Deep Breathing Exercises for the Classroom

Increases focus, alleviates stress, decreases symptoms of anxiety, improves the quality of sleep, and relieves pain…deep breathing exercises provide a myriad of benefits. Breathing exercises are free, relatively easy to learn, do not take much time to complete, and can be done anytime and anywhere – including the classroom.

Deep breathing is a proactive habit that students and teachers alike can benefit from. This article includes some of my favorite strategies and resources for incorporating breathing exercises and relaxation into one’s professional practices to support mental health and learning.

  • Set aside a few moments at the beginning of each class period or during morning meeting to simply stand up, stretch, and take a few deep breaths together.
  • This serene video provides viewers with a simple, yet powerful, 3-minute guided deep-breathing meditation. Both students and teachers can benefit from this Calm Classroom technique.
  • What could be better than 3+ hours of the sounds of birds happily chirping paired with relaxing music? This video provides a calming ambiance – and perhaps could be used during writing or other independent work time.
  • From the “hot air balloon” technique to “bumble bee breaths,” Cosmic Kids makes breathing exercises so much fun! Check out these five engaging and effective breathing exercises for kids.
  • Students and adults of all ages will appreciate this tactile, quick, and simple “Take 5” breathing and mindfulness technique.
  • Introduce a new breathing technique each week and make simple I-charts for students to reference. Invite students to share their own favorite breathing exercises.


Image Credit: https://copingskillsforkids.com/deep-breathing-exercises-for-kids
 

Many of the simplest breathing techniques often provide me with an increased sense of calmness and relaxation, almost immediately. It’s amazing what just a few moments of deep breathing can do - give it a try!


Jill Rockwell
Jill has over 13 years of experience as a licensed teacher in the areas of Special Education, Reading Education, and Health Education. She embraces diversity and has worked with students in grades K-12 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Jill completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls while teaching full time. She fully understands the soaring demands of today’s teachers. Her courses are designed to maximize the time of all educators by providing engaging, meaningful, and applicable activities which can be used to enhance teaching practices. She focuses on research-based best practices and technology integration throughout her own instructional practices. Together with her husband and two young boys, Jill enjoys traveling, biking and the changing seasons of the great outdoors in Wisconsin. 

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