SEL Snapshot

All things Social Emotional Learning in MSDWT!

Week of 8/1-8/5/22

Welcome back!!!!

I cannot put into words how AMAZING the energy felt being back this week! I don't know about you, but a week ago I wasn't looking forward to heading back to school so early! But once we got back----it was so great connecting with colleagues and seeing those smiley student faces on Thursday!

I know there's also been a lot of stress this week with transportation, construction, staffing, etc....but reflect on the all JOY that occurred as you rejuvenate this weekend!

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Shout Outs!

This video below sharing the voices of students at Willow Lake will have you CRYING by the end! You could insert any of YOUR students in this and they would share the same things!!!

THEY are our WHY!

The Willow Lake Why

What is the WHY of School?

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Building Connection

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At the Ice Cream Social, Ms. Urbanski-second grade teacher at Spring Mill, encouraged families to write notes of encouragement to their students! She hung them here for students to be reminded and will continue to add more as other students' families participate! This is an amazing way to build connection between home and school with shared values and support!

All Are Welcome

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First graders in Mrs. Froberg's classroom at CW read the book "All Are Welcome" and then wrote and drew about how to help others' feel welcome. This is a perfect activity for the start of the school year to focus on inclusivity and empathy!

Collaborative Art

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Many times throughput the year students at Nora create collaborative art pieces as a whole school. On Friday students expressed their identities inspired by murals from the artist known as "Thank You X" by decorating a cube to reflect "who they are" as a part of the Nora community. The cubes will then we combined as a giant mural to hang in the school!

Learn more about "Thank You X" below!

Me in a Bag

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This is an oldie but a goodie!!!! My own SM third grader is so excited about this homework assignment where he will get to build connections with his classroom community! This assignment also affirms student's cultural assets and provides multiple ways for them to engage!

Beautiful Spaces

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I continue to be AMAZED at how you transform your classrooms into such beautiful spaces that inspire love and learning! Even in cottages/mods or temporary classrooms you create intentional nurturing environments with plants, soft lighting and art! These small details create a tone of calm and peace in your spaces!


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Students as young as K should feel like they belong in their school and classroom community. One way to do that is affirming students' names by allowing them to write their name, see it written and hear it said and used correctly by peers and adults!

Check out this activity below from our summer SEL book study "Being the Change" with the power of a name.

Greetings in Music

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This was an awesome greeting that increased cultural awareness singing a song from another culture and pronouncing words in another language! Also students practiced cross body movements and pattern beats together while greeting peers around the circle! You're amazing Mrs. Locke!

Social Awareness and Giving Back to the Community!

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How cool is this collaborative project in the media center at SM?! Readers decorate a paper bag about a favorite or recent book they read over the summer. Students are encouraged to write a positive message to share with someone in need the community. These bags will then be donated to a local organization to put food in for those that are hungry! Mrs. Hess---you rock!!!

Community Materials

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Community materials are a great way for students to practice learning responsibility by caring for classroom tools. This also practices empathy through sharing and working with others!

How do you feel?

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Ms. Harton, first grade teacher at SM, spends time each morning journaling about feelings. Students write the date and how they feel each day. It is amazing how their writing, drawing and self awareness grows throughout the year with this simple consistent daily practice!

"I feel happy and a little sleepy"----ME TOO BUDDY! ;)

Hand Written Notes

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Don't get me wrong, I love the fancy morning message slides you all are creating! They are amazing!!! But there's something about a simple hand written note too! I always wrote my morning message on a white board easel like this on in Mrs. Badgley's first grade class at SM. This is also an easy way to built in interaction for students with a question at the bottom that they can wrote on the board on stick a post it on.

Tips and Takeaways

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How Can I help?

The below visual shares focus areas that I can support you with this year!

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Sunday Scaries

Each Sunday I will have open "office hours" for anyone and everyone like you like to join! Come bring your favorite snack or drink, wear your pj's and reflect on the week and prepare for the week head!

We can do anything alongside others!

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2022 Semester 1 Schedule

As you know I LOVE visiting your classrooms! My goal this first few weeks is simply to be as visible as possible and pop in to every room! When I come, please know that I am NEVER there to evaluate you but just want to be a part of the magic happening!

Feel free to keep on teaching and/or introduce me to your students so I am be a familiar face!


  • It is an expectation each year that I visit your rooms to teach our 6 Neuroscience mini lessons to your students.
  • These are 30 minutes each and you do not need to do any prep! Simply join in and engage in the learning with your students, I'll take care of the rest!
  • This is a great way for me to build a relationship with you and support you in any way I can!
  • Also this helps me get to know your students and build consistent vocabulary across all of our schools!

ANY TEACHERS----You know the drill---I am HAPPY to teach the above lessons in your classroom too, work on a special project with you, co-teach,. pull small groups, or meet to brainstorm!

EVERYONE----simply find the tab for your school and sign up for the times you'd like me to come to your classroom!

If you do not hear from me---plan on me arriving at that time, otherwise if there is a scheduling conflict I will reach out!

Second Step Pacing Guide 2022-23

Below is the suggested pacing guide for teaching Second Step lessons this year. Remember SEL occurs throughout the school day and this is only a piece of it! However teaching this lessons provides an intentional focus on SEL skills taught in a proactive way that build consistent language from grade to grade and school to school!

We will begin out program evaluation of Second Step this year to determine if we would like to keep this curriculum, adopt a new one and/or create a hybrid custom curriculum :)

Stay tuned for more ways to stay involved in this process!

Brain Aligned Back to School 2022

I created this resource that is great to share with families but can also apply if your personal life and/or your classroom! Great to post on your wall, cabinet, fridge or keep in your car!
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Where to find me:

My "home base" is at Spring Mill this year but I schedule myself to visit every school including Hilltop each week!

Other ways to contact me are below!