SEL Spotlight

Social Emotional Wellness Newsletter "At Home" Edition

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Making the most of school closure

Dear Readers,

In these unprecedented and unforeseen times, I encourage you to prioritize taking care of yourselves and one another socially, emotionally, and physically. As we continue to focus on health and wellbeing, it is important to keep a positive and optimistic outlook while doing our part to help slow the spread. Sincere thoughts and prayers go out to those working on the front lines of this pandemic (healthcare workers, grocery store employees, etc.), small businesses struggling to stay in operation, people who have lost their jobs, and all who have been directly impacted by the virus.

As difficult as it may be, when tragedies such as this occur, we must challenge ourselves to find the silver lining. For example, the practice of social distancing means many families are home together like never before. With cancelations of all activities, and most people working from home, the silver lining is that families are being given the opportunity to find joy in the present and unanticipated moment. I encourage families to embrace this moment in time and find joy in being together.

Doing our part to ensure the health of our communities by simply staying home provides us with many self-care opportunities. Give yourself permission to slow down, enjoy the moment, connect with family and friends (virtually), and reconnect with yourselves and your families in ways that the routine daily grind of "normal" life doesn't always allow. To make the most of your time at home together with your family, I have curated some Social Emotional Learning (SEL) inspired ideas and resources to enhance everyone's social, emotional, and physical wellbeing.

Take care and be well!

Emilie Correa, Ed.D.

SEL Teaching & Learning Facilitator, D67

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SEL Resources for Teachers and Parents

Here is a quick list of SEL Resources to meet the needs of all stakeholders in our educational community during this time:

The Why & How of Virtual Morning Meetings

Why? Morning meetings...

  • Support social, emotional and academic learning
  • Set the tone for respectful learning
  • Establish a sense of community while building a climate of trust
  • Help students to feel significant
  • Create empathy and encourage connection

How? Looking for Morning Meeting Ideas, click here.

How to Teach Social Emotional Learning When Students Aren't in School

Tens of millions of students are dealing with massive upheaval to their educations and daily lives with their schools shuttered indefinitely to thwart the spread of the coronavirus. This article shares ideas for educators and parents on how to continue teaching and supporting Social Emotional Learning.

5 Ways to Help Teens Manage Anxiety About the Coronavirus

Adults can help by making sure adolescents don’t overestimate the dangers or underestimate their ability to protect themselves. Click here for full article.

6 Quick & Easy Strategies for Managing Stress

  1. Sleep, it does the body good!
  2. Get active... Exercise releases "feel good hormones", or endorphins, in the brain.
  3. Practice gratitude. Start a gratitude journal, or simply go around the dinner table sharing 3 things you are grateful for.
  4. Connect with others. Reach out to your friends and family to share celebrations, concerns, laughter, and love.
  5. Make a priority list of the things you wish to accomplish. One by one, tackle those goals.
  6. Stay calm... Practice mindfulness!
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Family Response to COVID-19 Crisis

Parents should try to spend more time with their children during the COVID-19 health crisis. Not only will this help children feel more secure, it also will provide parents with opportunities to talk with their children about any concerns they may be having. Limit the amount of exposure children have to television or social media, as this can lead to increased worry and anxiety for children. Instead, spend time playing games or other activities of interest. Click here for full article.

A Menu of Options for How to Spend Your Day at Home

*Disclaimer: What follows is a pretty packed day with a lot of transitions and general time frames. The purpose here is not to impose a structure but to offer ideas for how to organize your time. Think of it as a menu of options; pick and choose what works for your children and your family.

8:00 Make breakfast together

9:00 Schoolwork

10:00 DIY Science project or bake a sweet treat (great practice of fractions in action!)

11:00 Exercise! Go for a walk, or enjoy some Indoor suggestions

12:00 Creative lunch-making

1:00 Second session of schoolwork

2:00 Round 2 of physical activity - we all need it...

3:00 Healthy snack & DIY Crafts project

4:00 Chill time, to each their own...

5:00 Movie or TV break

6:00 Prepare, eat, and clean up dinner; everyone helps.

8:00 Board Games/showers/read aloud before bed

Lessons Learned from Isaac Newton...

Professor, Author, and Positive Psychologist, Martin Seligman, shares his tip of the week, an adaptation of a letter he sent his own students earlier this month.

This is not the first time that great universities have had to shut their doors during an epidemic. And there is perhaps a lesson for all students about what can happen during a shutdown.

In 1665, Cambridge University closed as the bubonic plague swept across England.

Isaac Newton, a 22-year-old student, was forced to retreat to the family farm, Woolsthorpe Manor. Isolated there for more than a year, on his own he revolutionized the scientific world. Newton said that this shutdown freed him from the pressures of the curriculum and led to the best intellectual years of his life.

Click here to read more.

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FEEL GOOD NEWS: Health Care Workers Feeling the Love, A Heartfelt Response

As New York City struggles to keep up with the spread of coronavirus, dozens of health care workers from Atlanta boarded a plane to answer the call for help. Click here for full story.
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During These Times, Give Yourself and Others Permission to Feel

Marc Brackett, author of Permission to Feel, professor in Yale University’s Child Study Center, and founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence has developed a remarkably effective plan to improve the lives of children and adults – a blueprint for understanding our emotions and using them wisely so that they help, rather than hinder, our success and well-being. If you are looking for a good SEL read I highly recommend Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive

Image below by Mr. John Curtis

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Stay Safe During These Times, Remember...

  • Stay home
  • Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Disinfect surfaces and objects regularly
  • Check in on family, friends, and loved ones