Course Profile: Social- Emotional Learning

My number one priority at the moment teaching in-person second and third graders is their health and well-being. This is a hard year for everyone; especially our children. They have had to adapt to a world with many unknowns, unpredictability and change in their little lives. Our students are resilient, strong and unbreakable. Every day I experience anxiety going to a big school with so many people during a pandemic, but the energy and spirit of these little people make my day so wonderful. When we are in our classroom and present, there is nothing that can pop our bubble of happiness. We have created a positive environment where we prioritize being kind, respectful, mindful and having a growth mindset.

Our ‘mindful minutes’ everyday is my favourite part of the day. I model that I need time to regulate before I am able to teach and they need it to get their bodies and brains ready to learn. We check in with how our body and heart feel, do a variety of breathing activities, and positive affirmations. Each day I lead a type of mindfulness/meditation and then we all say our positive affirmations.

  1. I am a super learner.
  2. I work hard and try my best.
  3. Mistakes help me learn and grow.
  4. I ignore distractions.
  5. I am focused and regulated.
  6. I am a good friend and classmate.
  7. I am kind and caring.
  8. I am safe and loved at school.

Today is going to be a good day! 🙂

We have many other affirmations as well but I make sure to say those. Recently, I have been opening the floor to have students pick affirmations they feel we need to say in our hearts. For example, “we are joyful and happy, we are bucket fillers, we are brave, etc” It is a beautiful part of our morning routine that sets the tone for our learning time.

When schools shut down in March, I made it a prime concern to make sure my students had this as part of their routine. I knew how much they were missing school and their friends. Attached is a video I made of our ‘mindful minutes’ in March for students to watch each day if they chose. Hopefully this helps you understand what I am getting at. I was set on bringing this part of our day to their homes.

Social-Emotional Learning has become a big part of my classroom and has changed how I teach. Students can not learn if they are not regulated first. Students need strategies to help them deal with everything life throws at us. Many adults do not have these coping skills and strategies. I really wish I would’ve learned these when I was young.

With all that being said, this is why I have chosen to do my course on Social-Emotional Learning. It is important not only during this difficult time but always and will benefit students whole being as they grow.

To continue with my long rationale, I have included a video to understand what Social-Emotional Learning is. After teaching for many years and using this in my classroom, I will make lessons around what I have found works best in my teaching, for my students, and have had the most success in. It will be my own interpretation of Social-Emotional Learning. As I create these lessons, I may change the title to ‘Emotional Well-Being’ or ‘Healthy Mind and Body’. We will see what happens!

Course Overview: Social-Emotional Learning

Rationale: To summarize what I wrote above, Social-Emotional Learning is an important part of child development. Children must learn how to self-regulate, build healthy relationships, and develop skills to process their emotions in a positive way. In order to learn, children need to have positive self-esteem and believe in their abilities. Many children are not learning these skills at home; therefore I believe it is important to implement these lessons in a blended learning format.

Target Audience: The beauty of this course is that it can be used with a variety of age groups. I will target Kindergarten to grade 5 with all lessons created to be adapted beyond these ages.

Course Format: I will be using a blended learning format on Canvas and Seesaw. Lessons will be flexible and accessed at home and/or used in whole group, in-person instruction. With attendance not being consistent this will give students opportunity to participate from home. The course will be designed to be approximately four weeks. Students can work at their own pace at home or school.

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes: From the Saskatchewan Health Curriculum the outcomes and indicators targeted are:

Kindergarten

  • USCK.1 Develop basic habits to establish healthy relationships with self, others, and the environment.
  • USCK.3 Explore that who I am includes more than my physical self.

Grade 1

  • USC1.1 Examine healthy behaviours and opportunities and begin to determine how these behaviours and opportunities may affect personal well-being.
  • USC1.3 Analyze, with support, feelings and behaviours that are important for nurturing healthy relationships at school.
  • USC1.5 Explore the association between a healthy sense of “self” and one’s positive connection with others and the environment.

Grade 2

  • USC2.1 Demonstrate a basic understanding of how thoughts, feelings, and actions influence health and well-being.
  • USC2.4 Examine social and personal meanings of “respect” and establish ways to show respect for self, persons, living things, possessions, and the environment.

Grade 3

  • USC3.2 Examine the spiritual dimension of the “inner self” and determine the importance of nurturing it.
  • USC3.4 Understand what it means to contribute to the health of self, family and home.

Grade 4

  • USC4.3 Examine healthy interpersonal skills and determine strategies to effectively develop new relationships and/or negotiate disagreements in relationships.
  • USC4.5 Examine how identity (i.e., self-concept, self-esteem, self-determination) is influenced by relationships that are formed with others.
  • USC4.6 Assess healthy stress management strategies (e.g., relaxation skills, stress control skills, guided imagery, expressing feelings, exercising).

