The Water Lily Way

A school counselor's story of how to live, work and play…the water lily way


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IPad Apps

Hi All,

Another list of resources that I will slowly be adding to as I discover more IPad apps to use with kiddo’s. At this point, I have not used a ton of apps when working with my students, however I find they get REALLY excited when I pull out the IPad! Hmmmmm, wonder why? 😉

Please feel free to share any other apps you enjoy using with students!

Be well -Jessica

P.S. All of the apps listed are FREE!

 

Mindfulness/Deep Breathing/Relaxation

(Great for teaching kids deep breathing skills and a good “calm down tool” for kids who need a break. AND, I enjoy a couple of these myself. 🙂 )

Breathe 2 Relax

Relax Melodies

Calm Talk

Smiling Mind

 

Feelings/Emotions

(These seem to be more appropriate for elementary students.)

Focus on the go!

Touch & Learn Emotions (Younger children)

Moody Monsters

Dusty D. Dawg Has Feelings Too! (Younger children)

 

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“Bee Breathing” -A Deep Breathing Exercise for Kids

Hi Friends!

I hope your week is off to a great start. Just wanted to share a fun resource with you that I was able to try out with some kiddos at my practicum site today. Before I say much more, if you haven’t tried deep breathing or relaxation exercises with your children or students, don’t let any nervousness you may have to do so hold you back! All of the kids I have tried deep breathing with respond SO well to it. It amazes me! Maybe it has something to do with how fast paced our society is, especially our schools! There are so many responsibilities and expectations in our classrooms today, there often is not time for just “being & breathing.”

Anyways, my cool tool for you! If you check out the website, “www.kidsrelaxation.com” a screen should pop up offering a free subscription for a chapter from the book “Deep Breathing for Kids.” I have not looked into this book yet, however I plan to do so! The free chapter will be sent to you via email, and it has some great breathing exercises for kids. For instance, one activity is “bee breathing.” In this activity children (or a child if you do this individually as I did) practices inhaling and exhaling. During the exhale you encourage the children to make a “buzzzz” sound as they breathe out. I have the Bee Breathing activity listed below, but definietely check out the website for more  mindfulness fun with children! Have a great week! 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

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Bee Breathing

1) Let’s get in a comfortable position to practice bee breathing. Imagine that you are sitting on a leaf or a flower petal. Sit straight and allow the leaf petal to support you.

2) Breath in, allowing the air to just gently come in through your nose, filling up your lungs.

3) As you breathe out, buzz like a bee. see how far your bee is going to fly before sitting down and resting again. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz

4) On the next breath, see if your bee can fly with a loud, strong buzz.

5) On the next breath, see if your bee can fly with a soft buzz.

6) Does it feel different with a strong or soft buzz? How does your buzz feel?

Ideas for use: After breathing practice, draw a picture of a bumblebee and the leaf or flower that you were “sitting” on in your imagination. This picture can be used as a relaxation practice reminder. When you see the picture, practice being like a bee and practice bee breath!

 


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Monday Mindfulness

You may chuckle when reading the title of this post, “Monday Mindfulness.” You may be thinking, my Monday was anything but mindful!!! What is this girl talking about??? It may exhaust you just to think of all that you did today to start off the work week after the weekend. If that’s the case, let me tell you, I am right there with you! My Monday was very far from mindful. But of course, that is just what inspired me to begin bringing us a little Monday Mindfulness.

Today was the start to week three of my semester. I start off my weeks at an elementary school as part of my practicum course and we are busy! My supervisor is so passionate and extremely involved with her school. I have learned a ton from her already and I have only been at my site for a total of three school days. I am pretty tired at the end of the day, but it is all totally worth it. I love every minute of it!

With that said, I usually leave my site before 4 p.m. and then head to our rec and wellness center on campus. I teach a HIT (interval training) class from 4:30-5:30. Most days it only takes me about 20 minutes to go from my site to campus, but today it was over double that as we received a lot of snow this afternoon. That’s just part of living in Wisconsin, you just never know what your commute is going to be! Needless to say, I got a little “extra” exercise in today as I was running into the rec center to get to my class on time.

Once home, it’s the normal night routine. Dinner, dishes, preparing for tomorrow, and oh yeah, homework time! Homework time, how about bed time? I’m sure you can relate to wanting nothing more than to relax after a long day, but the list of things to do is still there. Well, there is just where mindfulness can come in…

For me, mindfulness is KEY on Monday’s. To keep myself going and mentally fresh after a long day, I’ve found it important to just take a few minutes to simply breathe. By doing this I feel refreshed, but mostly I feel relaxed. Maybe you have another day in your week where engaging in a mindfulness practice could help you feel a bit more centered, at ease, relieve a little stress, or just allow you a few minutes of time for you. Every Monday I will share something related to mindfulness. I am going to challenge you to try and find a point during your day or week to try out a mindful exercise or technique.

Now you be might be thinking, “when do I have time for that?” It’s hard, I know! Our days are packed, they are filled from sun up to sun down. But many of the exercises I will post will only require a few minutes! I understand that time is limited during the day. The links I will share with you today offer some different exercises that are only five minutes! Five minutes of your day, for you, for your mind, for your mental health. I know you can do it!

For my educators and counselors out there, I have posted a site that specifically provides mindfulness exercises that can be done with students. While the school day is full and there are so many expectations of what needs to be done each day in our classrooms, taking five mindful minutes with your students can be so impactful. The website I’ve listed below offers some wonderful research that supports mindfulness in education in addition to mindfulness exercises for youth. And not to worry, we’ll talk more about the research supporting mindfulness for students, for adults, for all, in the future..

For this weeks Monday Mindfulness

Here are two links with different options for you to try out. Each link contains different exercises, different techniques and different styles of practices. If you’re not fond of one, I encourage you to try another! 🙂

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society offers a variety of audio recordings for use on their website. The recordings range from 5-12 minutes.

http://www.contemplativemind.org/practices/recordings

Educators and counselors, next is the link to “Mindful Schools.” Under ‘About Mindfulness’ and then ‘Mindfulness Exercises’ you will find several different exercises that you can do in class with your students. Still, while this site is called “Mindful Schools,” the exercises can be done by anyone!!!

http://www.mindfulschools.org/about-mindfulness/mindfulness-exercises/

Be well, and be mindful. 🙂

Jessica