Students have been learning to manage strong feelings by using specific calm down steps:
If you notice your child having a strong feeling at home encourage them to use the calm down steps. You can help them by co-regulating (or in other words, using the steps and breathing with them).
We will begin our next unit of Problem Solving on March 8th (assuming we don't have any more snow days before then)!
This school year is just flying by! Students finished the empathy unit right before winter break. They have learned so much and are getting to be great 'feelings detectives'. They are able to recognize clues on the faces and bodies of others that helps them know how they feel and think about ways to show care and concern. Right before break we talked about ways to be kind and classrooms created 'kindness chains'. Students thought about things they have done to be kind to others and ways others have been kind to them. They watched with amazement as our kindness chains quickly spread and started to understand just how easy it can be to spread kindness. See the photos above.
Upon return from winter break we started unit 3, Emotion Management. During this unit students will be learning to recognize the clues their own bodies give them about what they are feeling and they will learn strategies to calm down strong feelings. So far students have learned that their hearts and stomachs can give them clues about their feelings. For example their hearts beat slower when they are calm and faster when they are angry or excited. We are starting to learn that when we have strong feelings we can calm down our body by:
Students are also starting to learn various tools to help them take deep breaths; belly breaths, cookies and candles, elephant breaths, etc. Centers during this unit will be all about activities to help us relax. Students will get to listen to calming music while choosing whether to visit the yoga center, art center, breathing station, or read and relax station. Students will be learning that some strategies help them calm down more than others, so they will increase their understanding of what helps them calm down the best.
Research has found that students who are able to manage their emotions are more likely to succeed academically and socially. I feel so fortunate to be in a career and building where I have the opportunity to help students learn these crucial, life long skills.
We have started our new unit, Empathy. Student are learning all about feelings. We are focusing on identifying feelings and using clues to find out how we feel and how others feel. Students know that people's faces, bodies, situation, and voice can give clues about how they feel. Try playing feelings charades at home to practice this skill. I'm very excited about the new centers students are getting to experience during this unit. I've attached some pictures below and here's some description of what they are doing at centers:
During our Empathy unit, I incorporate the Zones of Regulation curriculum. This is a way of describing different feeling states through colors.
Students have completed the Skills for Learning unit by learning how to be assertive. Students know that there are times when they may need help at school, at home, or in the community. They learned that being assertive means you can ask for help when you need it by using a voice people can hear, using manners, and stating exactly what it is they need help with. At school we practice being assertive when we ask our friends or teachers for help.
Students will be using the skills for learning throughout the year and I'm looking forward to starting the next unit with students, Feelings & Empathy.
Students have been learning the skill of self talk. We discussed how self talk can help you listen, focus attention, follow directions, and learn. Students practiced using self talk during guidance and I've encouraged them to use self talk to help them stay focused and ignore distractions when they are learning. Self talk is a valuable skill that students can use to help them learn, manage emotions, plan and problem solve. We will be using this skill throughout the year.
One way you could have your child practice using self talk at home is by giving them two step directions and having them practice repeating the directions with their self talk to complete the task.
You can access the Kindergarten and First grade Home Links below for other ways to support the skill of self talk.
Students have now finished Lesson 3: Following Directions. They are learning that when they use the skills of listening and focusing their attention it can help them to follow directions. Following directions is an important skill for learning. You can build your child's ability to follow directions at home through board games and Simon Says. Students are learning that when they repeat directions and think about them in their brain it helps them remember what to do. Practice this at home by giving your child one to three step directions, have them repeat the steps back to you, and ask them to think about the steps in their brain.
If your child is having difficulty following directions start by teaching them a simple three step process:
Students have completed lesson two of our Skill for Learning unit, Focusing Attention. Being able to focus is an important skill. They have learned how to use quality listening skills to help them focus and ignore distractions. Our eyes, ears, and brains help us focus by watching and listening to the speaker and thinking about what the speaker is saying.
You can help your child practice this by encouraging them to focus on you before giving them directions. Below you will find the home link that supports this lesson, along with a picture of students practicing staying focused during puzzle center.
Students have just finished the first lesson of our Skills for Learning unit. Students are learning to listen. Listening is an important skill students need in order to learn and develop good social skills. We have four listening rules we are focusing on:
Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! It is hard to believe that students have already finished their first full week of school. I have had a chance to meet all of the students and am so excited to see how they will learn and grow throughout the year. I have been so impressed by how wonderful each class has been. We will begin our first unit next week and students will have an opportunity to apply the skills we are learning during centers. I look forward to sharing more information with you as the year continues.