Students need opportunities to process the pandemic, living in quarantine, and virtual learning for over one year. They need a space for creativity while working through coming back to in-person learning.
A team of teachers, social workers, administrators, and regional leaders collaborated to create a 35-page student workbook full of creative writing, poetry, coloring, drawing, and SEL activities, designed to help students reflect on and express their stories of living through a pandemic.
The workbook was designed to be a tool to open up conversations among students and teachers and provide a safe space for processing the past year. All students are utilizing this workbook in the final quarter of the school year during homeroom.
SEL chairs and social workers continue to train school staff on the principles of RULER, from Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, in preparation for utilizing the structures with students next school year. KIPP Bloom College Prep SEL chair, Darlene Santos, created an area in the teachers’ lounge with visual reminders of staff’s commitment to social and emotional learning and growth.
Intentional SEL practices
Our schools are working to create more intentionality around students’ social and emotional needs throughout the school day. In Primary schools, teachers are scheduling lots of movement breaks and guided stretches and breathing exercises. Schools are also reviewing development by grade level, noting the opportunities to adjust classroom routines accordingly. For example, learning that 4th-grade students become more interested in socializing with peers allows teachers to build more turn-and-talks into the day. Schools are also emphasizing the importance of free play and recess for our students’ development.
Space for helping students to re-center themselves at KBP and a student taking some deep belly breaths.