Social Emotional Learning
Social Emotional Learning at Cedar Park
Cedar Park is unified in creating a positive, proactive, and safe learning environment that keep students, staff and families physically and emotionally safe.
Too often, students are held to account for rules and procedures they do not understand, have not experienced, and have not practiced. Assumptions are often made that because a student is a certain age or grade level they should “know how to do…” school. Just as we would expect our school to teach reading, writing, and math, it is also our responsibility to teach consistent behavioral expectations and social-emotional learning at school.
We use two systemic tools to support this:
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
PBIS is a system of creating agreed upon expectations that are common school-wide for spaces such as hallways, the lunchroom, bathroom, and playground. We then teach into and practice these expectations, so each student develops a clear understanding of what the expectation does and doesn’t look like, feel like, and sound like. This teaching happens not only on the first day of school but in classroom meetings and throughout the year, when returning from vacations and holidays, during interactions with students throughout the day, and when there is a specific issue to address. All school staff use the same language when talking about the expectations. This decreases student anxiety by ensuring them that each space, whether its the classroom, library, cafeteria or office, has the same expectations.
As a school, we then focus on positively reinforcing students when they are meeting expectations and providing additional supports when they struggle to meet them. These supports can include classroom supports (such as preferential seating or other modifications), re-teaching and practicing the expectation during non-academic time, having a parent conference, and developing a Student Behavior Support Plan.
RULER Approach to Social Emotional Learning
Our second system is a social-emotional learning program, RULER. RULER focuses on teaching Social Emotional Regulation of self and responding to others.
With RULER we learn to…
- Recognize emotions in ourselves and others
- Understand the causes and consequences of emotions
- Label emotions accurately
- Express emotions appropriately
- Regulate emotions effectively
Four Key Pillars of RULER:
- Mood Meter
- Class Charter
- Meta Moments
- Emotional Intelligence Blue Print