George Lucas Educational Foundation

Specific SEL projects: Advice, stories, triumphs!

Specific SEL projects: Advice, stories, triumphs!

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I will be starting an inquiry project with 5th graders on the concept of change - how they can be the change in their school/community. Does anyone have resources/strategies to share on this concept of change Lisa Myles

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Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Senior Editor at Large

I am so impressed by what Ms. Delahanty is incorporating into her classroom. This is what I witness as a parent in my children's classrooms (elementary and middle) and know that early encouragement in this area is key to helping our students set positive goals that are actually attainable rather than "just a dream." teamwork is key in this process, as, despite what many may feel, our culture is not individually based but a culture that must make connections and work collaboratively towards goals and achievements.
--Myrdin Thompson, 15th D. PTA Louisville KY,

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Senior Editor at Large

At my son's elementary school this afternoon we just celebrated "cougar of the month" students, the cafeteria was filled with family and teachers cheering these students on, in fact one teacher brought her class to cheer and applaud their classmate for his achievements. These moments are key in connecting one another with positive school experiences, which for some children may not be what they or their parents have been used to.

--Myrdin Thompson:

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Senior Editor at Large

I just created an amazing ibook featuring my students' poetry and art, spent my own $50, and was excited to show my AP. His response: "What does it have to do with the standards?" Nothing, I said. I did this to honor students work, to help them feel confident and strong about their writing. Disheartening, for sure, but not defeating. Have any ideas for a better response?

PtaPeep's picture
Parent of 3 (middle, elementary, pre-k), PTA District Pres, Louisville KY

JB, the National PTA supports the arts thru it's 40 year strong Reflections Program. Perhaps you could connect with your school's parent group in order to help promote this type of project. Art has everything to do with Standards as many studies have proven out. I might have said, "because of this work my students are more confident in their ability to complete a project because they were able to personally contect with subject matter, something that for some is hard to do. I can't wait to see their scores knowing that they are now engaged in education!"

Kati Delahanty's picture

Another response to your AP's question about the standards could be: EVERYTHING.
If students don't feel honored, respected, and inspired, they will have no motivation to jump into the curriculum and take intellectual risks. It makes me sad that so many people still don't see that as foundational to a successful learning environment.

Teachers, APs, and all adults need it too. If our work isn't validated and appreciated, we start to wonder if we're doing a good enough job. We start to question our direction and approach. Some of us start to lose faith. It's the same with our students.

I will say too that I'm in a situation this year where all of my students have either dropped out or have come really close in the past couple of years. This is their first year back. They all say that one of the major reasons they left school in the first place is because they didn't feel "noticed." They felt like a number.

If students feel like numbers, they aren't going to meet the standards because they aren't going to stay in school.

I'm so glad you get it, JB!
Thanks for sharing,

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