Social emotional learning and being trauma informed is something that has been weighing heavily on my teacher heart. The pandemic brought awareness to mental health, something that we NEED to focus on in schools. Our young students need to be able to explore their feelings and emotions at a young age so they can learn strategies for coping throughout their entire lives. We teach our standards for each academic area, but are we remembering to teach our social emotional learning standards?
This summer, I became a certified Social Emotional Learning Facilitator, participating in 200 hours of coursework that has lead me to develop resources to share with all of you and your students. I truly feel these resources will set you up for a life-changing school year if you open your heart to these concepts. Spreading awareness among your colleagues will cultivate a brand new culture.
Take Pride In You Classroom, School, and Community By Being Trauma Informed
First and foremost, we need to take a look at ourselves. Take a minute to reflect on who you surround yourself with at school. Are they lifting kids up, providing them with a motivational environment? Are they inspiring to you? Do they encourage you to be your very best teacher self? You are the average of the top five people with whom you are most connected. Are these people building you up or holding you back?
Also, consider this...Confidence = Happiness = Growth. Are you fostering the development of confidence in your students? Are they happy? Are they growing academically and socially because of your support?
Are you trauma informed? The fact is, is that even if kids haven't been impacted by trauma, they all deserve that careful treatment. Kids endure so much more than we know; it's important to treat them with the respect and care they truly deserve. Use this simple poster as a guideline to promote positivity and social emotional well-being in your school. You might use it as a motivator for yourself or to share among colleagues in your school! Reflect on P-purpose, R-respect, I-integrity, D-determination, E-expectations as you work to show PRIDE in yourself, your school, and in your community
Wellness Check Ins
Practice daily wellness check ins to promote social emotional learning in your classroom! This simple poster will get discussions started in your classroom that will promote emotional development in a family-like environment all year! You might hold your discussions during your morning meeting or as you end your school day together.
If you're looking for more to go along with this concept, this bundle includes the Weekly Check In poster, along with daily posters, reflective drawing and writing response sheets, recording progress sheets, correlating book ideas, and more!
Monthly Social Emotional Learning Lessons
Each month of school, lead your class in social emotional learning lessons using picture books! I created a pack that includes a simple content and pacing guide to teach students about sharing PRIDE (purpose, respect, integrity, determination, and expectations) in ourselves, in our school, and in our community. Each bow of the rainbow is represented by a letter of PRIDE, coming together to create a beautiful symbol of happiness and contentment! Keep it simple by just printing this packet and gathering the listed books, or add MORE magic with included additional IDEAS for materials.
Here are the books use throughout the activity pack. If you don't own these titles, you might check your library or look for an online read aloud.
*The Tiny Seed
*Waiting Is Not Easy!
*The Giving Tree
*Should I Share My Ice Cream?
*Not a Box
*The Peace Book (Todd Parr)
*Giraffes Can’t Dance
*The Rainbow Fish
Rainbow Theme Poster: You might introduce what’s to come with these activities using the rainbow poster.
IDEA: To begin our journey to the rainbow, I introduce our class mascot. She’s a unicorn. I place her in a cute little bag with her rainbow poster for the introduction to our journey.
PRIDE Map: You might use the map to share the secrets of PRIDE, marking each cloud with a little sticker as you complete lessons!
IDEA: In our introduction, the unicorn shares her map with us, “telling” us that she will be unlocking the secrets to PRIDE throughout our school year together!
Teacher Cards: There is a teacher discussion card to use after reading the book of the month, which includes one of the bows of our rainbow (purpose, respect, integrity, determination, and expectations) as a highlight. A few more keywords are listed that you may choose to explore within your activity, too. A key question or questions is listed on the teacher cards as well. Read the question, and allow space for students to answer thoughtfully.
Note: As situations arise in the classroom throughout the school year, use the teacher cards to refer back to in guiding your discussions. (If you do not own the books listed, you might check out your library or youtube.)
IDEA: Each month, our unicorn has the new teacher card and book for the month in her bag. I also include a token for each month for students to pass around during our discussion. (For example, I have a stuffed heart, an artificial flower, a cardboard box, etc.) This helps keep students on track with when it’s a respectful, non-stealing time to share. They also just LOVE to see what’s inside that magical bag every month!
Student Cards: Student cards are included too, so students are able to use the pictures to connect back to the books and key questions.
After reading the listed book, discuss the question on the teacher card as a class. Then students color their own cards. They might take these question cards home to discuss with their families. Another idea might be for students to collect their cards in a pencil pouch, Ziplock bag, or on a ring to refer to with each other for review. Both a colored and a black and white rainbow cover are included for the student cards.
Family Letter: This letter gives families an outline of SEL activities, along with encouraging discussion and engagement with their children!
Creating Partnerships Builds Relationships
Encourage students to work together and get to know each other by doing partner work throughout both academic and social emotional lessons. Use these partner cards for a fun way to match students up throughout the year! There are 5 different partnering pairs to use, including peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, bacon and eggs, salt and pepper, and cookies and milk.
For each pair, a colored card is included for you to hang up in the classroom for an extended period of time, perhaps for a month. You might have students who sit on the left side of the tables be the “cookies” and those on the right be the “milks”. This makes distribution of materials for partners quick and easy, as you might call cookies to gather materials and milks to put materials away. Rotate through the five options throughout the year to keep the kids engaged!
Get the Entire Bundle!
All of these components are available at a discounted bundle price! Bring in the magic with our entire pack!
Do You Want to become Certified Yourself?
Are you interested in learning more about the impactful, life-changing experience that has inspired me to transform my school community? The Breathe for Change program taught me how to be trauma informed and also taught me how to bring peace and calmness to myself and to my students through mindful movement and breathing.
They are a completely AMAZING team to work with, readily available to answer questions and help you with anything you need. The way they treat their students is absolutely impeccable. Click the link below to get more information. (Referral Link)
And. Just for Fun. Bringing It All Together!
Monday through Friday, our job is to cultivate a magical environment for our students to feel safe. Once you get to the top of the rainbow every wonderful Wednesday, we slide right into the calm of the weekend as we frolic in the clouds. Set the tone for an open, inviting classroom, and make life a beautiful rainbow in your classroom!
Let's Stay Connected!
If you're loving ideas shared here, I invite to get activity ideas, crafts and FREEBIES for EVERY theme of the year delivered straight to your inbox! I'd love to help your students stay engaged ALL year long, while also motivating you to be your very best teacher self! Join my email list so that together, we can make learning magical!