To kick off our first week back we took SEL to the classroom during health block and discussed transferable skills for learning. Students k-6 practiced the importance of community and teamwork through interactive classroom activities.
K-3 learned about perseverance, respect, goal setting, problem solving, communication and tolerance. After learning about these skills, they were given teams and asked to use materials available to build a structure that could withstand the weight of a small stuffed animal. Once they completed this activity successfully they were asked to switch teams and complete the same activity without using words. This activity emphasized the importance of communication and problem solving skills.
4-6 learned about the same skills with the addition of integrity and courage. The students collectively practiced perseverance, respect for others, tolerance, goal setting, communication, courage and integrity through a team building exercise that required all students to work together to create a web that could hold a ball using only yarn. As the students passed the yarn around they practiced complimenting others in their class. Once the web was created successfully, students were removed from the web and the remaining students were asked to work together to keep the web's strength. Once the students completed this activity they reflected as a class about their experiences. Many students shared about what role they had and how it was difficult as more people were removed from the circle. Those who were removed reflected on how it felt to not be included. The students then reflected on what they learned about themselves and their role in teamwork. They also shared about all the settings in which teamwork is important such as at home helping out with chores and other responsibilities, during sports, at school and so fourth. As a closing activity each student shared a goal they set for the year that has to do with one or more of the skills they learned about and practiced during the activity.
To follow up and continue practicing, classroom teachers will be integrating these focus skills through their instructional time.