SEL Summer Reading Series: Bystander Power

Today we will be looking at SEL books that have a focus on building active bystanders in students. A bystander, for this purpose, is anyone who knows that bullying is happening. Bystander Power is when someone takes action against bullying behaviors.

Our first book is for adults and it discusses how to use empathy and character education to combat bullying behaviors. “Emily Bazelon’s intelligent, rigorous “Sticks and Stones” charts the experiences of a few bullied children and synthesizes the scholarship on how to contain or prevent such harm” (NY Times Review).

sticks and stones

Another great book for adults is, ‘Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls‘ by Rachel Simmons. This is a groundbreaking book that was one of the first to identify and acknowledge the dynamics of relational aggression that is often seen in girls. The newest edition of this book shares great strategies for managing these social interactions in person and online.

Odd Girl out
Now let’s look at some books for kids that can help build active bystanders and encourage prosocial behaviors.  ‘My Secret Bully’ by Trudy Ludwig is a helpful book for students to get them talking about relational aggression.  This book tells the story of Monica who is being excluded by her friend Kate. This book opens up the conversation about how to handle being excluded and how to be an active bystander.

My Secret Bully

‘Mr. Peabody’s Apples’ by Madonna is another children’s book that can help prevent bullying behaviors, in particular, gossiping. This book illustrates a beautiful metaphor demonstrating the power our words can have.

Mr Peabody's Apples

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What are your favorite books about bystander power and addressing bullying? Please share with us in the comment section below!

Happy Reading 🙂

SEL Summer Reading Series: The Teen Years

Today we will be looking at SEL books that have a teen focus.  The teenage years are ripe with opportunities to develop social and emotional learning skills. It is also often a time when communication between adults and teens can break down.

Our first book looks at building understanding in adults about how the teenage brain works.

The Primal Teen discusses the science behind the teenage brain and what these findings mean for our interactions with this vital group.  An excellent summer read for anyone who lives with or works with teenagers.

The Primal Teen

The next book is an interactive workbook for teens that uses art as a medium for developing SEL skills. It is written by Art with Heart, a nonprofit that specializes in books and programs that encourage therapeutic and artistic expression.

Ink About It

Check out this short video created by teens that explains how they use the book.

Have you used either of these books before? What did you think? What are your favorite books for teens? Please share with us in the comment section below!

Happy Reading 🙂

SEL Summer Reading Series: One & Mindset

Welcome to the Second Edition of the SEL Summer Reading Series! We have two books to share with you this Wednesday.

To start us off is a beautiful children’s book, “One” by Kathryn Otoshi.

One by Kathryn Otoshi

This book emphasizes the power of one person standing up when someone is being mistreated.  The art work alone makes this book worth a read. Watch below as the author reads her book accompanied by a dramatic interpretation performed by students from Trace Elementary School in San Jose, CA.

Our next book is geared towards the adult SEL learner, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by: Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.  This book looks at how to shift our thinking for achievement, happiness, and success.  It focuses on how to switch from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

Mindset

Have you read either of these book before? What did you think? What books are planning to read this summer? Please share with us in the comments section below!

Happy Reading 🙂

SEL Summer Reading, 1st Edition!

Now that school is out for the summer, the SEL team at Austin ISD is excited to share some excellent SEL summer reading with you all. We are starting a new series each Wednesday where we will share some of our favorite SEL themed books for adults and youth.

To start us off, I will share one of my favorite resources as an educator. Drum roll please . . . . . .

How to talk so kids will listenHow to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by: Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

This book gave me very clear and concrete tools for how to talk to children in a calm, empathetic, and VERY effective way. The tips are easy to implement and will greatly improve the culture and climate in any home or classroom.  Each section has a comic that accompanies it which helps to illustrate the technique they are discussing.  Here’s an example of one such comic:

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen- Comic Example

Notice how on the right, with a little active listening and a touch of empathy, the child is able to find a solution that works for him/her with minimal struggle.

Have you read this book before? What did you think? What books are planning to read this summer? Please share with us in the comments section below!

Happy Reading 🙂

SEL Highlights 2012-2013: McCallum Vertical Team

Today we will be celebrating McCallum Vertical Team’s successes. Please read on to hear about some of  their many accomplishments this school year!

