Spring 2017

ATPE News is the official publication of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, the largest educator association in Texas. The magazine addresses the most important issues affecting public education in the state. Learn more at

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ATPE NEWS 11 There are many ways to practice being present in the classroom. Here are a few quick and easy mindfulness activities: MINDFUL STRETCHING "Dolphin pose"—Sit or stand. Stretch your arms behind your back. Grasp your hands, gently lift your arms, and look up. Take five deep breaths. Get creative and come up with your own "poses." MINDFUL BREATHING "Finger tracing"—Hold one hand with outstretched fingers. Touch the bottom of your outstretched thumb with a finger from your other hand. Breathe in and slowly move your finger up your thumb. Breathe out and slowly move your finger down your thumb. Continue as you trace your outstretched hand from your thumb to your pinky. Repeat with other hand. MINDFUL LISTENING "Listen to the bell"—Play the sound of a bell or chime and have your students focus on the sound while taking slow, steady, controlled breaths. The volume will decrease, and when your students can no longer hear the sound, have them raise their hand. You can also do this with eyes closed and open them when the sound fades away. MINDFUL SEEING "Find something new"—Set a timer for one minute or play a chime. While taking slow, steady, controlled breaths, students notice their surroundings by silently looking around the room to find some- thing they haven't noticed before. This can be done in a variety of locations on campus. MINDFUL EATING "Eat with your senses"—Using a snack, guide your students to pay close attention to their food through the five senses. Encourage them to notice texture, color, shape, ingredients, flavor, and so forth. For the first bite, intentionally go through each sense: sight, touch, smell, taste, and listening (while chewing). What: Got a minute? Mindfulness can be practiced during different parts of your day. Here are a few suggested times to practice mindfulness with your students: START OF THE DAY/CLASS END OF THE DAY/CLASS TRANSITIONS AFTER LUNCH BRAIN BREAK (when class energy level needs a change) When: James Butler leads a mindfulness activity with Austin students. Photos courtesy of James Butler and Emily Hoaldridge-Dopkins

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