Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Grateful activity for a positive growth mindset

As we return to our focus on growth mindset this week I thought I would suggest a quick activity to help with negative thoughts that might be trying to overcome your positive growth mindset. Grab paper (post-it note, notebook, scrap of paper) and write/draw something you are grateful for in this moment. Put these grateful notes somewhere visible (nightstand, fridge door, bathroom mirror) so that you can remember your positive thought. At bedtime you might want to talk about your grateful thought with your family. 

Sunday, April 19, 2020

TIGER assembly

Dear Families,
Traditionally, HMS brings an amazing assembly to our school each year in April.  Due to the fact that we are home I would like to bring the assembly into your homes each day.  TIGER is an engaging and exciting assembly that focuses on supporting the social/emotional well being of our students.  Each letter in the word TIGER is utilized to get that message across to our school community. Every day this week I will be sharing one of the letters in the word on my Google classroom page. So stay tuned!
This is an excerpt from the TIGER website. https://campus.plymouth.edu/tiger/about-us/
TIGER (Theater Integrating Guidance, Education, and Responsibility) is a powerful and exciting collaboration between the Integrated Arts and  Counselor Education graduate programs at Plymouth State University.  TIGER is a professional theatre company designed to help children, schools, parents, and communities deal proactively and positively with social issues and concerns facing children in schools today.  Based entirely upon the anonymous writings of school children, a TIGER performance incorporates live actors, theatre, movement, and music to engage school audiences from K-12. By using childrens’ own words, TIGER enables children to hear their own voices as they step back from the experiences of bullying and the intolerance of individual differences to move into more positive social interactions at school and in their community.
TIGER offers the very best in theatre for young audiences. TIGER seeks to transform feelings, thoughts, and behavior to help both children and adults envision and understand their own power in resolving the issues of bullying and intolerance facing many students in our schools today.

TIGER has performed at the state level for the New Hampshire Department of Education, regionally for the New England Theatre Conference (NETC), nationally for the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE), and internationally for the National Drama International Conference at Durham University in Durham, England, the ASSITEJ International Festival of Children’s Theatre in Cairo, Egypt, and the IDA World Congress in Paris, France.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Growth Mindset

Dear families,
I am going to be starting a new unit on my Google classroom page this week that focuses on helping develop a growth mindset.  In these especially difficult times with students and families adapting to change and new obstacles to overcome every day a growth mindset is even more important for all of us.  Students with a growth mindset believe their abilities can improve over time. Families can help by praising the way the student approaches each challenge, not just their effort.  You can also help them develop a growth mindset by talking about learning from failure. Developing the right mindset early on is crucial for a successful, happy life. When kids learn that putting forth effort and using the right strategies can help them get better at things, they feel empowered, and try harder.  When they know their brains are capable of growing, they are more confident, resilient, and are not afraid to fail.   

According to the research that Carol Dweck developed on mindset she states the following; “A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard; striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled. A “growth mindset,” on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. Out of these two mindsets, which we manifest from a very early age, springs a great deal of our behavior, our relationship with success and failure in both professional and personal contexts, and ultimately our capacity for happiness.” https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/29/carol-dweck-mindset/

Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for more information, activities, and read alouds that focus on this important topic.  

Jackie Kleiner
HMS Counselor

Friday, April 3, 2020

Coronavirus comic and tips to talk to kids

Hi HMS families,
I have included two links; the first one includes tips on how to talk to your kids about coronavirus and the second one is a comic created just for kids.

How to Talk to Children about the Coronavirus: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-to-talk-to-children-about-the-coronavirus-2020030719111  

A Comic created from NPR based on interviews with experts:https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus 

Monday, March 30, 2020

50 Ways to Take a Break

Dear Families,
As we work through all of this, we all need to remember to take breaks to keep us healthy and reduce our stress levels.  I have attached a link to a graphic that gives you some ideas.

50 Ways to Take a Break

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Dear Families,
Here is a resource that I received from a colleague that you might find helpful.


Kindergarten/1st grade Problem solving lesson

Dear Families,
Here is another Social/Emotional learning opportunity idea for your children. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions!

Lesson objective: To have students identify the size of the problem and come up with strategies on how to solve it.  
*Students will choose one problem to problem solve and they will identify what the size of the problem is (small, medium, big): 
  1. Someone stepped in front of you in line.
  2. You accidentally ripped a page in a library book.
  3. You want to play with someone but they said no.
*Students will brainstorm five solutions to the problem they chose.  
*For each solution they will ask the following questions: How do I feel? What is the problem? What can I do?
*Students will then choose a solution based on the answers to the above questions. 

Parent tip: When mediating disputes between children, always first ask “What is the problem?” even if it seems clear. After re-phrasing the problem in a neutral manner have everyone suggest solutions.

Below is the family letter I recently sent out to reference to for this lesson.
The next unit the students and I will be discussing is the “Size of the Problem''.  This is a term coined by the Social Thinking curriculum, socialthinking.com, and it emphasizes that all problems are not created equal. Children face commonplace problems such as a paper cut or problems as complicated as having to cope with a family tragedy. When working with kids we talk about problems in three sizes: small problems, medium problems, and big problems. Regardless of scale, the hidden rule in problem solving with preschool and elementary school age children is that we are expected to react to problems in a manner that matches (or is smaller than) the size of the problem. This is where social problem solving can get tricky. A problem that is perceived by one person as being small could cause a big reaction. Not only does this mismatch create more anxiety in the individual, it can also limit the effectiveness of solving the current problem while at the same time creating a new problem.
Figuring out the size of the problem is the first step in being able to match our emotional reaction accordingly. Small Problems are defined as those that can be pretty easily solved on our own, despite us possibly feeling a little sad, annoyed, or worried. For instance: having to sharpen a pencil point that broke, doing homework even when we don’t want to, or not getting called on by the teacher.
Medium problems require someone’s help, often an adult, to solve. That said, it is expected that kids help solve medium problems. Some examples include figuring out a math problem, a friend not wanting to play with them at recess, or forgetting their lunch at home. Medium problems often make us feel some degree of mad, sad, confused, frustrated, or worried.
A big problem makes us feel really scared, hurt, worried, or upset. Big problems are solved by an adult. For instance: being bullied, getting very sick or injured, or dealing with unfortunate events outside of our direct control. Even adults usually need help solving big problems!
Helping our students learn to recognize the size of their problem and examining the related size of their emotional reaction is an important part of teaching social problem solving.