As we pass through the last month of the school year, the to-do list never ends. Not only are we busy teaching, but we are still doing everything else too; writing report cards, managing all the behaviours that magically appear alongside the hot weather, packing up our classrooms, etc.! It can be such an overwhelming time. I know I certainly feel the pressure. Don’t you?
Today, I wanted to share a resource that can help you not only live a more mindful life, focus on yourself and take care of you, but also find some ideas to help you through June. The best part? On most days, it only takes a few minutes to complete an activity! That’s exactly what we busy teachers need!
What it is:
The resource I would like to introduce you to is a website called ActionForHappiness.org.
Action for Happiness is not just a charity, but a movement. A movement of people whose mission is “to promote a happier world, through a culture that prioritises happiness and kindness.”
Why I love it:
Firstly, what’s not to love about a resource that promotes both happiness and kindness? There is a serious lack of both of these things in the world today. So, for this reason alone, you should definitely try out this resource!
Apart from this however, among the many things this organisation offers, one of the things I love most is their monthly calendars. Every month, they release a new calendar encouraging you to do one small thing each day.
Last month’s calendar was called Meaningful May and consisted of 31 different activities that would only take you a few minutes to complete each day.
This month’s calendar is called Joyful June and consists of another 30 different activities for each day of the month.
The best part?
The calendar comes in nearly 40 different languages!
And of course, there’s a French version too!
Click here to check it out!
Who can use it:
One of the reasons why I love this resource is because it’s perfect not just for use with your students, but for you as well! I was introduced to this resource by another colleague and the purpose was to help our staff build the habit of taking out time for themselves, even if just for a few minutes a day. I’m sharing this resource with you today in the hopes that you will take some time for you, too.
Since I know we’re teachers however, I know we are always looking for ideas for the classroom. So, here are a few ways in which you can use this resource with your students:
- A Quick Write: Done your lesson early? Looking for something for your students to do as they transition back into the classroom after a break? Use these prompts as quick writing activities. Depending on the prompt and your classroom needs, you can have students respond using a specific writing style (persuasive, narrative, expository or descriptive) or leave it open-ended.
- Mindfulness Journal: Looking for a more structured approach? Have students keep a mindfulness journal and try using one prompt a week. In the French classroom, I would support my students by providing them with the necessary vocabulary to be able to express their thoughts and feelings on the prompt.
- Writing Centre: Use the prompts from this resource as a part of your writing centres. Or have students respond to the prompts while you work with a small group of students.
- Letter Writing: Just finished teaching your students about letter writing? Or, looking to assess student letter writing skills? Use any number of these prompts to practice this skill.
- Early Finishers: Is it just me or are we always looking for activities to keep those early finishers busy? You can use these prompts as a writing activity for early finishers.
- Walk and Talk or Think-Pair-Share: Got a great group of kids who are responsible and can self regulate? Why not take them outside for a walk and talk activity? Can’t go outside? Have students do a think-pair-share. Or use an inner/outer circle approach and get students to have an opportunity to discuss the prompt within your classroom.
- Oral conversation starters: Looking to fill five minutes of time? Prefer an oral activity instead? Why not make the conversation meaningful by choosing a prompt from the calendar as a conversation starter? This can be done as a whole class or in smaller groups.
- Draw a Response: How does today’s prompt make you feel? Does it remind you of a particular time in your life? What action can you take in response to this prompt? Have students find creative ways to respond to the prompt in the form of drawings.
- Role Play: Role plays are almost always fun. Have students role play their response to a prompt. Assign one prompt to the whole class to help students see how each prompt can have numerous different responses. Alternatively, assign a different prompt to each group, thereby exploring multiple prompts at once.
- Homework: Assign a prompt for homework so that students can spend some time being mindful at home. You can have students write a response or why not have students record an oral video response, using something like Flipgrid?
I’d love to know if you try out this resource or use any of these ideas. Don’t forget to come share with me over on Instagram @mmeiresources!