Robinson PTA is proud to have sponsored a full Mindfulness Program in spring 2018, given by Melissa Berg Baker, a certified instructor from Mindful Schools. We managed to give access to most of the school students and staff through a live broadcast with lessons twice a week. We gave our students the tools to manage anxiety and stress during test-taking or in difficult situations; be calm; learn to be in the present moment; recognize emotions and how they affect our body; recognize if our thoughts are facts or just imagination; understand the importance of resilience; manage complex emotions like anger; practice empathy and breathing techniques to calm ourselves when we are overwhelmed.
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SPONSORED BY RMS PTA
BY MELISSA BERG-BAKER
LESSONS 1 - 16
Lesson 1: Intro to Mindfulness: A User Manual for the Mind
What is mindfulness?
Practice mindfulness of the body by relaxing and feeling gravity.
Lesson 2: Our Bendable Brains: Mindfulness of Sound
Mindfulness can make our brains stronger.
Mindful listening – focusing on a bell/sounds in the room/sounds outside the room
Lesson 3: Getting (back) Online: Mindfulness of Breathing
Explain different parts of the brain and how mindfulness affects the brain
Practice noticing the breath and finding our anchor
Lesson 4: Impulses and Patience
Understand the difference between impulse and mindful action
Understand the role of self-control in long-term achievement
Video: The Marshmallow Test
Lesson 5: Soaking in the Good: A Heartfulness Lesson
Understand the negativity bias
Using mindfulness to help savor what’s good in life
Lesson 6: Mindfulness of Emotions (Handout: Emotions in the Body)
Understand the important role that emotions play in our lives.Detect emotions as sensations in the body
Lesson 7: Changing the Channel: Heartfulness Practice
Sending kind thoughts to ourselves and others
Mindfulness strengthens our ability to choose where we put our
Lesson 8: Mindfulness of Thinking
Understand the capacity of thinking as natural to being human
Recognize the ways in which thoughts can help us and harm us
(Handout: Thoughts are not Facts)
Lesson 9: Being at Home in Our Bodies: Body Scan
The body is our home – we live our lives here.
A practice of systematically tensing and relaxing through the body as a way to get familiar with how stress affects the body.
What would it be like to have a kind relationship with one’s own body?
Lesson 10: Resilience
Discuss The Iceberg Illusion
Practice noticing thoughts/sensations that make us uncomfortable
Lesson 11: Handling Overwhelm: The Freakout Formula
Feeling overwhelmed, or “freaking out” is completely normal and natural.
Practice the Freak Out Formula (go slowly and be specific):
- Notice three things you see
- Notice three things you hear
- Notice three things you feel
Lesson 12: Managing Difficult Emotions: Anger
Anger is a self-protective response designed to help us get safe in response to a threat.
Anger also can cause harm to ourselves and our relationships.
How do we relate to anger?
Practice taking deep breaths, making sure the exhale is longer than the inhale.
Video: Just Breathe
Lesson 13: Mindfulness and the STAAR
Stressful events like the STAAR, final exams and school projects can cause stress and anxiety, which makes it difficult to think and do our best.
Mindfulness can help us manage those emotions and help focus our attention.
Practicing mindfulness before and during the STAAR test can help shift what’s happening inside...helps to calm the nervous system so you can think clearly and focus on the task.
- Take three deliberate and slow deep breaths, noticing with detail how you are sitting, where your hands and feet are. Completely staying in the moment with these breaths.
- Then Imagine taking the test in a calm way, slowly answering the questions and finishing the exam in a peaceful manner
Lesson 14: Mindfulness and Empathy
Empathy is the capacity to feel what someone else is experiencing from the inside, from their point of view. Since communicating with and relating to others is a big part of life, developing empathy is an important part of living a fulfilling and meaningful life.
Video: Offer Empathy
Lesson 15: Gratitude and Generosity
Studies show that both gratitude and generosity make us happier. Mindfulness tools help us strengthen these qualities in our lives so that we can experience deep/true happiness.
Video: The Gratitude Experiment
Lesson 16: Q & A Session
Answers to questions by our students
- Introduction to video
- What is the bell for?
- What is mindfulness?
- What mindfulness is not.
- What is the point of mindfulness and why do we repeat the same technique over and over?
- How does mindfulness help with self confidence?
- About heartfulness and empathy.
- How to find courage to do something you fear or want to avoid?
- Why do we focus on our breath during mindfulness exercises?
- How to use mindfulness to manage anger
- Mindfulness explained: Puppy Mind: a children's book
- Goodbye poem
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