Educalme is a bilingual social-emotional learning program that teaches students self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-regulation through a daily guided mindfulness practice.
This program will help you and your students find calm during the busy, often hectic school day. You and your students will learn to manage your emotions mindfully which will help you both to thrive in a calm learning atmosphere.
Mindfulness, the practice of paying attention to the present moment on purpose, is a skill that is developed through practice and repetition.
In school, we take the time every day to explicitly teach our students to read using various methods and through lots of repetition and practice before they are able to read independently.
The same is necessary with mindfulness. If we want our students to be able to manage their emotions and self-regulate independently we have to teach them how to do so with a daily mindfulness practice.
Educalme is intended to be a daily practice and we provide everything you’ll need to do this with no prep. Just as we don’t expect our students to learn to read after only one lesson, we can’t expect them to master mindfulness right away. Practice and repetition are the key ingredients. With a daily practice, you’ll notice that you spend less time during the day putting out fires and you gain more time for academics.
First, let’s take a look at how the website is organized so that you know where to find what you need.
When go to www.educalme.com, login from the top right corner.
If your browser kept you signed in since last time, or you’ve navigated away from your member area and want to go back, you’ll click on My Member Area.
You can change the language by clicking on French or English in the top right corner from any page of the website.
Once you’re in your Member Area, scroll down a bit and click on the Educalme Classroom tile.
You’ll see that the Educalme content is organized by themes.
With the free trial, you have access to the Start Here theme. If you sign up for a full membership to Educalme, you’ll have access to all the themes and all the units within the themes. Which means you’ll have a ready-to-use lesson for every day of the school year.
Once you click on Start Here, you can choose between two tabs.
Click on the left tab [Start Here (Training for Teachers on how to Use this Program)] to see the support materials to help you, the teacher. In this section, there is a training video How to Teach Mindfulness in the Classroom with Success and there’s a worksheet to use as you watch the video. The rest of the content included in this section will be explained later on in this article.
Click on the right tab [Introduction to Mindfulness (Lessons for Students)] to see the content you’ll use with your students. There are audios, a lesson plan, student booklets and other supporting resources. How to use this content will be explained a little later in this article.
Now, let’s walk you through how to use your Educalme Free Trial by breaking down what to do before (the planning phase), during (the practice phase) and after (the reflection phase).
The first step in the planning phase will be to consider if you would like to share that you’ll be using Educalme with your students’ parents/guardians. This is a completely optional step and it’s up to you to decide if it will be useful and beneficial to share about Educalme with parents/guardians.
If this is something you would like to do, we have a letter written in the Start Here section of Educalme that you can copy or use as an outline for how to talk about Educalme and mindfulness with parents.
The best and most simple way to describe Educalme is by saying that it’s a program that helps get students’ brains ready for learning. You can also direct parents to our website, www.educalme.com, where we have lots of details about the program.
The second step in the planning phase will be to add 5-10 minutes for Educalme to your daily schedule so that both you and your students see it as part of the daily routine.
A great time to do the practice is at the beginning of your time with your students. For elementary school teachers that are with their students all day, first thing in the morning right after the morning announcements and national anthem is perfect.
The Educalme practice helps everyone start the morning in a calm and focussed state and prepares students’ brains for learning.
For middle school, high school, and specialist teachers that see their students for a period and then get a new group of students for the next period, the first 5-10 minutes of class time is the best time for Educalme.
If your schedule doesn’t fit these suggestions, choose whatever other option you would be able to keep consistent. Some teachers do their practice right after recess or lunch. Some Physical Education Teachers do the practice at the end of class to help students calm down and be ready to go back to their classrooms.
Many teachers do Educalme more than once per day because they find that they can get so much more done and classroom management is much easier when they start with an Educalme practice to calm students down and get their brains focussed and ready to learn.
The key is repetition. When Educalme is on your schedule both you and your students will know when to expect it and it will become part of the routine.
The third step of the before phase is to communicate the intention of the Educalme practice. Explain to your students why this practice will be beneficial to them so that they understand the purpose.
The explanation of why you’re doing Educalme can be as simple as saying “we’re going to be doing this practice to create a calm and focused learning atmosphere” or “this practice is going to help you get your brain ready for learning”.
Or you could go deeper and tell a story to your students about why you decided to do this practice in the classroom. We like to explain to our students that mindfulness helps us to feel calm when we’re feeling big emotions like stress, frustration or anger and that we want to share this practice with them so that they too can learn how to manage big emotions in a healthy way.
We also have a pre-teaching lesson that you can follow in the Start Here section of Educalme.
