Wednesday, February 14, 2018

February 2018: Self-control

Students will be learning about self-control this month and why it is important to maintain control over their words and their actions. We are always experiencing different feelings and sometimes it is harder to control your mind and your body.
Students were taught to STOP, THINK, and then ACT. Sometimes students will act without thinking about how their words or their actions affect other people.

First, students will have a discussion about self-control and what it means using prior knowledge and new information. Then students will practice having self-control using a bubble machine. 

  1. We will turn on the machine and the students will be able to pop as many bubbles that come near them. 
  2. We will turn on the machine and students will have to maintain self-control and not pop a single bubble. 
After the students practice using self-control, we will read the story 
You Get What You Get 
by Julie Gassman. 
This story is about a squirrel named Melvin who throws a fit when he doesn't get what he wants. At school, he has to follow the rule "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit". He is able to maintain his self-control at school but still thinks it is ok to throw a fit when he doesn't get what he wants at home. He quickly realizes that rule is just as important at home too when his sister gets upset when she doesn't get what she wants. 

After reading the story we will also talk about the importance of maintaining self-control with your words too. Your brain acts like a filter and your words need to go through the social filter to determine whether it is a thought that you can say out loud or a thought that should stay in your filter and you should only think it. 
Students will be given examples of thoughts they can "say" and thoughts that they should only "think".

Then students will partner up and work on a worksheet where they will have to put each "thought" in the column it belongs. 
SAY IT               or                 THINK IT

Our goal is for students to continue to practice self-control and to be more aware of their words and actions and how they impact their social settings. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

January 2018: Having the courage to be who you are

 Having the COURAGE to Be Who You Are

This month students will be reading "Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun" written by, Maria Dismondy.   This is a great story that shows how to have courage to treat others the way you want to be treated. Lucy's papa teaches her that “Not everyone likes the same things, Lucy. It doesn’t mean one person is right or wrong. We’re all different. What a boring world it would be if we were all exactly the same?” In the book, Lucy accepts herself as being different and learns to celebrate those differences.  This story empowers children to always do the right thing and find the courage to stand up for yourself when someone is being unkind.
As a class we will discuss how Lucy and Ralph are similar and different. A discussion will be about not being the same as another person doesn't mean you have to change who you are or what you enjoy. Students will learn that having the courage to be you is important and special.

Students will partner up and compile a list of traits on how they are similar and different from each other. This activity includes topics such as diversity, tolerance and acceptance while they learn more about other classmates and community.

Monday, December 11, 2017

December 2017: Mindfulness

"Being in control of your mind, rather than letting your mind be in control of you." Jill Rathus &Alec Miller

This month students will being revisiting the topic Mindfulness and what it means to be in the moment. We will be reviewing and discussing what it means to be mindful. We will also be talking about how Mindfulness relates to our previous discussions on Growth Mindset and Size of the Problem. 

Students will have the opportunity to practice being mindful using the following guided meditation videos. 

Next, students will practice clearing their thoughts and focusing on one thing at a time. They will do this by picking an object in the room to study for 1 minute. They will be advised not to judge the object but only to study it and notice details. Students will break off into partners and describe their object to their partner. 

Lastly, we will play two mindfulness games. This will help give the students a better understanding of what it is like to only focus on the present. 


Sound Ball: Students will throw sounds to each other. To receive a sound you need to repeat it. While playing the game, students will need to be aware so that they are always ready to receive a sound. They will also need to have a new sound prepped and ready to throw. 

Zoom: Students will stand in a circle and we will pass the sound "zoom" around the circle. If a students says "eek" the sound will reverse and travel around the circle the opposite way. Each student will be able to use one "eek" during the game. The students will have to stay engaged to be ready to say "zoom" at the right time and also to know which way "zoom" is traveling.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

November 2017: Size of the Problem/ Size of the Reaction

Size of the Problem
Students will be learning that there are different problems we may be faced with, some are bigger than others and how we react to those problems is important. This activity is designed for students to learn the basic vocabulary about the size of the problem and how it relates to the levels of emotions people experience and expect within various situations.

