Check out our online workshops!

Blog

Gathering Student Input Helps Create New & Effective Solutions

Gathering Student Input Helps Create New & Effective Solutions

Feelings and emotions, Inspiring Stories, Teachers

Redwood Elementary in Grants Pass, Oregon is one of the schools in our District Partnerships pilot program. Last school year, the school’s data team collected data about student behaviors that were most challenging to the staff. One of the challenging behaviors was defiance.

Initially the team started thinking about it from the teachers’ perspective, wondering what other tools could be used to deal with student behavior that appeared defiant. Before they implemented any tools, they decided to gather some information from students. Teachers talked to students individually and had class discussions. What they learned surprised them. As students shared, a …

Read More
Repackaging Consequences Does Not Create Equitable Learning Communities

Repackaging Consequences Does Not Create Equitable Learning Communities

In the News, Point of View, Race and Equity

As the new executive director of Sound Discipline, I spend a lot of time studying everything I can about education equity, and social emotional learning.

A few weeks ago, I read an article that I found disturbing:  “How Novice and Expert Teachers Approach Classroom Management Differently.” Citing a 2021 study, the author asserts that it “reveals the ways in which new and experienced teachers think about discipline – plus 5 takeaways for managing your classroom effectively this year.”

I posted it on Sound Discipline’s internal Slack, asking colleagues, “Does this article bug you?”  Here are highlights of …

Read More
Third Annual “Designing Our Own Learning” Summer Intensive

Third Annual “Designing Our Own Learning” Summer Intensive

Inspiring Stories
DOOL 2021 students, educators and Sound Discipline staff.

This summer Sound Discipline hosted our third annual “Designing Our Own Learning” (DOOL) intensive summer program. For a look back at the first two years of the program, check out Facilitator Alan Wong’s post on the College Spark Foundation’s blog.

For two weeks in August, diverse students and teachers from Evergreen High School and Dimmitt Middle School joined together online with Sound Discipline facilitators to build authentic community, develop youth leadership and advocate for equitable practices within schools.

 

Built on a strong foundation of community and trust building, the DOOL 2021 …

Read More
The Problem with ‘Learning Loss’ Part II: My Conversation with Jessica Calabrese-Granger, Chief of School Improvement in Renton, Washington

The Problem with ‘Learning Loss’ Part II: My Conversation with Jessica Calabrese-Granger, Chief of School Improvement in Renton, Washington

In the News, Online Learning, Teachers

“Discipline is an outcome; engagement is an opportunity.” -Jessica Calabrese-Granger

In my last post at the close of the 2020/21 school year, I shared my conversation about ‘learning loss’ with Regina Elmi of the organization Supporting Partnerships in Education and Beyond (SPEB). We discussed that while much of the collective conversation in education was on the topic of ‘learning loss’, there have been unexpected gifts of distance learning – time with family, the chance for kids to focus and go deeper on a passion, closer sibling relationships, and authentic bonds between classroom teachers, and students and families. Regina’s experience reinforced …

Read More
Lakeridge Elementary Engages in Culturally Relevant SEL Content Schoolwide/ K-5th grade

Lakeridge Elementary Engages in Culturally Relevant SEL Content Schoolwide/ K-5th grade

Inspiring Stories

This month we are featuring some important work being done by two educators at Lakeridge Elementary School in the Renton School District. Jenna Middleton, SEL coach, and Angela Varela, counselor, began with a few questions – What could it look like for our students to receive culturally relevant and responsive lessons? How could we incorporate opportunities for reflection after these lessons every month?

These two educators have dedicated this school year to crafting supplemental resources and additional content for Lakeridge students— based on the social emotional learning standards. Using a different topic each month, classroom teachers are given a set …

Read More
The Problem with ‘Learning Loss’ Part 1: Outcomes vs. Experiences

The Problem with ‘Learning Loss’ Part 1: Outcomes vs. Experiences

In the News, Point of View, Racial Justice

“The learning loss narrative does not bring us together. It’s not the teacher’s fault; it’s not one school. It’s a systemic problem that goes back to before the pandemic.” – Regina Elmi, Co-founder of Supporting Partnerships in Education and Beyond

 

As the country emerges from a global pandemic, we at Sound Discipline are paying attention to the conversation in education and policy circles about ‘learning loss.’ Applying the lenses of test scores, academic milestones, and SEL metrics, state and district superintendents are feeling and passing on the pressure to quantify and replace standards-based content not delivered in online …

Read More
ACEs Awareness and Knowing Your Own Number

ACEs Awareness and Knowing Your Own Number

In the News, Resilience

 

ACE Resource Network recently announced the first ever public awareness campaign about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). At Sound Discipline, we’ve been talking and teaching about ACEs for a long time, and we’re thrilled to see a movement putting resources into spreading the word about ACEs and trauma-informed practices.

 

The term ACEs was invented with a 1990s study conducted by Dr. Vince Felitti, MD and Dr. Robert Anda, MD in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control. Over a two-year period, Kaiser collected data from more than 17,000 mostly white participants which traced adverse experiences  …

Read More
A Creative SEL Screener Tool for Remote and In-person Learning

A Creative SEL Screener Tool for Remote and In-person Learning

Inspiring Stories, Teachers

Remote learning has many challenges, one of the biggest being a lack of connection. Without the ability to read body language, see faces, and spot someone in a hallway, how can educators connect with their students to see how their doing?

 

After the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) mandated the adoption of a SEL screener, a tool that allows teachers to assess students’ social emotional health and skills, Talbot Hill Elementary, in the Renton School District, knew it had to come up with a solution that worked remotely. So, they came up with a creative solution.…

Read More
The Journey to Understanding Trauma and Resilience

The Journey to Understanding Trauma and Resilience

Point of View, Resilience

“The question we should be asking is not what’s wrong with that child, but what happened to that child?” – Oprah Winfrey

“The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely they will be to recover from trauma and thrive. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.” – Dr. Bruce Perry

 

Let’s talk about trauma and resilience. At Sound Discipline, we teach and coach educators and adults working with or raising kids about trauma-informed practice. Ten years ago, this concept was just migrating to schools and social service delivery. Like a …

Read More
Lowell Elementary’s Educational Enhancement Site

Lowell Elementary’s Educational Enhancement Site

Inspiring Stories, Teachers

When the pandemic hit last year and school buildings were shut down, the staff at Lowell Elementary in Seattle quickly saw the disproportionate impact remote learning was having on many of their students of color and those without stable housing. While some students in their school had the technology and support from their caregivers to transition to remote learning, many could not.

 

Lowell Elementary staff responded to this inequity by creating an Educational Enhancement Site, a physical space where students get free access to in-person adult support, tutoring, meals, recreation, and reliable internet. At the same time, students …

Read More