SEL Strong to the Finish!

For the past few weeks we’ve been blog-sploring how sports and other extracurricular activities present natural Social and Emotional Learning experiences, particularly in the hands of the right teacher-coaches and mentors.  We now interrupt this series to remind everyone that, though the school year is winding down, SEL in AISD schools is going strong until that last bell rings! Campuses are already setting the stage for next year as well!

SimsolympicsAt Sims elementary, students and parents participated in an end-of-year Sims Olympics day, which saw SEL resources for families promoted alongside active sporting events like awesome hallway broom curling!

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Note the opportunities for practicing turn-taking, perspective taking and self management skills! Not to mention just having some good ol’ hallway fun.

Cunningham Elementary dedicated a whole bulletin board to reflect on growth mindset, and celebrate the growth that third graders have made this year!

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Check out how students and staff alike are encouraged to consider not only what new skills they’ve gained this year, but also how keeping a growth mindset has allowed those beautiful brains to expand.

cunninghamgrowthmindset

Speaking of bulletin boards, check out the Hart Elementary SEL bulletin boards that feature Social and Emotional Learning strategies in three different languages!

hart2 hartelembulletin

Middle schools are taking their Social and Emotional Learning to the very last minute as well.  At Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy, real live young male leaders are honing their 21st Century SEL skills by hosting campus budget meetings.  Talk about dress for success!

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Over at Lamar Fine Arts Academy, students participated in an end-of-year SEL lesson to practice and refine their ever-important and relevant group work skills.  Each member of the group had a different challenge to overcome during the group tower-building project, opening up the conversation about natural challenges that arise in group work situations and how to handle them effectively.  They will be using these skills for the rest of their lives!

lamarSELWebb Middle School has created a beautiful bulletin board celebrating the students’ commitment to building and maintaining a peaceful school environment.  Each leaf holds a peaceful, positive message written by a student.

webb middle school

Social and Emotional Learning flows through our district from elementary to high school, and there is amazing SEL happening at the high school level.  Check out these Travis High School Rebel football players giving their time and energy to the children at Dell Children’s Hospital.

travisdellchildrens These students are applying all the perspective-taking and empathy skills that we talked about in our first post about SEL and football, and making positive waves in their community.  And how about the Mr. Maroo challenge at Crockett High School, inspired by Archer Hadley and his campaign at Austin High?  Students and staff are working to raise money to install push-button wheelchair-accessible doors at Crockett!

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As a final example of how SEL skills are part of academic and personal growth over the course of a school year, MAPS students at Reagan High School use a Venn diagram to compare their mindset at the beginning of the year to how they feel now about their school and themselves:

reaganHS

These examples show just a fraction of the Social and Emotional Learning and growth experienced by AISD students over the course of the 2014-2015 school year.  The explicit SEL instruction, curricular integration, and culture and climate built and maintained by schools all over our city are truly helping students prepare for higher learning, careers, and life in the 21st Century world.  Just think: next year, every single school in the Austin Independent School District will have intentional Social and Emotional Learning on campus!  We are truly #AISDproud and #SELsmart!

Campus and Classroom Bulletin Boards

As we walk through campuses the artistic bulletin boards never cease to amaze us. Teachers across AISD are using bulletin boards to showcase the learning in classes and the creativity of our students or, as anchors of support and of course a little advertising! Look at some of these boards that caught our eye and made it a little hard to walk through the hallways without getting completely distracted! Displays such as these take time and effort and reflect an attention to detail and tremendous pride in your students and school!

Ridgetop Elementary- Empathy Lesson Explained

Ridgetop Elementary Empathy Poem Examples

These thoughtful acrostic poems come from a 5th grade class at Ridgetop where teachers and students are seamlessly integrating SEL concepts with English Language Arts.

Peacemakers at Maplewood

Look at these Maplewood Peace Makers!  Teachers nominate students when they see them spreading the peace campus wide and using excellent SEL skills such as consideration, honesty, and/ or responsible decision making.

Blackshear 2nd grade ELA Intergration Bulletin Board

At Blackshear Elementary, 2nd grade students read “Miss Nelson is Missing” and integrated SEL skills into their sequencing work. Look at all of the feelings each character has!

Martin Teacher Door Sign

At Martin Middle School each teacher posts their favorite book and quote outside their classroom door. What a great start to building meaningful relationships by finding something in common with your teacher or just asking them about what they wrote!

Uphaus Student Emotion Examples

At one elementary school, this teacher had her superstar students create an anchor chart with feelings! Each student became an expert in acting out their feelings and are on their way to recognizing those emotions in their classmates using those facial cues!

Dawson I Show Compassion When

Dawson Elementary students wrote how they show compassion to one another on a hallway bulletin board. Students get an opportunity to add to the board and share their real life experiences!

Thanks to all of the amazing schools who shared with us.  Check out even more pictures of inspiring bulletin boards here or see below!

Please send your blog submissions to: selaustin@gmail.com

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”  -Aristotle