As a class we will discuss problem solving steps. Students will be given real life situations and while working in pairs they will determine the size of the problem and the expected reaction (worksheets below).

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

October 2017: Growth Mindset

Do you have a Fixed Mindset or a Growth Mindset?

Grade 5 video:

Students will be watching the video/videos and discussing what it means to have a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. They will be given examples and have the opportunity to decide which mindset the thought belongs to. 

Students will then work with a partner or in a group to come up with a growth mindset thought instead of the given fixed mindset thought. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

April Social Skills Lesson

Cooperation and Team Building

Students in grades K-5 will be learning about cooperation and team building this month. We will be discussing what it means to be a team player and how it is important to cooperate with your classmates. Students will be coming up with characteristics of a good team player. 

Videos about teamwork:
K-1 video:

2-5 video:

What does a good team player...?
  • Look like
  • Do
  • Say
  • Does not do
After we discuss what it means to be a good team player, students will be broken up into small groups. They will be working together as a team to build with paper cups. The expectation will be to build the tallest tower of cups without it falling down. Students will be making a plan and working together in groups of 4 or 5 to build their tower. 

We will be wrapping up with questions on how their team worked together.

  1. Was anyone frustrated at all during this activity? If so how was it handled?
  2. Why was teamwork so important for this activity?
  3. Are you ever in a situation where you must use teamwork? Is this always easy for you? Why or why not?
  4. What are some skills needed to be a good at teamwork?
  5. What is so hard about teamwork?
  6. What did you do today to contribute to the teamwork on your team?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March Social Skills Lesson

Bullying and Cyber-bullying
"Sometimes it just takes ONE"

Grades K, 1 and 2:
Students will be listening to the story One by Katherine Otoshi.
Image result for one by kathryn otoshi
One is a story about colors and numbers. Blue is a quiet color and Red is a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see and don't know what to do to stop it. When no one speaks up, things get out of hand. Red gets bigger and bigger. Then, One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count. Sometimes it just takes one voice to make a difference and make everyone count.

After listening to the story, the students will break up into groups. Each group will be assigned a color and they will discuss what they would do if they were that color in the story. They will also talk about what they could do to make a difference and stand up for one another.

Students will go back to their seats and write one sentence on how they can make a difference.
Image result for one by kathryn otoshi

Grades 4 and 5: Cyber-bullying
Students will be reviewing what they have already learned and know about bullying.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is the repeated use by one or more students [aggressor(s)] of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that: (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target's property; (ii) places the target in reasonable fear of harm to him/herself or of damage to his/her property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the target; (iv) infringes on the rights of the target at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. For the purposes of requirements related to this law, bullying shall include cyber-bullying.
Bullying Criteria (RIP):
  • Repeated
  • Intentional (i.e. harming someone else on purpose)
  • Imbalance of Power (2 against 1, difference in age, size, ability)

After we discuss our previous knowledge on bullying, we will introduce Cyber-bullying.


  • Cyber-bullying is a difference of power or strength between the perpetrator and the target and this behavior takes place through technology.
  • Some interactions on social media can be positive but some could be very hurtful and unkind.
  • Some studies have shown that people are more likely to be unkind through social media because you can’t see or hear people so it’s easier to pretend we don’t see what’s going on.
  • Remember that people we talk to and play with online are real people. Think what you would say if they were really sitting next to you.
  • Online communication can be recorded and shared, we don't know who and how many people will see anything we do.
  • It is hard to to tell if someone is just joking, or hard to tell if a joke you’ve made  has gone too far and really hurt someone. Has that ever happen to anyone?
Students will watch a video on Cyber-bullying

After the video, students will break up into groups. They will answer the following questions:
  • How is talking to people online (video games, social network, texting, Instagram, Facebook, email, etc.) different than talking to people face to face?
  • How can we stop Cyber-bullying?
Ticket to Leave
How is talking to people online (through video games, social network, texting, Instagram, instant messaging) different from talking to people face to face?
Online vs. Offline

Helpful Information: