Social Emotional Learning
Bedford Public Schools uses Responsive Classroom, MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support), topic driven guidance lessons, Friday Morning Meeting, Project Adventure, lunch groups and social skill groups to address the social and emotional needs of our grades 3-5 children.
Responsive Classroom is a student-centered, social and emotional learning approach to teaching. It is comprised of a set of research, and evidence-based practices designed to create safe, joyful, and engaging classroom and school communities for both students and teachers. Research indicates it increases academic achievement, decreases problem behavior, improves a child’s social skills and leads to more high-quality instruction. Responsive Classroom components include:
- Morning Meeting
- Rule Creation
- Interactive Modeling
- Positive Teacher Language
- Logical Consequences
- Guided Discovery
- Academic Choice
- Classroom Organization
- Working with Families
- Collaborative Problem Solving
Responsive Classroom is “woven” into the fabric of each student’s day at Lane providing a safe environment for children to grow both academically and socially. Each classroom begins their day with a Morning Meeting to provide an opportunity for students to connect positively as a class and gain a greater understanding of one another. Morning Meeting consists of a daily greeting, a Morning Meeting game and review of the daily schedule. Students learn and practice various social skills as part of Morning Meeting such as how to greet someone appropriately, sportsmanship, active listening skills, impulse control, flexibility, problem solving skills, body control, empathy, and acceptance of differences.
A Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a data-driven, problem-solving framework to improve outcomes for all students. MTSS relies on a continuum of evidence-based practices matched to student needs. MTSS emerged as a framework from the work conducted in public health emphasizing three tiers of prevention. Tier 1 provides whole class universal support and instruction to students. Tier 2 provides small group instruction with targeted interventions and Tier 3 provides more intensive and individualized support to students. Lunch groups and social skills groups are examples of Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. Schools apply this model as a way to align to academic, behavioral, social, and emotional support to improve education for all students. Responsive classroom, grade level guidance lessons based on Teaching Tolerance and Social Thinking frameworks, Project Adventure and Friday Morning Meeting are examples of the Tier 1 MTSS social emotional supports provided to our students here at Lane.
Guidance lessons are taught across grade levels by our school counselors and teachers that focus on anti bias, cultural proficiency, gender identity/non-conformity, social problem solving and mindfulness. Many of the lessons are based on the Teaching Tolerance frameworks and the Social Thinking curriculum. The skillful implementation of both Responsive Classroom and specifically targeted guidance lessons should result in the district moving closer to its goal around student resilience and pro-social behaviors.
Friday Morning Meeting
Every Friday 7 classrooms come to the cafeteria for Friday Morning Meeting. Classrooms compete against one another to complete the Friday Morning Meeting Challenge. The winner gets the honor of displaying the coveted Friday Morning Meeting Winner sign on their door for the week. Friday Morning Meeting provides an opportunity for classrooms from different grade levels to come together to have some Friday fun! Students work on flexibility, sportsmanship and working collaboratively all while bonding together as a class.
Project Adventure (PA) is a physical education and social emotional curriculum which brings the philosophy of Outward Bound into the school setting. Through participation in cooperative games, team building activities and our climbing and ropes course, students develop and practice social emotional competencies such as resilience, relationship, leadership and communication skills as well as the growth mindset approach to challenges. PA encourages “challenge by choice” where students set a personal goal for themselves which pushes them beyond their individual comfort zone. This helps students develop self-confidence and resilience which is directly transferable to their daily lives.
Social Skills Groups and Lunch Groups
Lane school offers both social skills groups and lunch groups to help students develop and strengthen friendship skills. The small group setting provides students the opportunity to learn and practice friendship skills with adult support and in the moment feedback.