Mindfulness: A Key Part of Our Elementary Curriculum

If you visit the Upper Elementary at IMSP on any school day in the late morning, you would hear a gentle bell ring at around 11:20. The students clean-up, and by 11:30, they gather on the classroom carpet and light a candle. A teacher sets a timer. At the sound of a bell, they begin their 5-minute awareness/mindfulness practice.

This is just one of the activities that the Upper and Lower Elementary participate in as a foundational part of fulfilling Maria Montessori’s Peace Curriculum as an extension of Grace and Courtesy – stillness, quiet, awareness, inner-peace, and focus. Like the traditional Montessori Silence Game, our daily awareness/mindfulness practices help students to take a moment to check in with themselves, to relax and reflect, and to transition into the second half of the day.

Mindfullness as a part of Montessori curiculum

Below are some of the other activities the Elementary classrooms practice to foster peace and awareness:

Upper Elementary

Monday Formal Tea Ceremony

Each week on Monday mornings, the students and teachers sit and share tea and quiet music during Meeting Circle. The activity helps provide students with an opportunity to transition into the new week smoothly, share their experiences of the weekend, and to practice grace and courtesy skills while serving tea, listening attentively, and waiting their turn.

"You can calm down. I think of everything I did in the morning and then I put it aside. then I can flow into the next thing we do." / Jakub Tamas – Mindful Minutes with the candle

Weekly Forest Walk/Observation

Tuesday mornings the class takes a brief forest walk that includes a silent five-minute written nature observation. We also visit the tree we planted last year and check its health and growth.

"It makes us more aware when we listen for sounds, so we know what's going on around us and we notice more things.” / Andrej Maric – Nature walk and observation

Gardening and Composting

Students spend a few minutes outside Thursday mornings checking on our winter garden and turning compost, contemplative exercises into which the teachers weave science and cultural lessons.

Upper and Lower Elementary

Soft Feet/Silent Walking

Both the Lower and Upper Elementary students participate in lining up silently, and in “soft feet,” using mindfulness to be aware of how much noise and distraction we are making when just moving around, helping the children learn practical skills for the classroom environment.

Gratitude Before Lunches

As we begin our lunch each day, both groups of children collect their food and sit at their tables quietly. Each student waits to begin eating until all have been served, and then we ring a gentle bell and begin several minutes of gratitude when we contemplate the many hands that worked to bring it to us our meal. After our gratitude minutes, the students are free to chat with their friends communally.

Silent Worktime

For thirty minutes each day, after our meeting circles, each classroom practices thirty minutes of silent work time when students begin their self-planned academic work quietly, with focus and independence.

These are practices you can replicate at home. Give it a try; we’ve found that the students not only like many of them but that it really works in creating a calmer, more focused environment!

by Greg McCracken

Want to learn more? Read our next article:


Další články

Understanding your child's inner sense of order

Have you ever noticed that your child enjoys singing the same song over and over again, or wants you to repeat the same story for what feels like a million times? Dr. Montessori highlighted the importance of sensitive periods in children, which are known as windows of opportunities for children to develop skills, including movement, language and most definitely, order. A child’s need for external order is present as early as childbirth and peaks in their second year, before fading at about the age of 5. This period of development helps a child to develop a connection between themselves and the world, process information and overcome challenges.

Read more

Learning Mathematics in our Primary Classrooms

Maria Montessori often stated that not only does every human being have an innate drive to understand the environment around them, we all also naturally have what she called a “Mathematical Mind”. In the Montessori classroom, mathematical learning begins through indirect preparation long before a child is ever introduced to any Math materials.

Read more

Video: Blueprint for the classroom: A Way to Move Forward

How do we encourage peacefulness and respect in the Montessori classroom? Together with the children, we prepare a blueprint for our classroom community!

Read more

Exploring Generosity and Art: Random Gifts of Art

This spring, as part of our Values curriculum and Art Program, we invited TEDx speakers Garret Garrels and Tim Holmes to lead a workshop at IMSP for our Elementary classes.

Read more


Sorry, this article is only in Czech.

Read more
Register for
Toddler & Me playgroup
Register for
Baby & Me playgroup
Join us for
an interactive
open house 7.3.
Virtual tour