This first nine weeks the SEL core competency we are focusing on is Relationship Skills. In addition to providing to students with skills to facilitate positive peer relationships, we also strive to empower students to handle peer conflict, which is common among elementary aged students. Children often come home with reports of problems on the playground, in the lunchroom, on the bus or even in the classroom. Kids are quick to involve adults and may be inclined to label their peers as “bullies”. From there, a parent’s natural instinct is to jump in and protect our children from these challenges, but we may be doing them a disservice when we rescue them from a conflict.
These common everyday peer conflicts provide a teachable moment to empower our children and develop their conflict resolution skills. Below are some strategies that you can encourage your child to be problem solvers in times of peer conflict:
This week we had nearly 70 fourth and fifth graders apply to serve as Student Ambassadors on our No Place for Hate Student Council. We were blown away by the enormous interest of students in helping BPE further our mission of becoming a No Place for Hate campus. As part of the application process, students were tasked with explaining why they would like to serve on the NPFH Student Council and also presenting ideas they have for how to make BPE a more kind, respectful and accepting school. A committee of administrators, counselors and fourth and fifth grade teachers are in the process of going through all of the applications to select eight fourth grade students and ten fifth grade students to be a part of our No Place for Hate Student Council. With so many impressive applicants, it is a truly challenging process for us! We look forward to announcing our selections next week.
Read more about the September Counselor SEL Lessons on the Counselor Weebly.
To further build on our September Life Skill of Respect, all students are signing a Resolution of Respect during their Counselor-led SEL Lessons this month. The Resolution of Respect is the first step to BPE becoming a No Place for Hate® recognized school. The No Place for Hate® initiative through the ADL provides a framework for schools to build a positive and inclusive community where respect is the norm. You can read more about the ADL and the No Place for Hate initiative here.
Our 5th graders have officially started their Leadership Jobs for September! During Fitness and Recess, dozens of 5th graders can be seen serving BPE as teacher helpers and working on recycling, lost and found and the life skills board. Parents, if you have a 5th grader and want to help them keep up with their jobs, you can review the sign up sheets at http://bpesel.weebly.com/5th-grade-leadership.html. Sign up sheets are also posted on the Leadership Bulletin Board outside of the Counseling Center.
This week we introduced our first Life Skill of the year: Respect! Ten brave fifth grade leaders presented during assembly; they explained how to earn a Respect Bobcat Head cutout and what it means to show respect. Teachers began passing out Bobcat Heads to recognize students demonstrating respectful behavior. Students will continue to focus on showing Respect throughout the month of September.
This week we also began our counselor led SEL lessons in kindergarten and second grade classrooms. We read the book One, by Kathryn Otoshi, which facilitated discussion on respect and how to stand up for oneself and others. Please visit our Bridge Point SEL website at bpesel.weebly.com to see when we will be visiting your child’s classroom!
This afternoon, our new students in 1st-5th grades spent time getting to know their BPE ambassador. At the beginning of each school year, we pair new students to BPE with a veteran student to help ease the transition and stress of starting at a new school. This afternoon we played some "Getting to Know You" games and learned a little bit more about what it is like to be a BPE Bobcat.
This week in 5th grade, students learned about the BPE Leadership Program. We are excited to start seeing them help out around campus. Student have started signing up for leadership jobs. When 5th graders have successfully completed at least four leadership jobs, they are recognized in Morning Assembly and given a special leadership pin to show our appreciation for all their work.
During Morning Assembly on Wednesday, a few 5th graders from each class will introduce our first life skill--respect. Beginning Thursday, students who earn a bobcat head for demonstrating respect will be honored during Morning Assembly. Students write their name on their bobcat head and pin it up on the Wirht Wall of Fame located right behind the computer lab.