Since most students have never experienced mindfulness before, they have no idea what it should look like or what they need to do to have success. Before you start listening to the audios with them, set clear expectations for what it should look like, sound like and feel like. We like to communicate to our students that when we’re listening to the Educalme audio, it should look like everyone is following along with what that audio is instructing, it should sound quiet so that everyone can hear the audio and it should feel calm and relaxed in the classroom.
The practice phase is where you’ll be listening to the audios with your students. Decide where and how your students will sit. There’s no right or wrong way to sit, just choose what will help your students to have success. Sitting at their tables, sitting in a circle on the floor, choosing their own spots in the class. It’s up to you to figure out what will work best for your students to have success in listening to and following along with the audios with minimal distractions.
Be sure to differentiate expectations based on specific student needs. Some students may need supports to be able to listen to the 2 or 5 minute audios with success.
Then, press play. While you listen to the audios, you’ll need to model the practice and follow along – since this is new for your students, they’ll be looking to you and mirroring how you practice. This practice is important for you too, you deal with so many things on your plate during the day, this practice should also be a time for you to feel more calm so that you are ready to be your awesome teacher self! It’s important that students see that mindfulness supports everyone, at all ages.
With your free trial, you have access to the first unit of the Educalme program, Introduction to Mindfulness, which you’ll find in the Start Here theme. Each unit is meant to last 4-5 weeks and how you use the audios will depend on your students’ age.
For younger grades, kindergarten to grade 3 or 4, listen to audio 1 for a whole week. Then, on week 2, listen to audio 2 and so on.
With older students, grades 7 and up, listen to audio 1 on Monday, audio 2 on Tuesday and so on. Then, repeat for 4-5 weeks.
With middle years, go with the option that you think will work best with your group and don’t be afraid to switch it up as you observe what’s working or what isn’t.
With the Introduction to Mindfulness Unit, you have 2 or 5-minute options for each audio. You can choose to start with 2 minutes and move up to 5 minutes when you find that your students are having success or you can jump right into the 5-minute audios knowing that it might be challenging for them at first but that with practice and your support they will improve.
French immersion teachers often choose to alternate listening to the English and French audios so that their students hear the audios in both languages to ensure a deeper understanding. The French and English versions of all the Educalme content are exactly the same, just translated so you can easily jump between languages.
After you listen to the audio with your students, it’s time to reflect and connect. Give students the opportunity to think about and to share how the practice is supporting them, and to reflect on which strategies they are learning that are helpful to them. This will also give you the chance to give your students support with strategies if they are struggling. This reflect and connect time helps to build a strong classroom community and gives you the chance to hear how your students are doing emotionally so that you can do your best to support them.
This reflection can be done as a sharing circle or round-robin where each student gets a turn to share what they experienced while listening to the audio. Another option is a discussion format where students that want to share raise their hands. Or students can reflect on their practice individually by using the Educalme student reflection booklets or a journal. There are discussion prompts to help you get the reflect and connect sharing started in the lesson plans.
You get unlimited access to Introduction to Mindfulness, the first unit of Educalme. In the Introduction to Mindfulness Unit you’ll find:
Audios – This is the core practice and the most important part of the program.
Lesson Plan – This gives you information on what will be covered in the audios and gives you ideas for how you can use the printables. There’s nothing you have to teach from the plan, it’s there so that you know what to expect from the unit.
Student Booklets – This is an optional supporting resource. In the student booklets, there is a page for each audio that can be used to connect what students are learning to the regular teaching curriculum or as a way for students to reflect on what they learned in the audio. Choose the version that fits best with your students’ age level.
Posters – This is another optional supporting resource. Posters can be used in lots of different ways. You can print them or put them up on your projector or smartboard as a visual. You can use them as a springboard for a discussion, or as a vocabulary review for additional language learners.
My Calm Place Activity – This is also optional. This is an activity that students can do to represent their calm place.
In each unit of Educalme, there are different supporting resources to help you integrate what students are learning in the audios with your regular teaching curriculum. There are projects, activities, games and more.
Your free trial never expires, so you can continue using this Introduction to MIndfulness resource forever.
If you want more and are ready to make Educalme a daily practice for the whole year, sign up for the Educalme membership and you’ll gain access to all the themes and units!
We hope this article gave you the information you need to get started, if you want more detailed training and information about how mindfulness supports learning, you can watch the How to Teach Mindfulness in the Classroom with Success video in the training for teachers tab of the Start Here theme.
Again, we want to welcome you to the Educalme Community! Get ready to thrive in a calm and focused learning atmosphere!