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.…

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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 …

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2020 Taught Us to Embrace Mistakes

If there was ever a year in which we did a lot of learning in a short time, it was 2020. It took multiple attempts and making lots of mistakes along the way. We worked at gaining skills at delivering online instruction and figuring out ways to build relationships and create community even though we weren’t in the room together. We accomplished what we had never imagined before the pandemic. Most of us do not like to make mistakes, but last year we had to leap in. We discovered that that people had more grace for us than we expected. …

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Resilience through Transition – An Art Activity for Classrooms or Families

Resilience through Transition – An Art Activity for Classrooms or Families

Parents, Teachers, Tips & Tools

This activity is designed to support students (and adults too!) with all the changes in our world. The external changes are happening fast, and this is an opportunity to slow down and emotionally process the changes internally. William Bridges (author of Managing Transitions) calls this internal process a “transition.” As we navigate the change, the transition starts with the feelings associated with losing something familiar, something we thought of as normal, or something we cared about. The activity can be adapted for your family or classroom, as you see fit.

All of us have experienced loss. Being able to …

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Rethinking Rewards: Alternatives to Offering Incentives

Rethinking Rewards: Alternatives to Offering Incentives

Teachers, you have been accomplishing incredible feats this year! It is mind-boggling how your job has changed because of the pandemic and online teaching. Though some of your students are thriving, you may be worried about many who do not seem engaged and who aren’t completing assignments. It is easy to think that rewards may be the answer that you just need to provide the right incentives to get your students to be engaged and completing their work. Despite solid research showing that rewards decrease internal motivation, passion, and interest, the draw to use rewards and incentives is strong. They …

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Holding on to Hope (For Teachers)

Holding on to Hope (For Teachers)

This year has been rough. An undeniable understatement. Hope seems hard to reach, especially when our resilience has been tested these in these long challenging months since last spring. Yet hope is an antidote to despair. And while acknowledging the emotional toll of these times is crucial, equally crucial is our ability to hold onto a belief in positive future possibilities. Hope can sustain us, and gives our hard work a purpose that fuels us with energy and optimism. The same is true for our students. Students who are high in hope have greater academic achievement, stronger friendships, more creativity …

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Tips for Teaching Online

Here are some ideas that have been proven to make a positive difference for teachers and students doing online learning. 

Brain breaks and self-regulation breaks –  For both adults and children, research finds that taking breaks every 20 or 30 minutes rejuvenates working memory and calms our nervous systems. Embed regular self-regulation activities to get students to stand up, stretch and move, into the flow of your online days.  5-minute brain breaks can be led by students, allowing them to feel both more engaged and more of an integral part of the classroom community.Here are a few brain-break and self-regulation …

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