Kealing Middle School

Kealing

On a recent visit to Kealing during Advisory, 6th grade magnet students were discussing the dangerous facts about marijuana use using an interactive strategy that involved student movement and emotional connections. As students read facts about marijuana they would stand up and explain why a certain fact spoke to them. Research shows when students connect to lessons in an emotional way they are more likely to remember the content. Keep using those engaging strategies Kealing!

Campbell Elementary

How do you incorporate literacy and social and emotional learning? Create a memorable reading experience for the students in the library like Ms. Rojas did. She transformed her library into an in-flight experience complete with boarding passes and a free book as luggage!

Campbell-Reading Boarding

Campbell Elementary strategically placed a Peace Area, a Peace Path and reminders on how to calm down where students line up to enter the cafeteria!

Campbell Peace Area

Lee Elementary

Ms. Szilagi at Lee has created an area in her room highlighting the recent Second Step lessons she has taught to her class. Using the picture scenarios from the lesson cards she has created a quiet nook in one corner of her room so that students can be reminded of the lesson if they are ever in their own similar situation. SEL in a snap!

Lee-Szilagi Room

Lee students worked hard this year on using their I-messages. Look at this great visual they had as a reminder!

Lee-I messages clip

Maplewood Elementary

At Maplewood every child will have that special memory of receiving an award at the end of the school year. Why? They give an award to every child! Not only can a child get an award for Science but Outstanding Peacemakers are selected and children exhibiting Personal Success are recognized also!

Maplewood Peacemaker Award

All year long Maplewood recognizes Peacemakers every week!

Peacemaker-Maplewood

Oak Springs Elementary

At Oak Springs Elementary they know the importance of starting the week and your Monday off right. Morning Seminar at Oak Springs throughout the year had a variety of community building activities such as class attendance recognition,  opportunities to read, yoga and funny skits to relieve stress before STAAR testing like this one shown here!

Oak Springs April Fool Skit

Lamar MS

Long-Lamar-MS-new

Lamar Middle School students wrote essays about their favorite teacher as a No Place for Hate activity. What a great way to hone their writing skills, show appreciation, AND earn their No Place for Hate designation! Teachers were touched by these special essays especially since they received them during National Teacher Recognition Week! They also participated in a Links of Love activity in Science classes and a Mix It Up lunch activity. Lamar students made sure they are Scottie strong and that Lamar Middle School is No Place for Hate!

 Brentwood Elementary

What do you call a sleeping male cow? A bull-dozer! This joke card was one of the many things you could buy at Market Day at Brentwood Elementary on April 10th. Students showed entrepreneurial spirit and creativity to plan a spectacular event and people turned out in droves! Brentwood teachers found the perfect way to highlight the positive qualities of every student and acknowledge their efforts and contributions!

Market Day

 

Ridgetop Elementary

Where do you put student work about social and emotional learning if you want everyone to see it? In the main hallway, which is exactly what Ridgetop did! Each month a grade level sponsored the SEL bulletin board and showcased student work surrounding themes such as empathy, fair ways to play and calming down. Families, students, teachers and staff enjoyed the creativity each grade level exhibited using integrated activities and the Second Step resource!

Ridgetop

Gullett Elementary

Check out this bulletin board at Gullett right in the front entrance way! Students created visual storybooks about their emotions. They aren’t shy about expressing their feelings and also used the Second Step lessons as a way to practice their skills.

Gullett

This student knows exactly what to do when anger becomes an issue!

Gullett-Angry Emotion

Highland Park Elementary

Highland Park teachers and students raved about the songs in the Second Step resource. Students memorized those catchy phrases in the problem solving song, “Step Up”  and would sing along during special No Place for Hate lessons. The students even incorporated No Place for Hate themed designs in their contest for school shirts. What a great way to incorporate SEL, No Place for Hate and fine arts!

Highland Park

 

Reilly Elementary

Reilly teachers said that this year students improved their ability to problem solve and use self talk! It helps when teachers have clear expectations in place like this morning routine poster in a 1st grade classroom. Teachers at Reilly create safe and caring environments by greeting students at the door and having morning meetings!

Reilly

Brain Break Wednesday: Get the Sillies Out!

Dancing is a great way to energize your students, support kinesthetic learning, and build a positive climate in your classroom.  But most of all, it’s fun!!

Check out the short dance video below from the Wii game Just Dance Kids that will get your whole class up, moving, and ready to learn!

What are your favorite brain breaks? Feel free to share in the comment section.