Getting to Know Each Other

Written by Rachel Lefton. Posted in ES Counselor

MEN-AS09-gazette-earth-kidsOur social and emotional learning (SEL) themes have gotten off to a great start this year! During the month of September, every class in the elementary school worked on building a sense of community within their classrooms and within the school as a whole. Classes worked on building their own communities through daily morning meetings, greetings in many languages, team work activities, and getting to know each other. Our third grade classes helped the whole school come together as one BFIS community during their assembly. During a school wide morning meeting, third grade helped us learn what we all have in common through a community building activity called “Just Like Me”!

For October, our SEL theme focuses on accepting and embracing differences. I have been able to join many morning meetings  and classroom meetings where students are discussing what they all have in common as well as what makes them special. Last week I joined one of the Pre-K classes to help them complete their “All About Me” book with a special ending on what makes them unique!  Our 5th grade students are also preparing a skit to help show us ways we can include everyone and all of our differences for our assembly on October 21st. I am excited to continue these conversations with our students, as they learn more ways that we are similar and can all get along!

Getting to know the new students!

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in Administration, Elementary School, ES Counselor, ES Principal

imgres-2For the past four years September has been punctuated by one of my favorite events – lunch gatherings with new students!

Each year the Elementary School Counselor and I set up special lunch dates with all of the new students in the grade. This year, Ms. Rachel decided to spice things up a bit by playing some really fun games of Hot Potato (complete with a talking and musically inclined potato prop) and a unique version of Jenga designed to help the students get to know each other. By the end of each lunch session the kids were all at ease and chatted as if they had known each other for months.

One of the best parts of these lunch meetings is hearing the students talk about what they like most at BFIS. Typically, a few kids will say recess or name a specific subject. Yet, the vast majority will either mention how nice their classmates or how much they like their teachers. Given the importance that we place on building a strong sense of community, there is nothing quite like getting such positive feedback directly from the students. After all, it is their thoughts, feelings and perspectives on the matter that are ultimately most important.