T.R.A.C at Flora Vista

Teambuilding, Regulation, Awareness, Community

What is TRAC?

The purpose of the TRAC program is to provide universal social emotional instruction to the entire school population. Students will gain skills to boost their self awareness, increase self esteem and self regulation, improve their social skills, encourage empathy, and learn to seek internal motivation for their personal and academic success. Class sessions will include dynamic instruction that incorporates thoughtful student discussion, movement, and art or games to promote learning.

Rooted in Research

T.R.A.C is rooted in the CASEL standards. CASEL is the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning which has defined social emotional learning for more than two decades. They describe SEL as "how children and adults learn to understand and manage emotions, set goals, show empathy for others, establish positive relationships, and make responsible decisions." Below is the CASEL framework and the themes TRAC will be covering this year!

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So What Have We Been Up To?

September and October have been dedicated to self-awareness. According to CASEL, self-awareness is the ability to accurately recognize one's emotions, thoughts and values and how they influence behavior. Scroll down to see what we have been doing the past 2 months!


* You may notice some lessons are similar among grades levels! The older the students the more in-depth our discussions are and the activities are altered to fit the grade level*


November and December have been dedicated to self- management. According to CASEL, self-management is the ability to regulate one's emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations-effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself.


January and February will be dedicated to social awareness. Accord to CASEL, social awareness is the ability to take perspective of and empathize with others. Social awareness includes perspective taking, empathy, appreciating diversity and respect for others .

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Kinders

Empathy Continued!

This week (1/20-1/24) we continued our conversation about empathy. We discussed ways we show empathy and ways to now show empathy. I had pictures and descriptions one each that I read aloud and a student would place it in the correct area on the chart. Then they came up with their own way they are going to practice showing empathy! We had some great ideas. Cassi in Mrs. Meyers class should she would show empathy by giving a friend a hug when they are sad!
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Empathy

"Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another." We started off the new year (and decade!) learning about empathy. Through some fun activities, we learned that in order to be an "empathy detective" we need to notice how someone is feeling by looking at their facial expressions and body language, remember a time we felt that way or imagine how we would feel if we were them, and show them we care about and know how they are feeling.


Below is a video we watched that helped explain what empathy is and a picture of Mrs. Myers classroom playing the empathy game. Each student received a stick with an emotion on it. I read them a scenario out loud (for example: your friend lost their favorite stuffed animal, how are they feeling?) and they help up their stick if it was the appropriate emotion for the scenario. This helped them practice putting themselves in others' shoes.

Sesame Street: Mark Ruffalo: Empathy
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Celebrating Mistakes

This week (11/18-11/22) we talked about making mistakes. Many students expressed that they feel angry, ashamed, guilty, and/or mad at themselves when they make a mistake. Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg opened up our eyes to the wonderful things that mistakes can bring us. We learned that it's ok to make mistakes! In fact they are opportunities to learn, grow, and create something beautiful. Each student was given a paper with a mistake on it, a squiggle, a smear or paint or glued on tissue paper, and they created something beautiful out of the mistake on their paper.
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Identifying Emotions and Self-Regulation

We have been working on identifying emotions, practicing using the language, and identifying triggers that make us feel the basic emotions such as happy, mad, frustrated, sad, calm and relaxed. We read "Frankie's the Feelings Bear" which talked about basic emotions. We then created emotional weather journals. For each page we discussed the emotion, showed what it looks like on our faces, and then drew what made us feel that emotion.


We also learned ways to help calm ourselves down when we feel big emotions such as intense anger or frustration. Ask your student to show you 5 finger breathing, wave breathing and rocks and socks!

1st and 2nd Graders

1st: Empathy

"Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another." We started off the new year (and decade!) learning about empathy. Through some fun activities, we learned that in order to be an "empathy detective" we need to notice how someone is feeling by looking at their facial expressions and body language, remember a time we felt that way or imagine how we would feel if we were them, and show them we care about and know how they are feeling.


