Ideas for Learners at Every Age
Social Emotional Learning
Attending to the social and emotional health of students helps us build a stronger and healthier community. While we have been off to a nice start with SEL, it’s critical that we stay ahead of the curve by providing our children the best opportunities to build increasingly important executive functioning skills. Bolstering our efforts in SEL is essential for all of our students.
Student engagement and interest in civics is directly linked to community engagement and attentiveness to current events. Incorporating interactive civics into learning has been associated with higher levels of critical thinking, news comprehension and increased intentions to vote in the future. While Briarcliff students have an active community service requirement, it would be wonderful to see future learning lead to increased and sustained civic participation.
I am an advocate for reinstating enrichment opportunities at Todd School. Endeavors like the popcorn factory, chicken hatching, hermit crabs, Spanish, sign language and the end of year Kindergarten show have been phasing out of the curriculum. Over the years, these undertakings provided students with creative and inspiring opportunities to use skills not usually applied in day-to-day instruction. It’s such an exciting — and important — time to consider language programs, science and lab work, animal study and creative project-based learning opportunities for our youngest learners.
Keeping Kids Active
Our district is dependent on good weather to provide students with an active recess, otherwise, our kids are indoors for approximately 50% of winter school days. That means no chance to run, climb or exercise when the weather’s bad. Daily building use makes it difficult for staff to provide adequate space for approximately 100 students and teachers per recess period. It’s important that we find a solution to this so that children have a healthy amount of movement and exercise during the school day — rain or shine.