We believe that in order to be successful in and out of school, students need to develop strong social skills and habits. We use the Responsive Classroom Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) program and curriculum, which focuses on making academic learning engaging, building positive school community, having clear and predictable routines and learning structures, and ensuring teachers have extensive developmental awareness.
What does SEL look like at Woodland Hills Private School?
- Morning Meeting (A.K.A Social Skills Class) - A daily class routine that helps children transition from home to school, builds community, creates a positive climate for learning, and reinforces academic and social skills. Morning Meeting will generally occur during the first 15-30 minutes of the school day.
- Interactive Modeling - A special protocol for proactively teaching and practicing routines and setting children up for a safe, supportive, successful school experience.
- Hopes & Goals - Teachers and students work together to name individual goals for the year and establish rules that will help everyone reach those goals. When teachers and students speak publicly about their hopes and goals, a sense of group identity emerges.
- Democratically Created Classroom Rules - At the beginning of the school year, each class holds their own version of a constitutional convention, agreeing on the rules by which they will be governed. This helps to ensure that all the children buy into the rules. Each class spends time early in the year discussing what the rules will look and sound like in different areas of the school and with special area teachers.
- Energizers - Short, playful, whole-group activities that are used as breaks in lessons.
- Quiet Time - A brief, purposeful and relaxed time of transition that takes place after lunch and recess, before the rest of the school day continues.
- Closing Circle - A five to ten-minute gathering at the end of the day that promotes reflection and collaboration as well as celebrates learning that has occurred through participation in a brief activity.
- Positive Teacher Language - Helps us create an environment in which positive behaviors can be fostered and children develop a growth mindset. Read more about the three kids of Positive Teacher Language used in our school: Reminding, Reinforcing and Redirecting Language.
- Logical Consequences - One way teachers will respond to a poor choice or misbehavior is by designing a consequence in collaboration with the child. We generally focus on how the student can fix what went wrong. Though, if the situation involves safety, the student may temporarily lose a privilege until they can earn it back. Consequences are not punitive in nature, but rather they are designed to be relevant (directly related to what went wrong), realistic and respectful.
SEL Competencies Addressed in the Program
Cooperation - Students’ ability to establish new relationships, maintain positive relationships and friendships, avoid social isolation, resolve conflicts, accept differences, be a contributing member of the classroom and school community, and work productively and collaboratively with others.
Assertiveness - Students’ ability to take initiative, stand up for their ideas without hurting or negating others, seek help, succeed at a challenging task, and recognize their individual self as separate from the circumstances or conditions they’re in.
Responsibility - Students’ ability to motivate themselves to take action and follow through on expectations; to define a problem, consider the consequences, and choose a positive solution.
Empathy - Students’ ability to “see into” (recognize, understand) another’s state of mind and emotions and be receptive to new ideas and perspectives; to appreciate and value differences and diversity in others; to have concern for others’ welfare, even when it doesn’t benefit or may come as a cost to one’s self.
Self-Control - Students’ ability to recognize and regulate their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in order to be successful in the moment and remain on a successful trajectory.
Academic Competencies Supported by our SEL Curriculum
Academic Mindset - Four self-perceptions influence a student’s academic mindset:
- I belong in this academic community
- My effort improves my performance
- I can succeed at this work
- I see the value in this work
Perseverance - Perseverance is a student’s tendency to complete assignments in a timely and thorough manner and to the best of their ability, despite distractions, obstacles or level of challenge.
Learning Strategies - Learning strategies are techniques, processes, and tactics a student uses to:
- Learn, think, remember, and recall
- Monitor their own comprehension and growth,
- Self-correct when they are confused or have an error in thinking
- Set and achieve goals and manage their time effectively
Academic Behaviors - Academic behaviors are the ways in which students conduct themselves that support their success in school, including such things as regular attendance, arriving ready to work, paying attention, participating in instructional activities and class discussions, and devoting out-of-school time to studying and completing assignments and projects.