September 27, 2017

How mindful breathing focused Baltimore middle schools

Rebecca Nyquist Baelen, a Penn GSE education policy doctoral student, was part of a team tasked with improving academic performance at three Baltimore middle schools. Teachers told Nyquist Baelen and her colleagues one of their biggest challenges was getting students to calm down and focus.  

Penn GSE education policy doctoral student Rebecca Nyquist Baelen

That led Nyquist Baelen’s team to create a strategy for mindful breathing, which she detailed in a piece for Behavioral Scientist:

“In Baltimore, my colleagues and I settled on a light touch approach, mainly because teachers were concerned about giving up instructional time for mindfulness exercises. We developed quick and easy-to-implement exercises, framing them as potential time savers. We called them Focus 5: seven exercises which take no longer than five minutes to complete. All the teachers needed to do was read the cards.”

Read the full piece here