This is a busy time for children who are learning many newskills in school. They may be reading chapter books, writing stories, usinggraphs, or staring to play a musical instrument. These are all important skillsfor children to learn.
Another area of learning that requires specific skills issocial-emotional learning. These important skills develop best withreinforcement and practice. This is the realm where children learn how tounderstand and manage their feelings, how to make friends and be a friend, andhow to solve social problems. Learning takes place throughout the day-in theclassroom, on the playground, and at home. Children learn by watching and listeningto how family members, teachers, and friends interact with one another.
Grades one through five will be using a program calledSecond Step, a Violence Prevention Curriculum, to help them think about, develop,and practice positive social skills. Research tells us that children who learnand use these skills are more likely to get along with others and do better inschool.
The Second Step Program is divided into three units:
· Unit 1:Empathy Training. Children learn how to identify, predict, share, andunderstand feelings, as well as ways accept differences and show caring towardothers.
· Unit 2:Impulse Control and Problem Solving. Children learn new ways to solveproblems and practice skills, such as calming down, apologizing, ignoringdistractions, and dealing with peer pressure.
· Unit 3:Anger Management. Children learn to recognize, understand, and manage theiranger in ways that do not hurt others.
Incorporatingphotographs and videos of children in everyday situations, Second Step lessonsintroduce and teach all of the above skills. All students are given the chanceto practice the skills they are learning through role-plying, an important partof the lessons.
Throughoutthe year, we will be teaching lessons found within this program. There will bemany opportunities for your child to practice the skills introduced in the lessons.These lessons coupled with the Olweus Bully Prevention Program make for a morecomprehensive approach in helping everyone improve at getting along. Familiesplay a critical role in this effort for you are truly the first step. Helpingyour child practice positive social skills will pay off for years to come! Ifyou have any questions, please consult the district’s website, your child’s teacher, or building staff.