Yoga Calm for Children, by Lynea and James Gillen, is a wonderful resource for anyone concerned about fostering the emotional and physical well-being and academic learning in children and youth. This book describes a unique educational program that combines the practice of physical yoga and social-emotional skill-building. It includes more than 60 specially designed classroom and therapeutic activities: yoga-based movement, breath work, relaxation, and social-emotional learning and storytelling activities. Each activity is clearly explained and, in the case of yoga practices, accompanied by pictures. In addition, the book specifies different ways the activities can be combined into five-to-forty minute lesson plans for a range of ages, abilities and populations. Personal stories drawn from Lynea's thirty years of classroom teaching, counseling and implementing this program add to the richness and the usefulness of this material.
The Way of Mindful Education
Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students
Daniel Rechtschaffen, MFA
This book has been hailed as a unique resource for transforming our schools by a number of prominent leaders in the fields of mindfulness and social emotional learning. The first half of the book is divided into three parts and sets the context for mindful teaching and education. In Part 1, Why Mindfulness Matters, Rechtschaffen defines mindfulness, introduces us to a range of mindfulness work already happening in schools and presents an overview of scientific findings on personal benefits. Part 2, Begin With Yourself, emphasizes the importance for teachers and parents to experience mindfulness practices before effectively teaching these skills to children and teens. In Part 3, The Mindful Classroom, the author describes the qualities of a mindful teacher, and essential ingredients for a mindfulness classroom, including ways to address diversity and inclusion, stress and trauma and the needs of different age groups.
The second half of the book focuses on the Mindful Education Curriculum - "how to introduce students to mindfulness in an accessible way that has the greatest impact”, and shares a basic lesson planning layout, along with eighteen specific lessons to cultivate embodiment, attention, heartfulness and interconnectedness. The book ends with brief 'best practice' illustrations of mindfulness curricula that can be incorporated in schools and other youth-based settings. This book is a thorough and easy to read resource for educators and parents interested in introducing mindfulness practices into their schools and helping students develop the ability to concentrate, cope with stress and in sum, thrive.
The Whole Brain Child
12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
Daniel J. Siegel, MD & Tina Payne Bryson, PH.D.
When children “melt down” in the middle of a store, on the baseball field or in the classroom, adults often aren’t sure what is best to do. These renowned authors suggest that such day-to-day struggles can be turned into teachable opportunities to positively influence our child’s development. They offer a brain-based framework to help adults grow the circuitry of neural connections in children that results in self-regulation and the “mindsight” for cultivating empathy, self-awareness and emotionally healthy relationships. While the book is steeped in scientific explanations, the graphic illustrations, stories and descriptions of the use of 12 strategies, such as “Name it to Tame it” or “ Move it or Lose it”, makes the reading very accessible.