Social and Emotional Program Beginning November 26th I will be coming into each 3rd grade classroom once a week for 4 weeks to cover various topics. These are skills that will help your student be successful socially and academically. The more they learn about and practice the skills that will be taught, the better they will become with them. Check back each week to see what information is covered and how you can incorporate these skills at home.
Week 4: Acceptable Ways to Resolve Conflict with Others Our final week of the program was how to solve conflicts with others. Once we've calmed ourselves and we're able to function in our "upstairs brain" we need to know how to problem solve! We aren't always going to agree with others or get along with others but it's important to be respectful and be able to work through issues. We used a helpful acronym to remember the steps of conflict resolution: SPELL Share how you are feeling Listen to how the other Person is feeling Engage in brainstorming Agree on a soLution that works for everyone Let it go!
Week 3: Ways to Handle Frustration and Anger Week 3 was all about those strong emotions we feel and don't know what to do with. Specifically anger and frustration. In my lesson we took some time to normalize the emotions themselves but discussed that these emotions make us say and do things that are not okay or appropriate. To understand how these emotions work we talked about the brain and how it functions. To make it more age appropriate we referred to the limbic system as our downstairs brain and our cerebral cortex as our upstairs brain. Our stress response (fight, flight or freeze) lives in our downstairs brain. Our upstairs brain controls the problem solving area of the brain. If we don't calm our downstairs brain, we can't engage our upstairs brain to come in and solve the problem we're having. I also used the metaphor of a barking dog (downstair brain) and wise owl (upstairs brain). When our barking dog is engaged and making a lot of noise it scares away the wise owl and we aren't able to problem solve so this is when calming strategies need to be used so our wise owl can fly back and help us problem solve. As a group we practiced some calming exercises the students can do in the classroom and at home and discussed various other calming strategies they can use when the barking dog is making a lot of noise. I've included a list of strategies we talked about.
Ask your student to explain the downstairs brain/barking dog and the upstairs brain/wise owl and see if they remember the hand model!
Brain gym activities: Brain buttons, Infinity 8, Cross crawls, Hook Ups Calming strategies: Draw/color, write, talk to a trusted adult, listen to music or play and instrument, go for a walk, get a drink of water, deep breathing, yoga/meditation, hand squeezes
Week 2: Appropriate Classroom Behavior This week we discussed Choices and Consequences. We began the lesson by watching a video by Kid President about making tough choices ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdsCUExLE-Y ). More often than not, students know what behaviors are expected in the classroom (keep your hands to yourself, follow directions, use kind words, etc.) but something is happening to where these behaviors are still happening and can affect other students' learning so we spend some time looking at the choices we make and how we can begin to improve this process. We reviewed the 4 choices that Kid President taught us: Be impulsive, Do nothing, Be a follower and Be thoughtful. The first 2 (be impulsive and do nothing) aren't ideal choices. Being a follower can go either way; if you are following others that are making positive choices, you will too! But a lot of times students follow others that aren't making good choices. Being thoughtful is the best choice. Really thinking about our choices before we make then and what consequence comes with it will help kids to begin to improve. We spent some time talking about natural consequence (happen naturally) and logical consequences (assigned by an adult i.e. detention, loss of a privilege, being grounded, etc. OR a reward of some sort for positive choices such as ice cream or a fun activity). We spent a large portion of the lesson discussing natural consequences, bother positive and negative. Some examples are: A natural consequence of brushing your teeth is good oral health and a consequence of not brushing your teeth is getting cavities. A consequence of reading for 20 minutes each night is becoming a better reader. A consequence of making fun of someone else's clothing is that people will think you're mean. I gave students the opportunity to practice thinking about how choices they have made had either a positive or a negative consequence. Each student had to think about a GOOD choice they've made in the past week and the consequence of that and they had to think of a NOT SO GOOD choice they've made and their consequence.
Week 1: Manners/Positive Interactions This week we are making "Manner Smoothies"! We start the lesson by talking about 5 Manner skills (ingredients) needed for positive interactions (fruit smoothie). Manners are much more than just "please" and "thank you". Each ingredient we talked about is an ingredient for our smoothie. The manner skills taught to the students are: Cooperation- This skill is also out core value of the month! Students have been working all month long on cooperation skills and how to work with one another. Cooperating with others shows them that you value their ideals and opinions (even if you don't agree). Be Polite- Please, Thank You, You're Welcome, May I, Excuse me are all ways to be polite but so is eye contact, listening when another is talking and using kind words! Honesty- I discussed with the students that it's hard to be honest sometimes because you might get in trouble. Kids may lie or make up something to get out of trouble. The students agreed that lying makes a situation worse! Being honest and truthful is hard but important. Be Considerate- There are several skills to learn in order to be considerate. Some skills reviewed with students are: be a good listener, ask to borrow something, don't litter, be patient, opening the door for someone, being on time and respecting the elderly. Apologizing/Forgiving- What makes apologizing so difficult is admitting that you made a bad choice. Kids make mistakes all the time because they are still learning and it's okay. I discussed with the kids that when you make a mistake, it's important to make a sincere apology. This means saying "I'm sorry for....Next time I will..." so the other person knows you are going to work hard to not make that mistake again. In the same respect, when others make a mistake, we can practice forgiveness by accepting their apology and helping them to make better choices.
In the end, we mix everything together for a healthy snack! Students lined up and were each offered a chance to try the smoothie. They could respond by either saying "Yes, please.' or "No, thank you." Several students expressed interest in making this at home so I've included the ingredients I used below! This is a great opportunity for you to extend on this and have them teach you the lesson. Smoothie Recipe 1 handful of Ice (Cooperation) 1 cup Frozen Mixed Fruit (Be Polite) 1/2 cup Vanilla Yogurt (Honesty) 1/2 cup Juice (Be Considerate) 1 handful of fresh Spinach (Apologizing/Forgiving)
Put all ingredients in a blender. I used a peaches, pineapple and strawberry mix but feel free to use your favorite fruits. Blueberry banana is another one of my favorites! Adjust ingredients accordingly. Mix and Enjoy!