Sunday, January 3, 2021


Helping children think about positive character traits and set goals for the New Year can boost their self-confidence and the executive function.

Cheers and Goals
Give children a piece of paper. Have them fold it in half and write “Cheers” on one side and “Goals” on the other side. On the “Cheers” side encourage them to draw pictures of three things they have learned that make them feel proud. (Older students could label these and younger students could dictate descriptions.) On the “Goals” side children draw pictures of three things they are working on. Again, they can write sentences or dictate goals to the teacher.

*This would be a good work sample to share with parents at conference time.

Paper Airplanes

Ask children to write and illustrate goals on a piece of paper. Next, demonstrate how to fold the paper into an airplane. Let students fly their airplanes across the room or on the playground as they visualize themselves achieving their goals.

Pride Portfolio
Invite each child to decorate a file folder and store it in a special box or tub in the classroom. When they do something they are proud of they can date it and store it in their folder.

•Hint! If you did this with an illustration and writing sample at the beginning of each month they could “revisit” past work and see how they are improving.

You know, sometimes I write these blogs and I wonder: "IS ANYBODY OUT THERE?  DOES ANYBODY READ THESE?"  And then I get a special message from a teacher like the one below:
Oh my goodness, Dr. Jean- you have hit the nail on the head!!! We are all online because of COVID and this is exactly what our school and our students’ parents were “Buzzing” about! In fact, our Kindergarten and First Grade team is starting a Projects Based Learning Project entitled “How can we create emotional connection through technology?”

We are starting by teaching about “play” - what toys kids played with TOGETHER in the early past ( they are making corn husk dolls and paper airplanes for homework this week), plus past before COVID, and of course now. 

The second week, we are making "All About Me" posters and learning about our classmates. 

The third week, we are learning what a friend is and learning social skills and facial cues- what listening looks like and sounds like (these songs are PERFECT!). 

The fourth week, we will brainstorm how to play through technology (but not using online computer games)- possibly self created games such as Simon Says, Mystery Bags, scavenger hunts, etc. 

The fifth week, the kids will be making “invitations” (posters, google slides, video) to invite others to their game they create....

PBL is supposed to have a "speaker" talk to the kids- we are still looking for someone - let us know if you might be interested in helping out! We are so looking forward to your next few emails on the SEL subject ! Thank you!!!!
Alison Riegel- Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten
Elizabeth Whitson- First Grade