Explore More Sessions – Wednesday, May 9, 1:00 PM

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Chutes and Ladders: Communication Strategies to Help Children Regulate Emotion

Appropriate for: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School

Nearly everyone is familiar with the iconic children’s board game called “Chutes and Ladders.” Using this metaphor, the presenter will discuss communication strategies in which adults can co-regulate a child’s emotional reactions and affective responses while simultaneously facilitating reflective dialogue to promote higher order social and emotional learning. Participants will be introduced to a more comprehensive developmental model of adult-child interaction, called Guided Relational Opportunities for Wholeness, in which children can learn to manage stress and become increasingly self-regulated in the context of healthy emotional connections with self-regulated adults. Specific challenges for children with trauma, attachment insecurity and other special needs will be explored. Participants will learn about the role of shame in creating barriers to social learning and potential detours towards dysfunction.

Presented by Caren Rosser-Morris, consulting and clinical child psychologist, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Harrisburg, Pa.


Healthy Relationships: Our Schools’ Social and Emotional Core

Appropriate for: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School

This session focuses on the essential “R” in CASEL’s SEL competencies – relationship building skills. Our human connections are at the heart of the educational environment and they lay the foundation for a students’ sense of belonging, academic performance and their social and emotional identity. Participants will have the opportunity to assess quality of relationships in their schools – adult-to-adult, adult-to-student, student-to-student and student-to adult. Attendees will build and practice skills associated with relationship building and will explore the concept of emotion coaching to provide strategic support for the emotional needs of students. This session will also allow time for collaborative problem solving of relational challenges in our schools, which not only benefits students but contributes to staff retention as well.

Presented by Judy Nuss, SEL specialist consultant, Collaborative for Academic (CASEL), Social and Emotional Learning, Palmyra, Pa.


Integration of Mindsets, Essential Skills, and Habits into K-12 Practice and Policy

Appropriate for: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School

This session, applicable to a variety of grade levels, teaching styles, and SEL competencies, focuses on how to integrate SEL into existing classroom practices using data and the expertise of teachers and administrators. This process encourages educators to closely examine their everyday practices (e.g., lesson planning, teacher evaluations, scheduling) through a new lens in which SEL is emphasized. A variety of research-based strategies exist to apply to the classroom and to school or district-wide policies. However, this session will go beyond the use of such policies, and will provide training to facilitate a more subtle, intricate integration into every day interactions and practices. Additionally, the use of “learning cycles” will be explored, whereby practitioners examine data to monitor whether their changes in practice are resulting in the outcomes they seek.

Presented by Richard Fournier, director of district partnerships, Transforming Education, Boston, Mass.; and Stephanie Hurley, manager of district partnerships, Transforming Education, Boston, Mass.


Learning Resilience and Relationship Strategies Using Applied Positive Psychology

Appropriate for: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School

Mental toughness keeps you going when you most want to quit. It is the key to success in long-term, massively challenging endeavors or ever-changing organizations. Until recently, people thought you either had “it” or you didn’t. But a growing body of breaking research reveals that mental toughness or “resilience” is not only a mindset that separates those who succeed from those who plateau – it is a teachable and buildable set of skills. Participants will receive an overview of the field of positive psychology and the skills to support personal mastery in the areas of growth mindset, resilience, optimism, willpower and self-care. This session will be fun, upbeat and will infuse innovative learning experiences and game design techniques to maximize engagement and motivation.

Presented by Louis Alloro, senior fellow, Center for the Advancement of Wellbeing, Philadelphia, Pa.


Mindful Practices and Social Emotional Learning – Together

Appropriate for: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School

Mindful practices of attention, awareness and movement fortify our human capacity for self-care, self-regulation and resilience. Mindfulness encourages a sense of openness and authenticity, often required to take on social emotional content and activities. Wellness Works in Schools has brought site-based mindfulness and SEL into classrooms for more than 16 years. Through professional development, comprehensive curriculums and digital tools, Wellness Works is supporting educators across the planet – to integrate mindful, social emotional learning into their own lives and into the lives of their students. Participants will leave this session with a set of practices and test-driven strategies along with other valuable resources.

Presented by Wynne Kinder, owner and trainer, Kinder Associates, LLC, Wrightsville, Pa.; and Kim Stoltzfus, instructor, Kinder Associates, LLC, Wrightsville, Pa.


Promoting Effective SEL in Your Community

Appropriate for: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School

Join social-emotional learning proponents from across the region and discover approaches for developing an effective SEL plan for your school, organization, district, or community. Whether you have been implementing SEL for some time or are just getting started, there are concrete steps that you can take to improve your effectiveness and results. In this interactive session, based on successful “Promoting Effective SEL in Your Community” events that the Social-Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts (www.sel4ma.org) conducts across Massachusetts, learn best practices and practical solutions for developing and implementing a comprehensive SEL plan. Explore effective strategies for developing your vision for comprehensive SEL, assessing the current state of SEL in your community, engaging key stakeholders, and planning effective action.

Presented by Jim Vetter, executive director, Social Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts, Somerville, Mass.


Promoting Positive Behavior: A Toolbox for Meeting Student Needs and Teaching Social and Emotional Skills

Appropriate for: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School

This session introduces an evidence-informed model that promotes a set of attitudes and behaviors among educators that have been theoretically and empirically linked to positive changes in student behavior and classroom climate, and ultimately, to increased learning. Participants will have an opportunity to identify specific structures, rituals, routines and practices for engaging young people in social emotional learning and creating environments that support success. Participants will learn to view youth behaviors that adults find challenging through the lens of unmet needs and lagging skills, allowing them to implement strategies to more effectively meet needs and teach skills. Participants will leave with an organized “toolbox” of strategies and a common language for preventing, understanding, and responding to challenging behaviors. They will also learn to promote positive behaviors, through role modeling, building relationships, clarifying expectations, establishing structures and routines, adapting for individual needs and responding, reflecting and repairing in times of conflict.

Presented by Stacey Alicea, senior director, Ramapo for Children, New York, N.Y.