Great Ideas from Austin I.S.D. !!

It is already November! Schools in AISD have been excelling with SEL innovations these last few months.  Today we will be sharing just a few successes and highlights.

Andrews Elementary

Mr. Flores at Andrews Elementary excels at using technology to teach social and emotional learning.  One of the apps who uses on his iPad is Puppet Pals. This app lets you create short puppet shows in minutes.  You can record student voices and use student pictures for characters.  Watch this short example of one video Mr. Flores created helping students identify feelings and show compassion.

After the students watched the video, Mr. Flores asked students to take photos of a partner on an iPad and write about how the partner was feeling.  Check out what one pair said.

Empathy Writing Example, First Grade

How do you use technology in your classroom? What are your favorite education apps?

Andrews Elementary also models SEL competencies by focusing on staffs’ strengths as well as focusing on students’ strengths!

Focus On Our Strengths

Harris Elementary

A Second Grade teacher at Harris Elementary worked with her students to write a clear job description for both students and the teacher. The entire class signed the expectations to show their commitment.

Student and Teacher Responsibilites

A Pre-Kindergarten teacher created this breathing star for students to use in her Peace Area.  The idea comes from Conscious Discipline which is a “comprehensive self-regulation program that integrates social-emotional learning
and discipline.”

Breathing star from peace area in PK at Harris Elementary

Pecan Springs

Teachers at Pecan Springs all teach Second Step lessons at the same time each week.  Snail is part of this SEL curriculum in Kindergarten and First Grade.  He loves to visit with the students each week!

Second Step Lesson

Do you use puppets with children? How do your children respond?

Bilingual Respect Writing Example

This teacher reinforced the idea of showing respect with a bilingual writing and illustrating exercise. It always helps me to see and hear what it means to show respect!

Sims Elementary

Sims Elementary not only uses Peace Areas with students, but also with adults. Below is the Peace Area in the staff lounge that the counselor created.

Teacher's Lounge Peace Area at Sims Elementary

What would you put in an adult Peace Area?

Angry Bird SEL Bulletin Board

Sims keeps students motivated about SEL by incorporating their interests into the bulletin board displays.  Who knew Angry Bird was such a SEL supporter?!

What wonderful SEL strategies have you been using this year? We love to hear from y’all! 

Have a wonderful Thursday! Don’t forget that you are fabulous!

I Am Fabulous

Compassionate Educator- Feeling Vocabulary

Non Violent Communication (NVC)  is a way to communicating that helps you “resolve conflicts with more ease, learn to ask for what you want without using demands, begin to hear the true needs of others with less effort, and strengthen your personal and professional relationships.” (http://www.nonviolentcommunication.com/aboutnvc/aboutnvc.htm)

This style of communicating can have a large impact on schools. The compassionate educator series shares resources from NVC that can be used in educational settings as well as life in general.

This week we are thinking about how to build feelings vocabulary. A wide-ranging feelings vocabulary provides deeper self-connection and an enhanced ability to express yourself to others. These skills can strengthen compassion in any learning environment. Help your students enhance their feelings vocabulary.

Feelings poster

With your students, make a list of feeling words, and try adding a new word a day for as many days as you can. Put your feelings vocabulary in a prominent place in your classroom. Each time students feel an emotion that isn’t on the list, invite them to express it by saying it aloud or writing it on the board.

Share what you think! What is important about having a large feelings vocabulary? How do you build feelings vocabulary in your life?

The Compassionate Educator

Last week Manny Scott, one of the original  Freedom Writers came to speak to schools in AISD. His powerful message began with, ” I was once considered unreachable.” Manny spoke of his experiences in life and at schools and the impact it had on his self-esteem. Just a freshman in high school, he began to say, “People like me, we ain’t supposed to make it!” Manny asks us, “How do you reach that kid?”

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Manny Scott-Original Freedom Writer 

“When your students come through the door, do you see them as whole human beings with their own thoughts, feelings, needs, talents, interests and gifts to share? Or do you see them as lazy, disruptive, wild, demanding and rebellious?

How do they feel about themselves?

How you think about your students at the beginning of each day and throughout the year often communicates what you believe about them far louder than your words.

Quickly write down ten descriptive words or phrases that come to mind when you think of your students. Might the way you think about them be affecting the way they are acting?”

-The Center for Nonviolent Communication

Scientific American magazine recently published an article about how stereotypes can hinder academic performance….Read about it here!

How to Expel Hurtful Stereotypes from Classrooms across the Country

And another recommended read on stereotype threat and how it can influence behavior and performance…….

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