Review by Ashley Kemper, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2015
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Breathing Bubbles

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Students release worries and embrace joys with anxiety-fighting tool

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Character & SEL

Subjects
  • Health & Wellness
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
1-5
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Pros: Beautifully designed tool with a focus on naming joys and anxieties.

Cons: Users create sentences to put into the bubbles, which may be overwhelming for much younger students.

Bottom Line: A must-have tool for your classroom management toolbox.

First, help students identify how they feel and ask them to decide whether that emotion is helping or hurting them. Use Breathing Bubbles in a one-on-one situation when a specific student needs a moment to express their worry or joy in order to refocus their attention on learning. Teachers might also use Breathing Bubbles in conjunction with a more traditional mindfulness practice: Have each student type a joy or worry and, as students are breathing with the app and watching the bubble, speak positive narratives and self-talk.

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When opening Breathing Bubbles, kids are prompted to select an emotion (mad, silly, sad, or worried) and then choose how strongly they're experiencing that emotion. On the next screen, kids decide whether to release a worry or receive a joy. In either instance, the white manatee at the bottom of the screen prompts kids to write a worry or joy. When releasing a worry, the bubble floats further away as Manny helps kids practice deep, slow breathing. When receiving a joy, the bubble comes closer with the same deep-breathing prompts. 

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Breathing Bubbles is a simple, effective tool that will empower kids who usually feel out of control by offering them a concrete way to cope with strong emotions. They will also practice deep breathing, which could be a calming practice they can internalize and use away from the app. Because it's simple and approachable, most students will find it easy to use; however, kids who have trouble writing or typing will need guidance to use speech-to-text if they're not familiar with how it works. 

Paired with teacher communication and conversation, this tool may be especially beneficial for students who come to school with worries or stressors that hinder their learning.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Vibrant, peaceful colors and a cute sea creature make this tool engaging for all ages. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Breathing Bubbles draws on the therapeutic practices of releasing anxieties, collecting positive thoughts, and breathing deeply.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

A tutorial is available on the opening screen but would be more helpful if it were read to kids. The interface is easy to use and provides an appropriate level of support.


Common Sense Reviewer
Ashley Kemper STEM Project Manager

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