Blogs on Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning

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Find out how you can develop or support learning that teaches collaboration, communication, and conflict-resolution skills.

Randy TaranMarch 12, 2013

In this nine-part series, we will look at important factors that influence the happiness and social and emotional learning of elementary school age children. These are very useful in helping students learn, manage emotions better and increase empathy. Each blog features one letter of the acronym HAPPINESS:

  1. H = Happiness
  2. A = Appreciation
  3. P = Passions and Strengths
  4. P = Perspective
  5. I = Inner Meanie/Inner Friend
  6. N = Ninja Mastery
  7. E = Empathy
  8. S = So Similar
  9. S = Share Your Gifts

In this post, we will explore Ninja Mastery, a.k.a. learning emotional management.

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Renee JainMarch 8, 2013

"I didn’t get invited to Craig's party . . . I'm such a loser."

"I missed the bus . . . nothing ever goes my way."

"My math teacher wants to see me . . . I must be in trouble."

These are the thoughts of a high school student named Jeremy. You wouldn't know it from his thoughts, but Jeremy is actually pretty popular and gets decent grades. Unfortunately, in the face of adversity, Jeremy makes a common error; he falls into "thought holes." Thought holes, or cognitive distortions, are skewed perceptions of reality. They are negative interpretations of a situation based on poor assumptions. For Jeremy, thought holes cause intense emotional distress.

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Maurice EliasMarch 6, 2013

Do you know how the Peace Corps got started? And do you know why it's important to know how? Since this month is the 52nd anniversary of the Peace Corps, let's take a moment to find the answers.

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You may have read Mark Phillips' blog post about the ongoing documentary project A Year at Mission Hill. A month after the launch of the video series, the buzz has only grown. With a fantastic and artful Prezi about the series, new videos released every two weeks, and resources tailored to each episode from orgs around the world including Ashoka's Start Empathy project, What Kids Can Do, Responsive Classroom, Learning Matters, and more, this is shaping up to be a new kind of Web resource for those interested in education reform on a grassroots level. I'm excited to share episodes two and three here.

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Mark PhillipsFebruary 21, 2013

I grew up loving basketball, and Alan Seiden was the best high school basketball player I've ever seen. He was also my neighbor and a classmate at Jamaica High School in New York City. One of the most indelible memories from my youth is watching Alan hit one beautiful jump shot after another at Madison Square Garden as he helped lead our team to the city championship. The New York Times compared him favorably to the basketball legend Bob Cousy. He went on to St. John's, became one of the greatest stars in the history of that university's basketball team, and was a two time All-American. He also played briefly in the pros.

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Lori DesautelsFebruary 20, 2013

This morning I sat in two inner city middle school classrooms in Indianapolis as I do most weeks. But something struck me deeply in the center of my chest as I was observing the boredom and apathy in the detached, sleepy and seemingly sad faces of many of these seventh grade students. The teachers were cheerfully present, the standards were posted, the paperwork was almost completed, there were no overt disruptions, and compliance was at hand.

The procedures, rules and transitions were hard-wired into the brains of these middle school students and adults, but an "inner" inspiration and deep subconscious yearning for something else attached to the notion of the "purpose of school" were nowhere to be found.

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Nicholas ProvenzanoFebruary 14, 2013

It's February and love is all around us. You might be thinking, "Really? Where?" That's because it's so easy to get down in the dumps during the winter months and only focus on all of the problems you face in the classroom. Just remember that Valentine's Day is when we're supposed to show our love to family and friends.

And what about our "school family"?

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Lisa Michelle DabbsFebruary 8, 2013

It's been a long time since I was in elementary school. But I can remember it like it was yesterday.

I wasn't the cutest, skinniest or best-dressed girl. I wasn't even a popular girl, but I had an advantage; I could sing like "nobody's business," and my teachers loved that about me. As a result, I think I was spared the bullying that could've come from classmates due to my lack of the aforementioned qualities.

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Dr. Richard CurwinFebruary 7, 2013

When I was school age, I never told a lie, but I bet many of you readers have lied in your youth. Okay, so maybe I did lie a few times . . . All of us have encountered students who've told us lies during our professional careers. One of the best I heard recently was when a teacher confronted a student for copying, word for word, from Wikipedia. The student responded, "I can't help it if Wikipedia copied my paper!"

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Maurice EliasFebruary 5, 2013

At a statewide forum on school safety sponsored by the NJ School Boards Association on January 18, 2013, more than 700 educational leaders discussed the issue of school safety and security in light of the unfathomable deaths in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Why it takes a tragedy to force us to think about things that were no less important the day before that tragedy, we can lament. But now, we must act, and act wisely.

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