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    Exploring Mindfulness at Roosevelt School


  • Roosevelt Elementary School kindergartners are learning how to develop a healthy mind and body in ways that will help them heighten their awareness and improve their focus and attention. The initiative is called Mindfulness and it was brought to Roosevelt by the schools’ Site Based Committee. 

    The effort kicked off with a school-wide activity in which students made their own “Mind Jars,” a simple tool that helps students concentrate on how their brain functions. Using glitter, food coloring, water, glue, and a plastic jar, students with the help of staff members, constructed their mind jars and then had a lesson on how to use them.

    “The jars represent how busy our mind and body can be with thoughts and physical sensations, such as anxiety or worry,” said Principal Ms. Tami McElwee.  “When we become upset, frustrated, mad or nervous, for instance, our mind and body can feel like a mixed up jar and our thoughts become cloudy and unsettled. We can help settle our own body and mind by watching the glitter inside the mind jar settle.”

    Students were taught to notice their breath while watching the glitter move to the bottom of the jar, and keep their attention on the jar until all the glitter settles to the bottom. After the glitter settled, they were asked to close their eyes and think about how they feel. If they felt calmer, the exercise was successful. If they felt they still needed a little more work, they were instructed to take a few breaths and try again.

    “Just as we teach ourselves to allow the mind to settle, we pause and learn how to respond to a situation more skillfully, rather than impulsively,” Ms. McElwee added. 

    Students took the jars home to share what they learned with their families.  The Site-Based Committee plans to host some Parent University workshops in the coming weeks to reinforce the theme of mindfulness and how it can enhance one’s life.

  • kindergartners start to make mind jars

    Roosevelt kindergartners get ready to create Mind Jars.

    teachers help students make mind jars

    Students get assistance with their Mind Jars.

    Roosevelt kindergartners make "Mind Jars"

    Students mix the glitter into their Mind Jars.

    principal watches student mix glitter in mind jar

    Principal Ms. Tami McElwee watches a student create her Mind Jar.

    students display their mind jars

    Students display their finished Mind Jars.


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