SEL Summer Reading Series: Tom Rath, Author Focus

Today we are showcasing an SEL author who has had a lot of influence in schools, homes, and workplaces across the country. His name is Tom Rath.

Rath’s first, and possibly most famous book is, How Full is Your Bucket?, which he wrote with his grandfather, Donald O. Clifton. It became a New York Times bestseller and an instant hit.

This book describes imaginary buckets we all have over our heads. Throughout the day, different things can happen that fill our buckets- like someone sharing a treat with you, you helping a friend, or getting a good grade on a test.  There are also things that can dip into our buckets, like someone calling you a name or you hurting someone else’s feelings.  This book gives children a concrete visual to motivate them to show compassion for others.

How Full Is Your Bucket

Rath wrote several follow up books after this one, including How Full is Your Bucket? Educator’s Edition.

“Organized around a simple metaphor of a dipper and a bucket — already familiar to thousands of people — How Full is Your Bucket? shows how even the smallest interactions we have with others every day profoundly affect our relationships, productivity, health, and longevity.Co-author Donald O. Clifton studied the effects of positive and negative emotions for half a century, and he and his colleagues interviewed millions of people around the world. Their discoveries contributed to the emergence of an entirely new field: Positive Psychology. These same discoveries are at the heart of How Full is Your Bucket?”

-Source: http://www.amazon.com/Full-Your-Bucket-Educators-Edition/dp/159562001X/ref=pd_sim_b_11

How Full is Your Bucket Educator Edition

In 2007, Rath wrote a book version of his online quiz, Strengths Finder.  This book applies the same theories of positive psychology to the workplace. Strengths Finder gives the reader tools to assess their strengths and knowledge about how to grow their talents into even fuller buckets.

Strength Finder

In the video below, Rath explains the background behind his bucket filling philosophy.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What is your favorite bucket filling book? Please share with us in the comment section below!

Happy Reading 🙂

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: Early Childhood Edition

Today we will be looking at Early Childhood books that have an SEL focus.  There are many to choose from and it was very hard to pick only two!

Free Spirit Publishing has a series of books teaching children positive social skills.  One of my favorites is Hands Are Not for Hitting by Martine Agassi, Ph.D.

Hands Are Not For Hitting

This book gives children concrete ideas for what we can do with our hands, like hugging and playing. It repeatedly asks children to consider, “What are hands for?”

If you like this one, be sure to check out: Feet Are Not for Kicking, and Words Are Not for Hurting.

Our next book is a wonderful resource for any parent or educator with young children.  Austin ISD has adopted it for Prekindergarten and Kindergarten teachers to learn from. The book is called, Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky A. Bailey. The book teaches how to create a positive classroom management system that encourages the growth of emotional intelligence.

conscious discipline

Have you read either of these book before? What did you think? What are your favorite Early Childhood books? Please share with us in the comments 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 🙂

The Compassionate Parent Summer Series!

Summer is here and school is out! Summertime often allows us the opportunity to spend more time with our children and The Center for Nonviolent Communication provides some incredible parenting tips that we believe you will find useful! Here is the first part in our summer series:

“Is your intention to connect or to correct? Parents who can define their parenting purpose or intention can help meet children’s vital needs, including stability, security, safety and guidance.

What is your purpose or intention? To correct and manage your children or to connect with and enjoy them?

For one week, count the number of times in a day you correct your child, and then count the number of times you connect. Which number is greater? What might this information tell you?”

~The Center for Nonviolent Communication

One way to connect with your child is by making something special with them. Since Father’s Day is coming up, here is a great way to bond with your child and be prepared for this Sunday!

Fathers Day Card Craft

Here are the instructions for this Father’s Day idea and many more you can do with your children!

Crafts with your Kids!

Making time for family dinners is another way to connect with your children. This Emotional Life, a series developed to improve our social well-being and development provides many resources as well as this blog with more suggestions on 10 Tips to Connect with Your Child.

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 🙂