Chattahoochee Counseling Connection

Bi-weekly newsletter, January 22, 2021

The purpose of CCC newsletter is to highlight social emotional learning practices for students, teachers, and parents. In this week's issue, we are shining our spotlight on a book about peace and mindfulness, defining what social emotional learning is, and learning how to use our five senses to cope with worry.

I Am Peace, A Book of Mindfulness - By Susan Verde | Children's Books Read Aloud

What is Social Emotional Learning?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. (CASEL,

The short-term goals of SEL programs are to: (1) promote students’ self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship, and responsible decision-making skills; and (2) improve student attitudes and beliefs about self, others, and school. These, in turn, provide a foundation for better adjustment and academic performance as reflected in more positive social behaviors and peer relationships, fewer conduct problems, less emotional distress, and improved grades and test scores. (Durlak et al., 2011; Greenberg et al., 2003)

Social and emotional competencies can be taught, modeled, and practiced and lead to positive student outcomes that are important for success in school and in life.

The CASEL 5 addresses five area of competence, which include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. The CASEL 5 can be taught and applied at various developmental stages from childhood to adulthood.

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Coping Skill Spotlight: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Grounding Technique

When we are anxious or stressed or otherwise upset, we are often thinking about past or future situations. We’re worried about something in the future and thinking of all the things that could possibly go wrong, or we’re dwelling on a past incident and all the things that did go wrong.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, grounding is a calming technique that helps you focus on the present by using your five senses and to notice and focus on things currently around you. This brings you back to the present, rather than overthinking about the past or future. To start, take a deep breath. In, and out.

  • 5 - LOOK: Look around for 5 things that you can see, and say them out loud.
  • 4 - FEEL: Pay attention to your body and think of 4 things that you can feel, and say them out loud.
  • 3 - LISTEN: Listen for 3 sounds.
  • 2 - SMELL: Say two things you can smell.
  • 1 - TASTE: Say one thing you can taste.

If you are still feeling stressed or upset, you could take another deep breath and go through the lists again, trying to think of different things you see, feel, hear, smell, and taste.

Counselor Favorites

For Kids

"Be Calm on Ahway Island" (podcast)

This podcast teaches kid-friendly mindfulness practices like "deep dragon breaths" that can be carried into waking life as well.

Mindful Kids: 50 Mindfulness Activities for Kindness , Focus and Calm by Whitney Stewart (card deck)

This card deck includes 50 creative mindfulness games, visualizations and exercises divided into 5 categories to help children feel grounded, find calm, improve focus, practice loving-kindness and relax.

For Adults

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Amelia Nagoski and Emily Nagoski (book)

CES Counselors

Kelly Byrd, Ed.S.

Student Support Counselor/MTSS Coordinator

Tammey Carr, Ed.S.

School Counselor, K-2

Kim Peters, Ed.S.

School Counselor, 3-5