My classroom is a place where a lively blend of first and second-grade students from a variety of backgrounds come together to build community and learn in a safe, welcoming place. 48% of the students at our school come from economically disadvantaged families. Many are dealing with trauma in their lives.
Eleven languages are represented in our population.
Meeting the needs of this diverse group of learners requires creativity, flexibility, and love. The space in our classroom is small, but our hearts are big and our potential to learn and grow is huge!
Neglect, stress, anxiety, worry, anger, sadness, depression...my young students have big emotions. A lot of times they don't know what that emotion is, but it sure can get in the way of learning, making friends, and managing a big challenging day at school. My school district has recognized that there is a mental health crisis in our school district and that behavior issues are at an all-time high right now. Classroom teachers handle the bulk of it. One way that works to help my students develop socially and emotionally is by taking 15 minutes each day to teach mindfulness. I would love to extend some of my units by adding some books that provide further opportunity for students to explore the topics I cover: identifying emotions, different types of focus, neuroscience, thoughts, kindness, and gratitude.
Help my students step into the driver's seat of their own minds.
Our motto is: You've got to name it to tame it! The books that I have chosen give students a fun way to learn about their emotions and different ways to manage them. They will help students learn to see and appreciate the good, and cultivate gratitude. Students will feel empowered as they learn about how their brains work, that emotions are normal and not permanent, that there are ways they can develop skills to get themselves back on track when they are derailed by powerful emotions and situations.
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