How to Help Teens Set Digital Boundaries: Building Safe Online Environments
Free Spirit Publishing Blog » Social & Emotional Learning
by Free Spirit Author
4M ago
By Justin Ashley, author of Blaze Your Own Trail In an era where technology and social media are the teenage norm, a fresh approach to navigating these uncharted waters is essential—one that doesn’t involve confiscating devices or banning social media: setting digital boundaries. Inspired by the rescue of Cape Hatteras, a North Carolina lighthouse, in 1999, this post explores crafting a modern beacon to guide teens and parents through the digital seas. That North Carolina lighthouse was saved from being swallowed by the ocean waves, not because leaders waited to see what would happen but becau ..read more
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10 Ways You Can Support Grieving Children at School
Free Spirit Publishing Blog » Social & Emotional Learning
by Free Spirit Author
11M ago
By Korie Leigh, Ph.D., author of What Does Grief Feel Like?  In your classroom, you have a grieving student. In fact, you probably have more than one. By 18, one in every 12 children will have experienced the death of a parent or sibling. When you include the losses of other family members like grandparents, aunts, uncles, community members like classmates, or even teachers, you can see just how common the experience of childhood grief is. In any given elementary classroom across the United States, you can find at least two to three students that have experienced the death of someone they ..read more
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4 Ideas for Practicing Mindfulness with Children
Free Spirit Publishing Blog » Social & Emotional Learning
by Free Spirit Author
1y ago
By Lynn Rummel, author of I Remember My Breath Think about the last time you smelled a flower. You probably looked at it first, held it to your nose, closed your eyes, and inhaled its sweet scent. For that split second, when the sense of smell was the only sense your brain was processing, you were practicing mindfulness. The term “mindfulness” has become more mainstream over the past decade; it’s on the bulletin board of a staff workroom, in a classroom lesson plan for the morning routine, on a magazine cover in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. But what exactly does it mean? Is it the sa ..read more
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The Social and Emotional Way to a Calmer Classroom
Free Spirit Publishing Blog » Social & Emotional Learning
by Free Spirit Publishing
1y ago
By Rayne Lacko, coauthor of Dream Up Now: The Teen Journal for Creative Self-Discovery Have you ever had a student, or a small group of students, create a challenging environment? Perhaps this happens every once in a while, or maybe it’s a chronic issue. Young people who have something to say but who feel powerless or angry might express their feelings with destructive or disruptive behavior. When a student is mired in doubt, anxiety, or sadness, those feelings can show up in every area of their lives, including your classroom. Social and emotional learning (SEL) activities can help young peop ..read more
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Simple Mindfulness Activities to Help Students Learn
Free Spirit Publishing Blog » Social & Emotional Learning
by Free Spirit Publishing
1y ago
Helping students understand their emotions and behavior when they’re young will set them on a path to being successful learners and empathetic people throughout their lives. Our new book Teaching Kids to Pause, Cope, and Connect provides easy-to-implement lessons and activities that help students develop self-regulation strategies, healthy coping skills, and empathy and compassion. This exclusive look inside Teaching Kids to Pause, Cope, and Connect shares how you can implement a brief mindfulness routine in your classroom. A brief mindfulness routine can help students prepare to start a less ..read more
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Using Picture Books for Social-Emotional Learning
Free Spirit Publishing Blog » Social & Emotional Learning
by Free Spirit Author
1y ago
By Mélina Mangal, author of Jayden’s Impossible Garden Social and emotional learning, or SEL, is an essential aspect of elementary instruction. But with so many demands on teachers’ time, including standardized testing, addressing these needs in the classroom can seem daunting. Sharing carefully selected picture books can support SEL in the classroom in an accessible way. According to CASEL (the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning), “SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy iden ..read more
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Using Growth Mindset to Help Students Overcome Perfectionism
Free Spirit Publishing Blog » Social & Emotional Learning
by Free Spirit Author
1y ago
By Shannon Anderson, author of  Mindset Power: A Kid’s Guide to Growing Better Every Day Have you ever heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect?” I spent many years thinking my goal should be executing something perfectly to achieve success. As an overachiever, I wore myself out and defined my worth based on my ability to do things perfectly. Since no one can be perfect, it’s hard to ever feel successful. As a teacher, I noticed many of my students were hard on themselves. I had first graders who would cry if they missed one problem or didn’t know how to do something the first time they ..read more
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Acting Out: 3 Drama Exercises to Help Kids Manage Big Emotions
Free Spirit Publishing Blog » Social & Emotional Learning
by Free Spirit Author
1y ago
by Valerie Coulman, author of Dragons on the Inside (And Other Big Feelings) Whenever we tackle a new skill, we need practice. Whether it’s playing an instrument, baking the perfect cupcake, teaching in a classroom, or driving a forklift, we all have a collection of abilities that have taken time and experience to reach our current skill level. But sometimes, we expect children to be able to manage their emotions without giving them space to practice appropriate, contextual responses to the feelings they experience. For younger children placed in a new environment or situation especially, thos ..read more
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8 Tips for Creating an Emotion-Rich Early Childhood Classroom
Free Spirit Publishing Blog » Social & Emotional Learning
by Free Spirit Author
1y ago
By Lindsay N. Giroux, M.Ed., author of Create an Emotion-Rich Classroom in Early Childhood: Helping Young Children Build Their Social Emotional Skills An intentionally created emotion-rich classroom provides opportunities for emotional growth for both children and teachers. Here are eight tips for creating such a space. 1. Display pictures or photographs of people with many different expressions. These could be from magazines, photographs submitted by children and their families, purchased visuals, or photographs you take of school staff and children. Having pictures of emotions displayed aro ..read more
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Using Humor to Teach Social and Emotional Skills
Free Spirit Publishing Blog » Social & Emotional Learning
by Free Spirit Author
1y ago
By Eric Braun, coauthor of How to Take the Ache Out of Mistakes and author of How to Take the Groan Out of Grown-Ups When I started middle school, I was, like most kids starting middle school, a bit nervous. Okay, I was plain old scared. Of the bigger kids, the bigger building, the challenge of finding a new classroom every hour, the question of whether I’d ever master my locker. Most of all, though, I feared whether I would fit in. I don’t have a lot of clear memories from those first days and weeks, just a generalized sense of anxiety. It was a few decades ago, after all. But one thing I do ..read more
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