Common Sense


Top Tools for Building Mindfulness in the Classroom

Increased mindfulness can enhance a range of important social and emotional skills, including self-awareness, empathy, handling stress, and identifying emotions. As students think about their feelings, they will begin to practice self-control and self-regulation, which can boost focus and promote accountability. Help students develop mindfulness with these hand-picked apps and websites. Through meditation exercises, physical activities, calming strategies, and role-playing scenarios, kids can benefit in and out of the classroom.

Interested in seeing tips on how you might use some of these tools in the classroom? Check out our blog series We All Teach SEL: Inspiring Activities for Every Classroom. And learn more about how SEL intersects with the digital world with our SEL in Digital Life Resource Center.

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Top Picks


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Meditation and Physical Exercise

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Sesame Street winner teaches kids how to keep calm and carry on

Bottom line: Highly effective tool for whole-class instruction or one-on-one intervention.

Super Stretch Yoga HD

Appealing videos inspire kids to move their bodies in new ways

Bottom line: No-stress introduction to 12 yoga poses and the importance of good breathing captures kids' attention and gets them moving.


Shake up SEL lessons with music and movement

Bottom line: Fun for students, easy for teachers, QuaverSEL uses the power of music to boost social and emotional learning.


Brief bursts of physical exercise add classroom fun, build brainpower

Bottom line: In a genre of its own, GoNoodle is a ready-to-go, classroom-friendly exercise program that challenges students to get moving.


Relaxing and serene app helps incorporate peace into daily life

Bottom line: If you're looking for a captivating app to teach relaxation and calming skills to students, Calm is an essential tool to add to your toolbox.

Mindful Powers

Care for a cute creature to practice mindfulness and self-control

Bottom line: Meditation lessons and visual timers act as decent supplemental activities for introducing SEL skills.

Mind Yeti

Calming program with cute characters helps center kids

Bottom line: If you're someone who needs mindfulness-based approaches, Mind Yeti's characters could be the right fit.

Insight Timer

Popular mindfulness app offers daily, guru-guided meditation practice

Bottom line: This expert-guided SEL tool can help students -- and teachers -- build lifelong habits for relaxation, reflection, and focus.

Calm Harm - Manages Self Harm

Immediate help for teens struggling with harmful urges

Bottom line: Powerful therapeutic tool teaches positive coping skills and mental wellness.

Smiling Mind

Quick and easy meditation practice for busy classroom lives

Bottom line: This easy-to-follow meditation program can help reduce stress and support social and emotional learning.

Social and Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings

Songs and activities help kids express, recognize, understand emotions

Bottom line: Daniel Tiger and his friends present excellent examples for kids who are just learning healthy emotional expression.

Bouncy the People Trainer

Thorough, thoughtful multimedia social-emotional learning experience

Bottom line: Important info for all kids is especially helpful for at-risk students.


Complete SEL units in a neat and tidy package

Bottom line: Detailed social and emotional learning lessons provide teachers with almost everything they'll need to spark positive character development and reflection in their students.

Move This World

Activity-oriented video lessons encourage emotional exploration

Bottom line: This detailed yet easy-to-implement curriculum can provide classrooms and schools with a common language for social skills.

Wisdom: The World of Emotions

Quirky game helps kids recognize and regulate anger in self and others

Bottom line: If they can get through the confusing bits, students will be able to identify, label, and perhaps manage strong feelings of anger or frustration.

Emotional ABCs Classroom

Strong learning approach to mastering SEL competencies

Bottom line: Excellent program for teaching young kids emotion identification, regulation, and social relationships.

Zoo U

Research-based social game has terrific assessment potential

Bottom line: A powerful and focused social problem-solving game designed to reach kids who need direct instruction.

7 Mindsets

Thought-provoking structured program simplifies SEL skills

Bottom line: If teachers take advantage of the extension activities, students can get great in-depth instruction and practice in SEL skills needed for life.


Quirky, fact-filled videos help adults answer kids' sex-ed questions

Bottom line: An appealing, approachable collection of resources that help teachers and caregivers field kids' tough questions about puberty, relationships, and more.

Character Playbook

Realistic comic book-style stories help build healthy relationships

Bottom line: A valuable series of modules to get kids thinking about how their choices help build strong character.


An avant-garde journey of group dynamics sparks discussion

Bottom line: An unusual app that will confuse and entertain classrooms, generating discussion on a number of societal and philosophical topics.

The Mood Meter

Well-designed tool encourages kids to reflect on and manage emotions

Bottom line: Appealing, thought-provoking tool builds emotional intelligence.


Uplifting one-stop shop for social and emotional learning resources

Bottom line: inspirED delivers exactly what it claims: empowering, easy-to-search content for social and emotional learning.


Insightful, minimalist app gets students tracking emotions and values

Bottom line: A practical tool to use in combination with discussion about emotional intelligence and character development.

Personal Strengths and Self-Reflection

Equity Maps - Chart Dialogue

See who's doing the talking with real-time participation tracker

Bottom line: Used consistently, Equity Maps can be an eye-opening tool for supporting targeted, equitable speaking and listening instruction.


Cool assessment targets kids' strengths; sprawling content overwhelms

Bottom line: A great starting point for conversations about students' strengths; skip some of the digital content.


Compact process for positive praise builds classroom community

Bottom line: Great for a quick bonding activity when led by a positive instructor.

Me: A Kid's Diary

Unique take on self-exploration relies on prompts to guide reflection

Bottom line: With plenty of ways to express and document their thoughts and more, this app can help students learn something new about themselves.

Mindprint Learning

Expert feedback and tools designed for individual learner profiles

Bottom line: This impressive tool uses normed digital assessments to create a specific learning profile and provide authentic tools for individual learners.


Messaging tool helps classrooms forge and foster meaningful dialogue

Bottom line: This tool opens up avenues for conversation and relationship building between teachers and students.

Sown to Grow

Cultivate a growth mindset with reflective, student-driven learning

Bottom line: If developing a growth mindset is an important part of your teaching practice, this is a solid choice.

Common Sense Selection


Pose questions, spark thoughtful video responses with stellar tool

Bottom line: This accessible, approachable tool offers connection, multiple means of expression, and creativity to apply to almost any topic.


Individualized STEM career exploration targets students' values

Bottom line: Students identify career values and use them to evaluate STEM options.


Robust personality survey for students results in real-world insights

Bottom line: For educators who have the time, drive, and buy-in, this program is a great data-analysis and character-development tool.

Sift - News Therapy

Sifts through daily news content to offer a deep dive on hot topics

Bottom line: Sift can supplement students' study of a few hot-button topics -- and open up a conversation about media balance -- but it's lacking some learner supports.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

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