Grade 5

  • USC5.4 Analyze the connections between personal identity and personal well-being, and establish strategies to develop and support a positive self-image.
  • USC5.7 Assess the importance of self-regulation and taking responsibility for one’s actions.

There will be many cross curricular connections within the lessons such as English Language Arts, Physical Education and Arts Education.

Course Materials: Access to technology, support from family members, and positive engagement.

Considerations:

  • The audience is young with many needing assistance to participate in online portion.
  • Students may not have access to technology at home.
  • Will have to be adapted for visually impaired learners in my school.
  • There may be disengaged students not doing any of the online portion like when we moved to online learning.

Guiding Questions and Assignments: There will be two lessons per topic that flow together as children learn and build on each skill.

  1. What are Feelings and Emotions?
  2. Mindfulness
  3. Growth Mindset
  4. Positive Affirmations 
  5. Gratitude
  6. Self-Love
  7. ‘Bucket Filling’
  8. Friendship

Assessment Strategies: Formative assessment will be how this course is assessed. Students will participate in a variety of activities at the end of each lesson that will demonstrate their understanding of the concept.

I welcome all feedback, questions and ideas of how I could make this course come to life. I am struggling with the assessment part and delivery of the course. I know it will change as I put the lessons together and learn more about online course formats. If you have any ideas, I would be very grateful.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

Christina

Published by christinapatt13

I am a grade 2/3 teacher in Regina, Sask. "The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein

6 thoughts on “Course Profile: Social- Emotional Learning

  1. Wow! This course is SO needed. Your care and expertise will go a long way with it and students will learn so much! I love the affirmations that you do in your classroom everyday and I am excited to see how you will incorporate it into your course. Like you did in your classroom, they could come up with their own daily affirmations and you could use it as an assessment piece. I am so excited to see this course take shape! Thank you for putting your heart into it and creating a course that is so valuable.

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  2. This is such a needed course, especially in today’s COVID world. I love how you begin each day with affirmations and discussions that surround why the kids are basically so loved and wanted. I love Amanda’s idea as well, for the students to come up with their own daily affirmations if they are able to. I am excited to see how the course will look, and I am excited to take away a few strategies and adapt them for my older kiddos. I also love how you are creating a course on something you seem to be very passionate about. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I am really looking forward to the development of this course and how I can use it with my own students. I like that you take the time to model for your students the importance of regulating before you begin your day. I understand how the course would be challenging to assess, so maybe it could come through self-reflections/assessments? For a few years, we had Trina Markusson (who works as a teacher part-time) come into our schools and deliver mindfulness presentations. She has a great book called, “Good Morning Sunshine”. http://www.presentmomentliving.ca/my-new-childrens-book Might be worth checking out!

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  4. Christina, I am over the moon happy about coming across your course profile. You have planted some incredible seeds for your little beans in order for them to understand the importance of regulation, mindfulness and overall school success. For one of my other courses, I chose to write a paper on the topic of Mindfulness. My teaching philosophy has always been “Students First, School Second” and mindfulness practice certainly plays a huge role. I absolutely agree with you, our students require and deserve a safe and positive learning environment in order to reach optimal person and learning success. Throughout each part of the day, we do check-ins to see how we are feeling and what we need to do in order to get our brains and bodies ready for learning. We start the morning with coming into the class with the lights dimmed and calming music playing. That music remains at a lower volume throughout morning routine. In our morning routine we warm up our learning brains by physically rubbing our temples with our two fingers (they love this practice), we practice breathing using the breathing ball and we also have mindful time after lunch recess. Again, the calming music is on, the lights are dimmed and this is the time they can unwind in order to be at their best for the afternoon of learning.
    I use to use a fantastic resource called “Sitting Like a Frog” but now our new laptops don’t have the CD feature. I have recorded a video when using it my first years but I can’t seem to locate it now… of course! However, I just took a peak and found some of it on YouTube so feel free to try it out with your students. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5RkzsbaPiE

    I LOVED your idea and video that you sent to your students and their families when the pandemic first started. What a fantastic resource to make and share with families. This video allows them to understand the language we use at school and also to see what strategies and tools could work for their little bean if they are not regulated at home.

    Overall, this is a HUGE passion of mine and I can’t wait to follow along and see how I can implement your lessons/ activities into my instructional practice.
    Great work!
    – Jillian

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  5. Christina!! This is amazing! First of, I watched your sample Youtube video and almost fell asleep, it was so relaxing! I have been working with my students on the zones of regulation this year. I love how you start your day with mindfulness and words of affirmation. We so often put the emotional needs of learners second to academics, so I love that you structure your classroom to put that first! I really look forward to seeing your course once it is complete and I would love to use it within my own classroom!

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