Starting back to school is certainly a CHALLENGE this year, and you may wonder why I may suggest you take a leap into another CHALLENGE, but it's an important one that can help your students with Social-Emotional Learning (SEL).
Writing and journaling is a great strategy for working through emotions, ideas, and thoughts. There are several ways you can put together a journaling challenge for all grades. One of the easiest is to use a site like www.journalbuddies.com for prompts.
Daily writing in a relaxed format provides a non-threatening way to be able to explore different thoughts, ideas, topics, and feelings without being concerned about audience presentation. It can be a low-stake writing assignment that opens up to deep conversations.
Educators and parents can start by offering a daily prompt to get students writing routinely. Another strategy is to have them write friendly letters to you or to other classmates...remember having a pen pal?
This simple process will not only help for SEL, but students continue to build necessary skills, including critical thinking skills.
Make it fun...with this PBS Video -https://www.pbs.org/video/adventures-learning-pen-pals/ you can learn that having a pen pal, either in a different country or just a town away, will help students practice skills in literacy, writing, and geography. For tips on helping your child craft the perfect pen pal letter go to: http://www.pbs.org/parents/adventures-in-learning/2014/01/pen-pal-letters/
The idea is to allow students to process what is going on around them, what they are feeling, and how to problem-solve.
It's time to put pen to paper...
Until next time...