creators offer educators a free lifetime membership that provides access to hundreds of activities, plus both the kids and all-ages version of the app.
Hundreds of schools use the Headspace app to introduce kids to mindfulness practices. Users get the Basics course for free, allowing them to determine if meditation is something they want to continue. If it is, subscriptions provide access to mindfulness exercises of various lengths and topics. Moreover, the content gets delivered in an extremely accessible manner. So, if you’re not yet familiar with mindfulness, but want to learn along with the students, check out Headspace.