Social & Emotional Learning
Trotwood-Madison Department of Student Services
On Our Sleeves- The Movement for Children's Mental Health (Dayton Children's)
For many of us, there is nothing we want more than for our children to be happy. While we know that it’s normal to not be happy all the time, there are still things you can do to help increase happiness in your lives
Teaching children how to create their own happiness is a skill that will last a lifetime.
Our behavioral health experts offer tips to teach the art of happiness and give you and the children in your lives the foundation you need to “Create Happiness” again and again.
Teaching Your Child the Art of Happiness
You probably know a few people who have a positive attitude and seem happy no matter what’s going on. However, life is full of challenges and it is impossible to be happy all the time! Even though how we feel often depends on our circumstances, there are practices we can do to grow our happiness.
Happiness has many benefits, including:
- Strengthening the immune system
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving sleep
- Improving educational outcomes
- Increasing how long you live
Here are some ways you can practice happiness with your children:
1. Social support. One of the most important components of resilience (the ability to bounce back from tough situations) is social support. In other words, having a supportive group of friends and families can help us get through the hardest moments. Helping our kids create positive friend groups and strong family connections is a great way to help create happiness. Encourage them to find time in their daily life to reach out, spend time with, and share their thoughts and feelings with people in their life. Want to add extra credit? Doing something for the people in our lives also increases happiness and feelings of purpose!
2. Fun activities. Doing daily activities that we find fun and fulfilling can increase our happiness, even if we do them for just a few minutes a day. They also can help distract us from our thoughts when we are going through hard times. Encourage your child to find hobbies or activities that help them feel accomplished, joyful or relaxed. For example, creative activities such as arts and crafts, physical activities such as dancing or a sport, or relaxation exercises like mindfulness or yoga. Make them a part of your daily family schedule to help your child create a positive habit.
3. Healthy routines. Our mood depends a lot on our physical health. Create family routines that prioritize enough sleep, body movement and healthy foods when possible. Remember kids learn from watching us, so model these behaviors yourself and make all changes as a family.
4. Practice gratitude. Sometimes we spend a lot of our time thinking about the hard moments and stressors. We have to remember to also give ourselves time to think about the positive things in our lives. Being thankful for what you have at any given moment is an important element of happiness. Spend just a few minutes a day with your children sharing what each of you is grateful for.
SEL Consultant Corner by Brandy Pledgure (MCESC SEL Consultant)
"Adult SEL is the process of helping educators build their expertise and skills to lead social and emotional learning initiatives. It also involves cultivating adults’ own social and emotional competencies."-Panorama
This goes back to regulated adults teaching and caring for regulated students. The 3 R’s: Regulate, Relate and Reason!
- Regulate: Calm the Nervous System(Brain Stem) In Conscious Discipline it is called Survival State
- Relate: Connection and Building relationships(Midbrain) In Conscious Discipline it is called Emotional State
- Reason: Cognitive part of the brain( Cortex) In Conscious Discipline it is called Executive State
In our SEL class time, students are continuing to practice their skills for learning: Being a learner is being focused, being a listener, using self talk to avoid distractions, and being assertive. Students at MP are also continuing to earn tickets in their class buckets for our Bucket Filling Contest. The Quarter 3 winners will be announced on Monday, 3/21. We will be planning an indoor fun activity to celebrate being bucket fillers. For the remainder of the year, students in SEL will be working on Self-Control. We are learning all about Self-Control and Self-Regulation. The students have learned about their upstairs brains and their downstairs brain. They have learned about their Survival Brain, Emotional Brain, and Thinking Brain. We have practiced a hand motion to help us calm down and capture our "Big Box" feeling so we can put it into a "Smaller Box". The students have also been learning the "Calm Down Song" as well as belly breathing, counting, and taking time out to be able to walk to their upstairs brain. We have been working hard to use these skills in interpersonal activities, games, and social stories all about getting along with others.
This past Quarter, we spent a great deal of time in February celebrating Black History Month during our Advisories! The Middle School engaged in a door decorating contest! The objective was to decorate our classroom doors in honor of the amazing African Americans that have paved the way for us. Our Advisories competed against one another to decorate the most creative and original door! We also engaged our families at the end of the month by inviting them to vote on the doors! The entire contest was a huge success. Our winner from each grade celebrated with pizza parties and hot breakfast! Go TMMS!
My students after recess work in their SEL Folders 5-10 minutes. They start with using the Zones of Regulation to color in a little icon for the month. Next, they work on their activities. March's theme is gratitude, so they are working on activities that relate to being grateful. After their activity, the students then work on a calming coloring page matching the theme! On their folder pocket, they also have finger breathing techniques too! -Amber Lapsins 4th Grade
Conscious Discipline PD Update
Estefany Morneault (HS)
Leading by example is always a great way to teach. Our students do a lot of what they see at a young age. Since they spend so much of their time in a school setting, being surrounded by a positive, self-regulating teacher will help them develop life long skills. If we display self-controls and regulate our feelings and reactions our students will start too also do the same.
Jennifer Grimes (WBV)
If I am able to regulate my emotions then I am better able to help model and help my students. By learning different strategies to help calm myself down, and prevent myself from getting upset/stressed, I am prepared to help my students with their social and emotional state. When I, the teacher/adult in the situation is calm, and able to speak in a calm voice I can speak to the student in the same tone. I should be able to provide a space where the student can calm down and gather their thoughts and emotions. That space can be in a calming place, another teachers room, a place with headphones and a calming activity.
Melissa Keeton (ELC)
I've learned how to help students self-regulate with the breathing techniques that CD provides (star, pretzel, drain, etc). I've learned how to stop, breath and notice my own triggers before I approach a student to help them with their self-regulation. I've learned that establishing a caring and loving relationship with students helps greatly with discipline. Students are more likely to listen, express how they feel, sort out their feelings and self-regulate with my help.