We have 475 K-5 students in our new elementary school in North Dakota. Our students come from diverse backgrounds with lots of different life experiences. We live in a smaller city with limited access to great cultural/social-emotional experiences.
We have lots of new families coming to the school and building a great school culture has been our focus these last three years, it is very important to acquire new materials to support the growing student body.
Our school is focused on empowering our students to take control of their learning in unique ways. Our classrooms are designed to be collaborative so our students need lots of skills to work collaboratively. They are innovators and trailblazers!
Students learn and develop empathy through reading and seeing examples come to life in a great book. When students come to my office they share painful pieces of their lives, so anything I can offer to ease the feelings of being alone in their pain is powerful. Whether it's manipulatives to play with like the student favorite kinetic sand or fidget tools while talking or a book about someone who has dealt with something similar, students find it easier to share and relate. Characters in books are powerful catalysts for change. Books like She Persisted will give my girls groups examples to lead discussions about empowerment and creating a supportive girl community.
Meg Ryan said it best in You've Got Mail when she was advocating for her mother's bookstore - "She was helping people become what they were going to be.
When you read a book as a child, it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does."
The Worry Woo monsters are a great and highly regarded series to use with K, 1, 2 students to address various topics like envy, frustration, and anxiety. Mindfulness books like I Can Handle and How to Get Unstuck From Negative Self-Talk are so important in times where childhood anxiety and worries are increasing. Every book and resource will help give students new ways to see and understand their struggles and allow them to explore for themselves rather than having adults tell them.
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