Social-Emotional Learning @ 29
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) has been central to our work at PS 29 for many years.
We worked in partnership with Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility for nearly a decade beginning in the early 2000s, through which we learned and implemented the 4Rs/Resolving Conflicts Creatively program, an explicit SEL curriculum across all grades, which we continue to use today. It is through our 4Rs curriculum that we have taught our students how to give put-ups instead of put-downs, how to learn to be assertive instead of aggressive, how to use “I statements'' to express how they feel directly to their friends, and much more. In our lower grades, we have also been using the Social Thinking curriculum for many years, which has supported our students with understanding neurodiversity and different perspectives through social stories.
In recent years, we have adopted the RULER program. RULER, an acronym for the five skills of emotional intelligence (recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating) is the evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning developed at the Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center. Our teachers use RULER structures, including the Mood Meter and Classroom Charter, to help children identify, communicate and regulate their emotions. Over the last few years, we’ve become even more attuned to how important it is to provide our students with a dedicated space to ask questions and engage in discussions about sensitive topics like race and identity. Through Restorative Circles, we have further developed our ability to help students learn about themselves and their identities, as well as to productively manage conflict both in the classroom and beyond.