Identify a Start of Class Routine


Ceasar McDowell starts classes with an established routine before engaging in academic material.


  • Identify an activity to engage students at the start of your class. This can be done at the start of every class or intermittently throughout the semester.
  • Activities only need to take a few minutes and can include a mindfulness exercise, a gratitude practice, or brief topic-based chat.
  • Pick an activity based on the size of your class, your comfort level, and the space that you have.


  • Starting class or lecture with a regular practice can help students develop routines and ease into formal learning.
  • Activities like mindfulness and/or gratitude practices in the classroom can help students build a healthy habit into their daily routine.
  • Caesar McDowell uses the PIES method to encourage students to reflect on their wellbeing. PIES is an acronym to prompt how students are feeling Physically, Intellectually, Emotionally, and Spiritually. Faculty can go first to model and facilitate the discussion.