Below is a picture of Mrs. Bimers classroom playing the empathy game. Each student received a stick with an emotion on it. I read them a scenario out loud (for example: your friend lost their favorite stuffed animal, how are they feeling?) and they help up their stick if it was the appropriate emotion for the scenario. This helped them practice putting themselves in others' shoes.

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1st: Lovable Listening- Listening to Understand... 2nd: Size of the Problem

1st Grade: Listening can be tough sometimes! This week (12/9-12/13) we talked about how to be a lovable listener in the classroom and with our friends and family. A lovable listener is one who listens to understand what the other person is saying. By listening to understand, you are showing that you care about and respect the person talking. A lovable listener does this by looking at the person who is talking, keeping their bodies still, listening with their ears, and thinking about what the person is saying. We read a fun story about two monsters who demonstrate how to be a lovable listener and how to be a lousy listener. Then we did a movement activity to demonstrate our learning.


2nd Grade: Problems... We've all got them! This week(12/9-12/13) we talked about the size of the problem and appropriate reactions to those problems. We are human so we encounter problems everyday, it's a part of life! And with problems are connected reactions and emotions. In general, we have 3 sizes of problems: small, medium and big. We talked about what defines each size and appropriate reactions. We played a game where we read a problem out loud and decided as class which size it was. Then, the person who read it out loud threw it in the bin that correlated to the size of the problem. It was a fun and interactive way to show our thinking and learning!


**Below are pictures from Mrs. Fletcher's students reading the size of the problem to the class then throwing it in the correlated sized bin**

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Celebrating Mistakes

This week (11/18-11/22) we talked about making mistakes. Many students expressed that they feel angry, ashamed, guilty, and/or mad at themselves when they make a mistake. Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg opened up our eyes to the wonderful things that mistakes can bring us. We learned that it's ok to make mistakes! In fact they are opportunities to learn, grow, and create something beautiful. Each student was given a paper with a mistake on it, a squiggle, a smear or paint or glued on tissue paper, and they created something beautiful out of the mistake on their paper.
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Identifying Emotions and Self-Regulation

We have been working on identifying emotions, what they look like on ourselves and other people, and identifying what triggers certain emotions such as being scared, embarrassed, happy, sad, and angry. Each student made a feelings book where they identified one thing that made them feel that emotion (i.e., "I feel scared when _________) and then they drew what that emotion looks like on them.


We also have been learning about self-regulation and coping skills to use in the classroom when our emotions seem to take over us. After reading "When Sophie Gets Really Really Angry" we learned breathing exercises that can be used in the classroom, out on the playground, or at home. We created a self-regulation flower that can be used as a tool for calming down. Each flower petal has a strategy to help with self-regulation in the classroom. Ask your student to show you how they use 5 finger breathing, wave breathing, rocks and socks and the breathing board!

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3rd Grade

Empathy

This week (1/20-1-24) the third graders learned about the caring emotion empathy. We watched the video below narrated by the wonderful Brene Brown, then discussed what empathy looks like, sounds like, and feels like and filled out the chart as a class together.
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Brené Brown on Empathy

Size of the Problem

Problems... we've all got them! This week (12/9-12/13) we talked about the size of the problem and appropriate reactions to those problems. We are human so we encounter problems everyday, its a part of life! And with problems are connected reactions and emotions. In general, we have 3 sizes of problems: small, medium and big. We talked about what defines each size and appropriate reactions. We played a game where we read a problem out loud and decided as class which size it was. Then, the person who read it out loud threw it in the bin that correlated to the size of the problem. It was a fun and interactive way to show our thinking and learning!\\


** Below is a picture of student from Mrs. Beckers class throwing a big problem into the big sized bin. Also check our her adorable TRAC wall in her classroom!**

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Positive Self Talk

What is that little voice inside our head called? It is called self-talk! This week (11/18-11/22) we learned about self- talk and the difference positive self talk can make in our daily lives. We shared negative self-talk to show that as humans that kind of talk is normal and we all do it! But it is what we do with those negative thoughts is what is important! We practiced changing negative thoughts into positive ones then sat in a circle and shared one thing we like about ourselves. It was a great exercise!


