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!
As you reviewed the first report card of the year, you will have noticed the new Social Emotional Learning (SEL) criteria. For some of you, this information may have provided welcomed reassurance, while others may have been left wondering how better to support your child’s social-emotional growth at home. One of our favorite resources is Parent Toolkit. This website has a wealth of resources and information on topics ranging from academics to health & wellness- there’s even a section on financial literacy. Here in the counseling center, we LOVE the social and emotional section! There you can find developmental milestones, strategies to support your child’s social and emotional growth and many great articles. We hope you will find this tool helpful whether you are in immediate need of support, or you want to bookmark the resource for future use.
Parents of 5th Graders, it’s almost November! Time for a new rotation of 5th Grade Leadership Jobs! We count on the kids to be responsible and keep track of their jobs, but sometimes they need a little extra help from adults. Remember, all 5th grade leadership jobs for the entire year are posted on the 5th Grade Leadership section of our BPE SEL webpage.
Parent teacher conferences are coming up next week! Whether you’re a parent brand new to elementary school or you’re an old pro, we have some tips to help you make the most out of this brief, but valuable one-on-one time with your child’s teacher.
Conferences are a great opportunity for you to get feedback from the teacher, but don’t forget about your child! Conferences are the perfect catalyst for conversations with your child and provide an opportunity to assess how your student feels about school, both academically and socially. Below are some ideas for topics to bring up with your child prior to the conference and how to prepare yourself for the conference:
Tips for Parents: Parent-Teacher Conferences
20 Questions To Ask During a Parent-Teacher Conference
Top 10 Questions to Ask During a Parent Teacher Conference
5 Smart Questions to Ask During a Parent Teacher Conference
Last week, we introduced our second Life Skill of the year: Cooperation! A group of twelve 4th grade students worked together to share the Life Skill with our BPE students. They presented in assembly about what cooperation looks like and sounds like in different places around school. Teachers began passing out Paw Prints to recognize students demonstrating cooperation. The Life Skills Board is already filling up quickly! Students will continue to focus their efforts on showing Cooperation throughout the month of October.
We also began our second round of counselor led SEL lessons last week! We are reading the book Where Oliver Fits, by Cade Atkinson, which facilitates discussion on fitting in and how we all have a place in our BPE community. As always, you can visit our Bridge Point SEL website at bpesel.weebly.com to see when we will be visiting your child’s classroom.
When tragedies such as Las Vegas and the destruction caused by recent hurricanes take place, it can be hard to find the words for yourself, let alone deciding what to say to your children. As many of you know the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas closely touched one of our own BPE staff. This week’s Counselor Corner will provide some tips and strategies on how approach and explain these events to your children. As much as we hope to shield our children from these tragedies, many parents are faced with difficult conversations.
The following links are great resources for more detailed information on how to handle these tough conversations:
Psychology Today: How to Talk to Kids About the Las Vegas Shooting
How to Talk to Kids about the Las Vegas Mass Shooting
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!