Building Community- If your child has come home and is talking about community circle time, this is one of the restorative practice activities. Classes use this time to connect with each other, take polls and problem solve around classroom and playground issues that arise.
Problem Solving- On a past Site Council survey, student responses indicated that some students felt they were not treated fairly on the playground. In response to this, all of the yard duty and our teachers have learned about using restorative language to support students in problem solving in a fair way. One of the first components is to discuss issues using non-judgmental observations, feelings and needs. The next part of this is when two students have a conflict. We are using the restorative questions below for both the student with challenging behavior and the student who has been harmed. By responding in the same way and asking these questions in all situations, students know that they are treated fairly and without bias, and the questions have led to thought-provoking dialogues and reflections. We encourage you to try out these questions at home as well!
Student with Challenging Behavior:
What were you thinking of at the time?
What have you thought about since?
Who has been affected by what you have done? and in what way?
What do you think you need to do to make things right?
When someone has been harmed
What did you think when you realized what had happened?
What impact has this incident had on you and others?
What has been the hardest thing for you?
What do you think needs to happen to make things right?
Growth Mindset at Oak Knoll
Utilizing the long-standing work of Dr. Carol Dweck, students at Oak Knoll are taught about the differences between a Fixed and a Growth Mindset. They are encouraged to cultivate a Growth Mindset, which is the belief that human abilities like intelligence can grow and change with time, effort, practice, and perseverance. Research shows that a Growth Mindset is associated with many positive outcomes, including increased academic risk-taking, higher self-esteem, resilience, and higher overall achievement. Exemplary scholars apply a Growth Mindset to everything they do. They work hard and are not dissuaded by temporary setbacks or failures, but rather see challenges as an opportunity to learn.
SEL ON KNOL
Tool Time Tuesday – Every Tuesday during the first half of the year. Mrs. Scott goes on KNOL and teaches Otters about our TOOL BOX. These tools are something you have with you everyday. She helps us learn when to use them and Why. To see any of the episodes Click here https://sites.google.com/a/mpcsd.org/counselor-s-corner/tool-time-tuesday
Brain Time Tuesdays- During the second half of the year, Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Ryan teach the Oak Knoll students about their brain and how to have a growth mindset. You can see last year’s episodes here: https://sites.google.com/a/mpcsd.org/counselor-s-corner/brain-time
Monthly Counselor Lessons
Each month, Mrs. Scott goes into all 1st-5th grade classes (and kinder multi-age) to teach an SEL lesson. These lessons build on each other and help our students learn to become kind, problem solving, and optimistic people. To learn more about each month’s lesson go here. https://sites.google.com/a/mpcsd.org/counselor-s-corner/monthly-lessons
Kimochi’s- A Social Emotional Program
Kindergarten is an important part of a child’s development. Mrs. Scott goes into each classroom once a week for a 15 minute lesson using the Kimochi SEL Program for the first 16 weeks of school. The Kimochi program helps students build their emotional vocabulary beyond sad, mad and happy by using little feeling kimochis such as left out, brave, curious, frustrated and more. It also teaches students how to solve problems using a talking voice, face and body instead of a fighting voice, face and body. After students complete the 16 week program, they will get the once a month lessons with the rest of the school.
Parent Book Club
Each year Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Ryan host a parent book club. The book club is open to all parents and traditionally has been a place for parents to learn, share, get support, laugh (and sometimes cry) together as they navigate the thrilling world of parenting! Mrs. Scott and Ms. Ryan are co-facilitators but also participate as parents.
Mindfulness at Oak Knoll
Oak Knoll is very lucky to have an amazing volunteer named Julie Brody who has been teaching mindfulness at Oak Knoll for the last 4 years. She uses the Mindful Schools Curriculum, which is an 8 week program 2 x a week.
Embracing Our Differences Month
One full month during the school year, all of Oak Knoll will learn about individuals who are differently abled and will also learn about one or more specific difference or disability that some people face. We believe knowledge of these differences helps build empathy, which is extremely important for all of our students to develop as part of their journey to become valued friends. Children with disabilities can often be targets of bullying behaviors, especially when other children do not understand their disability or difference; education is key to creating the welcoming, inclusive climate we want at Oak Knoll. We use the month to educate students that despite a disability there are a multitude of things differently abled students can still do-they just might do it differently! Past areas of focus have been Cerebral Palsy, Hearing differences, Vision differences, Tourette's Syndrome, ADHD, Dyslexia, and more. Both Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Ryan help coordinate this month and visit each classroom. Students also attend assemblies, watch puppet shows, view videos on KNOL, etc. (This program received a Kent Award in 2018!)
The Compassion Project at Oak Knoll
Everfi is a company that partners with organizations, institutions, and educators to create and deliver high quality materials and programs, utilizing technology. Over the past year Mrs. Gracia, Nicole Scott, and Oak Knoll teachers collaborated with Everfi to develop an online program for teachers called The Compassion Project. The vision is to ensure that every elementary school student in the US understands what compassion is and how to practice it. The program is based on the intentional work that Oak Knoll has been doing for years; the very same work that yields such a strong, connected and positive school climate. The process of developing curriculum was exciting, and knowing that The Compassion Project would be free to any and all schools was extremely motivating. Once again, it's a great day to be an Oak Knoll Otter!