Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Building Relationship Skills

At ASA we are intentional with infusing social emotional learning (SEL) in our daily learning. SEL is a part of our daily living and is integrated across all curricular areas. During this time at home, our students are practicing their social emotional skills daily. According to CASEL’s website, SEL “ the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

This week we want to bring attention to relationship skills. CASEL defines relationship skills as, “The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.”

During this time at home our students are missing their loved ones, friends, teachers and their daily connections. Classroom teachers are continuing to build relationships and carry on their community of learning by bringing their kids together with planned weekly google meets. Students look forward to this time to connect, share their good news, and continue to grow their relationships, which fosters the beauty of remaining connected even when we are not in the school building. Our time of morning prayer, the Angelus Prayer at noon, joining in virtually for weekly mass are only some of the ways we continue to nurture this connection of our community.

Staying connected with friends via class Google Meets! 

During our stay at home order, families are getting creative with connecting with those outside of their homes: Zoom with extended families for a game night, virtual movie nights while sharing laughter, online games with friends and family and FaceTime to grandparents and friends. 

While connecting with those outside of our home takes some creativity, we continue to practice relationship skills right in our homes.  While spending time together and engaging in conversations daily we learn more about our kids but this also allows them the opportunity to practice conversation skills and active listening. 

One way to intentionally build relationships at home is considering a scheduled weekly family game night. Some benefits of family game night allows family members to connect with each other, provides the opportunity to practice taking turns, being patient,  reading nonverbal cues, learning about winning and losing, creating great memories and, of course, fun and laughter! 

What games will you play at your next family game night? Will it be a game of LIfe? Uno? Clue? Monopoly or Trouble? Whatever it is, building and reinforcing social-emotional skills will continue.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Take Time For Self-Care

Example and tips shared by Mrs. Stoner

It is important that we are mindful of attending to our own self care routines. Self-care is the intentional behaviors and actions a person does to protect and improve one’s own well-being.  Having a strong self-care foundation is always helpful but it is essential during periods of stress. 

When we make a commitment to self-care by integrating it into our daily lives we are creating the habits necessary to sustain our overall health and well being. The “roots” of our daily self-care habits create the strength and resilience to persevere through the stressors that we may face.

We need to tend to ourselves daily to enhance our social, mental, spiritual, and physical well being. What does your self-care routine look like? Are you taking time daily for you? You deserve and need to care for yourself so that it allows us to better care for others in our lives. 

Family Self-Care Challenges

Elementary- Self-Care Bingo Click Here 
Middle School- 50 Self-Care Tips Click Here

Making a Self-Care Jar
A self-care jar is a container that is filled with self-care ideas. When you begin to feel overwhelmed and you need a boost you can choose an idea from your jar! You can fill your jar with ideas that you write on paper, rocks or popsicle sticks. 
Making a self-care jar is a great visual reminder that we need to prioritize our self-care! 
Have fun! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Family Table Talk Tuesday

Our K-3 elementary campus engages in Table Talk Tuesday once a month in the lunchroom. Table Talk Tuesday is when students have the opportunity to sit with students from different grades during lunch. This activity helps build relationships across grade levels and practices positive social skills. To maintain the development of these social skills, we are now encouraging Family Table Talk Tuesday at home.

April’s theme is Laughter. Laughter is great for your health! On average, human beings laugh about 17 times a day.  Laughter releases serotonin, which helps us reduce physical symptoms of stress and leads to us physically feeling more relaxed. Laughing has also shown to help improve our immune system.

This week, families are provided with jokes on a Roll and Respond sheet. As families eat lunch together, this activity provides an opportunity to practice conversation skills, active listening skills, relationship building and connecting with laughter, all vital for healthy well being. If you would like the Table Talk Tuesday activity click here.

What are some things that made you laugh today? 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

ASA Girls On The Run Is Still So Much FUN!

Our new normal is not going to stop our ASA Girls on the Run team from fostering their emotional and physical health!  The GOTR spring season was just beginning before our stay at home order took place. That will not stop our girls from staying strong physically and mentally this spring season! GOTR may not be meeting on school grounds for practices but their enthusiasm and heart continues to be strengthened at home.

GOTR continues to support and connect with the girls each week through motivating resources of YouTube videos and written formats for girls and families to follow. GOTR is providing fun, interactive lessons to continue to inspire our young girls to get moving, think and be creative. All of the lessons are inspired with the Girls on the Run Core Values in mind. 

GOTR Core Values are: 

  • Recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making
  • Embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness
  • Express joy, optimism and gratitude through our words, thoughts and actions
  • Lead with an open heart and assume positive intent
  • Nurture our physical, emotional and spiritual health
  • Stand up for ourselves and others

Some of the at home topics already covered included: We are Unique, We are Similar, Stand Up for Ourselves and Others, Movement Gratitude, Deal When Things Get Difficult, Caring Connections and Practice Positivity. We are grateful for the adaptations GOTR is making to continue to support our girls and we look forward to more inspiring activities to be delivered each week. 

We are so proud of our ASA 3-5 grade GOTR girls as they continue to nourish their emotional and physical health during their weeks at home!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

At Home Spirit Week - Picture Review

Closing Out March is Reading Month 

From Home & In Style 

ASA Colors & At Home Learning Spaces

Maddie's got her ASA gear on and her work space ready for learning! 

Mary's watching a message from school to start off the week! 

Sam is working hard on math! 
Mattie is working hard! 
Henry and Lena are hard at work growing their brains! 
Alt family's shared home learning space! 
Schneider Family Spirit Week Day 1! 
The Hekman Household - Working Together! 
Joseph's got spirit and a workspace designed for creativity! 
Hard at work! 
ASA Spirit at a distance! 

Learning and growing together! 
Gathered together learning with pets too! 
Nature Walk Time! 

Favorite Book Characters

Nolan from Ms. Dombroski's Class is Pete the Cat! 

Mermaids & