Posts Tagged ‘Soc. & Emo. Learning’

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!

Bonjour Grade 3!

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in 3rd Grade, Administration, Elementary School, ES Principal

morning meeting 1Throughout the month I have been visiting the different elementary classrooms to join their Morning Meetings.  As many of you already know, last year we made a huge effort from Kindergarten to 5th grade to establish Morning Meetings as an ongoing, consistent part of our day.

Morning Meetings consist of a handful of specific components that help establish a consistent and supportive classroom environment.   My favorite part of these meetings is the greeting, when classmates take the time to make eye contact and greet each other by name.  Often times teachers will vary the type of greeting (handshake, high-five, pinky shake, etc.) but the emphasis is always about making sure each child feels acknowledged and included in the classroom community.

Yesterday, I had the chance to visit Ms. Shena’s class.  Like many teachers, she has already started to incorporate the students’ home languages into the morning greetings, which helps value and celebrate the linguistic diversity we have at BFIS.  On this day we decided to greet each other in French and off we went with handshakes and “bonjours” to start our day!

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.

Overnight Adventures!

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

The new year is upon us and that means that our elementary overnight trips are on the horizon. After last year’s resounding success, we are extremely excited to begin preparations the Kindergarten through 5th grade trips this spring.

In addition to information that will be sent home with students, Ms. Delgado and I will also be holding short information sessions for parents who would like to hear more about the trips and converse face to face. Below I have listed dates for each of the sessions as well as other key dates associated with the overnight trips.

Dinner with Michael Thompson

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

As part of our professional development for faculty and commitment to learning alongside our parent community, we had the great fortune of having Dr. Michael Thompson visit BFIS last week. During the course of a few days, he hosted workshops for teachers and guided conversations with parents around topics related to child psychology and the healthy development of children.

For me, the highlight of the visit was being able to have dinner with Dr. Thompson shortly after he arrived in Barcelona. It was during our informal gathering that I began to grasp the depth of his knowledge and experiences, as well as some of his overarching beliefs. One particular idea that mirrored my own philosophy of child development was his absolute adherence to the idea adults should not pave paths without resistance for children as doing so robs them of opportunities to learn and grow. Therefore, the challenge is making sure that our desire for children to have positive experiences does not come at the expense of also allowing them to face difficulties and hardships, which are essential in developing the skills and capacity to successfully persevere and navigate life beyond childhood.

I would strongly recommend families in our community to take a closer look at the work of Dr. Thompson. He has written an extensive number of books, many of which focus on the unique aspects in the development of boys. In a time when hysteria seems to rule the headlines, Dr. Thompson is a voice of calm reassurance and poignant insights that helps provide perspective on childhood experiences and their relation to lifelong development.