Friday, January 27, 2023

Found Poetry from "I Have a Dream"

Last week, to honor MLK Jr., the 3/4 class did a found poetry assignment based on the "I Have a Dream" speech.

First, we watched a creative video that incorporated the audio of the "I Have a Dream" speech. Next, each student was given a copy of the speech and a highlighter pen. As a first step, I asked them to use their highlighter to flag any words or phrases they found powerful, moving, or interesting. Next, I asked them to edit their list by cutting their word list in half and finally down to only ten words. At this point, I asked them to take the ten words, read them, and determine a theme or emotion they wanted to communicate in their poem. The final step was to write their poem with their ten words, adding any word or phrases to make the poem flow smoothly or make sense.

They were enthusiastic about this project from the start. In the end, they took the speech's message to heart and created a beautiful reflection in their creative poetry piece.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Happy New Year from our Mandarin Class

Happy New Year!

The foreign language department at ACE enjoys sharing cultural traditions with our students in addition to helping them develop their language skills.

Ms. Bao spent time with her Upper School Mandarin classes celebrating the New Year with fun and food. They worked together to make dumplings and students also brought in other treats to share. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

January SEL Focus - Relationship Skills

By Erin Peace, LCSW, RPT: ACE Academy School Counselor

CASEL defines relationship skills as "The abilities to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups." These include the ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.

Due to the asynchronous development of our gifted kiddos, we see a huge spectrum of social skill development among all ages. These social interactions get even more complicated when a student has a diagnosis such as ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder, which impacts a person's ability to effectively use impulse control, regulate emotions, and see a view from another person's perspective.

Identifying Goals Related to Relationship Skills

A way to help students identify their relationship skills is by having them fill out a short social skills assessment to see which prosocial skills students are using and can work on increasing, while also identifying which antisocial skills students need to reduce in order to maintain relationships. With this information, students can then set small goals so that they're able to increase their relationship satisfaction.

Define Healthy Relationships With Your Student

Students benefit from specific instruction on what healthy relationships entail: Respect, equality, safety, and trust. I've included a graphic below from the resource Unhushed that helps break down these components:


Relationship Skill Spotlight: Conflict Resolution

I like to tell students that unless you're a robot, you will have conflict arise in any friendship or relationship. We all have different experiences, perspectives, and communication styles, so it would be unreasonable to think we would never have conflict with others. I usually break down conflict resolution using a Restorative Justice lens, and provide the following steps for resolving conflict:

  1. Identify how big the problem is (Is it a big problem or small problem? Can it be ignored?)

  2. Stop to calm down your brain and body (If you're really upset, take a break before trying to resolve the issue)

  3. Talk it out (Use "I" statements to identify how you feel and what you need. Take turns to listen to the other person's point of view)

  4. Problem-solve different solutions (What sort of compromise can be developed?)

  5. Apologize (We all make mistakes, and owning our part in the conflict is the right thing to do)

As with any SEL skill, your student's relationship skills will also depend on how you model these skills explicitly to your child.

Conflict Resolution: Video Example

Executive Functioning and Giftedness

by: Erin Peace, LCSW, RPT School Counselor As we settle back into our routine for the school year, many of us emphasize setting resolutions ...