"To put it simply: seek joy, play often, and pursue adventure. Your brain will do the rest." - James Clear
In the book, Integrating SEL Into Your Curriculum, there are a number of examples of how we can teach students to think positively. The ideas include the use of literature, monitoring one's positivity by taking your pulse rate, relaxing by scrunching those muscles, listening to beautiful music, creating colorful, relaxing imagery, and creating worry cords to use as reminders and helpful tools for calming down and making our thoughts more positive.
Scientists have found that positive thinking does have positive effects. Sharing this information with students through blog posts such as this one and other articles like this will increase students capacity to be positive and self manage.
As I read through the book, I'll continue to update the list of how I'll embed the information and activities I read into the curriculum:
First Weeks of School - Building Classroom Culture and Getting to Know One Another
- Who are You? Strengths and Challenges (Weaknesses) - visualization, "window (shield)" activity, "right sized" proud pig activity.
- What is a Hero? Who are your heroes? Identifying honorable characteristics, finding people to look up to, learn from, and follow in real time, history, and literature, sharing the story of Malala.
- What is your point of view or perception? The birds story, a discussion on classroom needs, wants, and desires.
- Active Reading: The Student Handbook: What do we do well and what can we get better at--how can we shortlist the handbook rules and protocols to a memorable phrase, sign, poem, or acronym? How can we make these rules and protocols are own?
- Just Breathe: Making the most of the mindful moment and other morning routines.
- Goal Setting: Your one word
Math/Science SEL Lessons
- Using visualization in math and science as we learn about and practice with essential tools: color continuum, number lines, rulers, thermometers, place value chart.
- Visualization and Empathy to understand historic context and roles as we read historic texts.
- Self Awareness with Timelines: Students will create a time line that includes a parent or guardian's main event before they were born from birth onward, their own main events, and 4-5 events they imagine for their future. This will be done in technology class.
Team Building and Personal Development Lessons and Activities Throughout the Year
- Think Positive activities and study Note that several of these activities can be integrated with physical education and music class too.