This week we introduced our February Life Skill, Integrity. Students will be earning a sheriffs badge for doing the right thing, no matter what. On Wednesday morning at assembly, students watched a video made by 2nd graders to teach us what integrity is. Counselor lessons this month will also explore integrity and the responsible decision making used to to tell the truth, even when it is hard. You can watch our outstanding Second Grade Students’ video by clicking here. Our No Place for Hate Student Council is continuing to prepare for our final activity, Project Kindness, which will kick off on Monday, February 19 and run until spring break!
January has been a busy month learning about empathy and practicing empathy. Students have a few more days to add a heart to the lifeskills board before we introduce our February Life Skill of Integrity. Second grade students will be presenting during Assembly on Wednesday and students will begin to earn a Sheriff’s Badge for times they show Integrity.
We are looking forward to a fast and busy month in February. We are excited to introduce our final No Place for Hate activity: Project Kindness…. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information!
The District’s SEL Focus for the third 9 weeks is Social Awareness and Empathy and the BPE Life Skill for January has also been Empathy. Ms. Ashorn and Miss Edwards visited classrooms to reinforce these skills through the monthly counselor lesson. Students explored perspective taking through reading We’re All Wonders (K-2) and The Potato Chip Champ (3-5). Students practiced using the Mood Meter and putting themselves in each character’s shoes. We also discussed opportunities characters in the book could have used empathy.
After reading the book, students played a game allowing them to use their social detective/social awareness skills. They looked at pictures of young people expressing different emotions and tried to guess what they were feeling. We discussed how to read facial expressions and body language to decide how someone is feeling.
Today we hosted a parent coffee to discuss how to promote positive peer relationships and provide children with effective problem solving strategies. We reviewed the power of modeling empathy as parents as well as explicitly teaching it to our kids. We discussed importance of empowering children to problem solve on their own and shared the STEP strategy for solving problems: Say the problem without blame, Think of safe and respectful solutions, Explore consequences (if…., then….), Pick the best solution & make a plan. While there is far too much information to cover here in our counselor corner, we have posted the slides to our SEL website. You can view the slides here.
The District’s SEL Focus for the third 9 weeks is Social Awareness and Empathy. At BPE we are reinforcing the development of social awareness and empathy through our January Life Skill. On Wednesday, we watched a video recorded by a group of 3rd graders to introduce what it means to show empathy and how students can earn a heart to put on the life skills board. Students learned that empathy means figuratively putting ourselves in others’ shoes to understand how they may be feeling.
One of our greatest tools for teaching empathy as educators and parents is to model empathy ourselves. Other tips for teaching empathy at home are included below. For more in depth information, take a look at these articles from Harvard and Parenting Science.
Friday, January 19, join us in the library for a parent coffee to learn how to support and empower your child to have successful peer relationships. We will cover information on how to help students better understand the different type of conflicts: from teasing to mean moments or ongoing conflict and bullying. We will also address some problem solving and conflict resolution strategies.
This week we completed our second No Place for Hate activity! Last year was the first year for BPE to do dress up days before Winter Break. This year our NPFH student council members decided to build on these days and make them very intentional with opportunities for meaningful conversation. Fifth grade student council members stood up during assembly each day this week to talk about ways to promote inclusion, be an ally, and prevent bullying. These kids worked so hard creating scripts and thinking of ways to end the year on a positive note. Though we know dress up days are fun and exciting (and maybe a little chaotic), our goal was to use these days as an exciting way to get all students involved and provide teachers an opportunity to incorporate conversations surrounding inclusivity and anti-bullying in morning meetings and throughout the day.
This week we also wrapped up our December counselor lesson about perseverance. We read the Principal’s Book of the Month, After The Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again, and discussed the importance of perseverance and always moving forward. We also talked about how we can shield ourselves from giving up and motivate ourselves to persevere by using positive self talk.
Last week we introduced our December Life Skill: Perseverance. The choice to focus on perseverance at this particular time of year was very intentional. Often as we approach the winter break, students find it challenging to stay motivated. Fun parties, performances, schedule changes, impending travel plans, and thoughts of gifts and celebrations, though exciting are also distracting and exhausting. Kids and grownups alike find it hard to maintain focus this time of year, so it’s especially important that we practice perseverance.
This week our fourth grade No Place for Hate Student Council members began promoting our second No Place for Hate activity of the year: Bully Free Dress Up Week! Next week, each day will have a themed dress up day to further our goal of a friendly and inclusive campus! Fifth grade No Place for Hate Student Council will talk more in depth each day next week about how to achieve our goal of being a Bully-Free campus. See the picture below for specifics about each dress up day.
This month our counselor led classroom lesson built on the the November life skill, Growth Mindset. During each classroom visit, we explored “The Power of Yet” as we read the story, The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do. Students took time in each class to set goals and think about ways they can have a growth mindset at home or at school. In third through fifth grade, students also watched a video about a group of young boys in Southern Thailand who used a growth mindset to start the original Panyee Football Club in 1986.
On Friday, November 17 we hosted a Parent Coffee to discuss how to empower your child using SEL. If you were unable to attend our parent coffee, or attended and want to refer to a slide, the whole presentation is posted on the Parent Talks section of our BPE SEL page.
We are excited to share with your our second No Place for Hate activity of the school year: Bully Free Dress Up Week! The week prior to the winter break, we will dress up each day to take a stand against bullying. Please see the picture below for more information.
We are excited to announce that our No Place for Hate Application and Activity Proposal has been approved by the Anti-Defamation League. Over the course of the school year, we will work to complete our three No Place for Hate activities and then share the outcomes with the ADL. We are thrilled at the prospect of becoming one of the first elementary schools in Eanes to be named a No Place for Hate® school.
As a matter of fact, last week we completed our first No Place for Hate Activity! Last month during SEL Lessons we read the book Where Oliver Fits, a story of a puzzle piece trying to find where he fits in. As a reminder that BPE is No Place for Hate and "We all fit together at BPE", a mural puzzle was completed and hung outside of the gym.
It’s hard to believe it is already November! This week we introduced our November Life Skill: Growth Mindset. Students are learning the difference between growth and fixed mindset. Growth mindset is an important life skill for students both at home and at school. Often we see kids who are afraid of failure- they equate a lack of success in one activity or subject area to being an all around failure. We want children to view obstacles not as inadequacies, but as opportunities to learn and grow. Teachers will be passing out leaf cut-outs to students they observe using a growth mindset. Counselor led classroom SEL lessons will be building on the theme of growth mindset. We are reading the book The Thing Loud Couldn’t Do, as students explore “The Power of Yet.” Don’t forget to join the counselors for Parent Coffee on Friday, November 17 as we discuss how to empower your child using SEL!