I then gave them a list of 101 positive thoughts and affirmations. From the list each student chose 5 that they could look at when they are in need of some inspiration to keep going or when they need helping finding the positive in a challenging or tough situation.


**Below is a picture of Mrs. Robin's class sharing one thing they love about themselves**

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Identifying Emotions and Self-Regulation

Third Graders have been working more in depth with identifying emotions and recognizing what they look like on others as well as ourselves. In order to do this, we talked about how humans are able to express emotions in 10,000 different facial expressions! Thus, it is really important that we are able to recognize emotions on other people because it gives us information on how to treat them! We practiced by playing emotions charades which was a blast! We then made emotion wheels. The students were given a blank wheel and picked from a list of emotions. Each student drew what that emotion looks like to them. It was so fun seeing the creativity and depth each student came up with!


We also learned about self-regulation, meaning the ability to successfully regulates ones emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations. We created a self-regulation flower that can be used as a tool for calming down. Each flower petal has a strategy to help with self-regulation in the classroom. Ask your student to show you how they use 5 finger breathing, wave breathing, rocks and socks and the breathing board!

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4th, 5th and 6th Grade

Empathy

This week (1/20-1-24) the third graders learned about the caring emotion empathy. We watched the video below narrated by the wonderful Brene Brown, then discussed what empathy looks like, sounds like, and feels like and filled out the chart as a class together. They are also in the process of making posters that show creative depictions of what empathy is. I can't wait to see how they will all turn out!


**Below is a picture of Liam, from Mrs. Oneill's class, working with Tiago on a comic that is going to explain what empathy is.**

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Brené Brown on Empathy

Circle of Control

This week (1/6-1/10) the 4th-6th graders learned about the circle of control! The circle of control has 2 circles- 1 for things that you can't control and 1 for things that you can control. When we are constantly focusing our energy and time on things we can't control it can cause us to feel anxious and overwhelmed. When we are able to shift our focus and energy on things we can control it can help lift some of that anxiety and help us learn how to let things go that we simply have no power over.
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Gossip and Rumors

Gossip and rumors are no fun! This week (12/9-12/13) we talked about the the power of our words and actions in terms of gossip and spreading rumors. We read Rumor Has It by Julia Cook and had meaningful discussions through cross the line and mix-pair-share activities. The read aloud and interactive activities allowed for the students to reflect on when they have had gossip/rumors spread about them and how to handle situations in which we are tempted to spread other people's business. I challenged the students to T.H.I.N.K before they speak. T.H.I.N.K stands for True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and Kind.
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Coping Skills

Life can be tough! Especially as we start getting older. This week (11/18-11/22) the 4th-6th graders learned that we all have days where we wake up and don't feel ourselves, days that are extra challenging or tough or times that we are struggling with something. They learned that when situations like this arise there are coping tools that they can use to help us feel more relaxed, help burn off tension we may feel in their bodies, and help us process things that are happening in our lives that feel overwhelming. We played coping skills bingo and were introduced to a lot of different tools that can be used!
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Goal Setting and Positive Self Talk

4-6th graders learned how to create S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) goals. We talked about what kind of person they want to be this year not only in school but also in the world. Then they created a vision board of their goals that they can look at throughout the year to stay inspired. Check out some beautiful examples in the MPR!


We also learned about self- talk and the difference positive self talk can make in our daily lives. We shared negative self-talk to show that as humans that kind of talk is normal and we all do it! But it is what we do with those negative thoughts is what is important! We practiced changing negative thoughts into positive ones then sat in a circle and shared one thing we like about ourselves. It was a great exercise!


**Below is a picture of Mr. Harper's class sharing one thing they love about themselves**

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Hello from Miss Ryan!

Hi! My name is Kelsey Ryan and I am the TRAC teacher here at FV and El Camino Creek. Please feel free to reach out anytime!