Our students received lessons from another research-based, classroom-tested program called Second Step.
Our school was fortunate to receive the Second Step curriculum for grades 1 and up. Younger grades received lessons from the first three units (Skills for Learning, Empathy, and Emotion Management). The older grades received lessons from the first 2 units (Empathy and Skills for Learning, and Emotion Management).
Some highlights of the program this year:
1st grade: Puppy and Snail puppets helped teach students how to use the listening rules, be assertive, and calm down. Here are some songs that helped them learn and practice their skills.
2nd grade: Second graders learned what empathy is from a special song they enjoyed singing on various occasions and also learned the steps to calm down when they have strong emotions from the Calm it Down song. You can listen to the songs on Youtube:
3-6th Grades: The older grades learned about appreciating differences, how to be assertive, how to disagree respectfully, how to use empathy, and how to use the calm down steps to deal with anxiety, anger, and frustration. Here is a song that helped students memorize the steps for calming down. The best thing about this song is that it is so catchy, it really assures the kids will never forget the calm down steps :)
STOP, NAME YOUR FEELING, CALM DOWN
Grades 3-6 received the evidence-based smoking prevention lessons again this year.
The older grades had lessons on the following:
Dealing with Stress
For more information, see last years posts on the first 6 lessons by clicking on the lesson titles in the above list.
These lessons focus on skills and information that are shown to help children avoid smoking and make good choices for their health and well being. For more information, see last year's post on Botvin Life Skills Training Program.
Our school district also delivers the middle school lessons for the same program in 7th grade.
Bullying is when someone does or says something to hurt someone else on purpose, repeatedly.
We started off December talking about what bullying means. The younger grades watched a video called, "How to Deal with Bullies, Super Hero Style," and drew how they could be "hero's" instead of bullies at school.
The middle grades learned about what it means to be a bystander (someone who sees bullying and does nothing to help) and an upstander (someone who helps those being bullied). They practiced identifying different actions as bullying or not bullying. They also watched a video that taught four ways to be an upstander.
The upper grades worked together to identify some problems that they see occurring between students at our school and came up with some ideas for student led solutions to those problems.
Each of us are unique or different from one another in some ways. We also are all alike in many ways. Valuing our differences and respecting them helps us get along with others and learn new things.
The younger grades listened to a book about people's differences and similarities, and talked about why differences are important. They then did an activity with classmates where they discovered some things they had in common with each other, and some things that were different. The older grades also talked about differences and similarities, and what feelings they had when they felt different than the people around them. We talked about how sometimes people automatically equate different with "bad" or "weird" when in reality, it is likely just different. We talked about the importance of being able to agree to disagree with others, and treat each other with respect no matter what our differences are.
We learned that empathy means understanding and sharing what someone else is feeling and caring enough to do something about it.
We started off November learning about empathy. The younger grades watched a fun video and practiced the first step of empathy, noticing how other people are feeling.
The older grades watched a different video on empathy and then practiced thinking of how they would show empathy in different situations. They also learned some tips on empathetic things to say when you don't know what to say:
"I am here for you."
"That must be hard."
"I am sorry that happened."
"You must be feeling _______."
During Red Ribbon Week at the end of October we learned about what it means to be drug-free. The younger grades also shared their future goals and why they would be much easier to achieve if they kept themselves drug-free. The older grades focused on peer pressure and worked together to see that the cost of giving in to peer pressure to do drugs is much greater than that of saying, "NO".
We learned that "college" means any training or schooling beyond high school, not just a traditional 4-year university education.
In October we also learned about what college is and why it is important. The younger grades read the book, "Monte Goes to College," which was specifically written for them (elementary school students in Utah). They also thought about, discussed, and shared ideas on what they might like to study more about in college. The older grades watched a series of short videos about different colleges in Utah and learned more about what college is like.
At the elementary school level, we start learning about the world of work and how it relates to our interests.
During the first week of October, all grades learned more about careers. The Kindergarten classes listened to a book about careers and played career bingo. The 1st and 2nd graders learned about several different careers and how each career helps the community. The 3rd and 4th graders learned about several different careers and discussed what people in each career were likely interested in. They also thought of a few careers related to some of their own interests. The 5th and 6th graders completed a career exploration booklet, where they used careeronestop.org to learn more about a career they found interesting.
A few classes got to watch Ms. Gardner's favorite funny video about "Career Day":
We learned about 4 important ways to keep our bodies strong and healthy.
Keeping our bodies clean through practicing good hygiene habits (showering/bathing regularly, brushing teeth daily, wearing clean clothes, etc.), helps prevent us from getting sick and also helps us make friends. Exercise keeps our bodies strong and our brains happy. Getting enough sleep is crucial for our brain to function properly. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables is necessary for us to grow and have energy.
The following are a few videos that were included in this lesson:
Growth mindset means we know that our brain is like a muscle. We can get smarter as we work at learning new things and challenging ourselves. As we keep trying, we exercise our brain.
Grades 1-3 watched and discussed the following video:
Grades 4-6 watched the following videos about Growth Mindset: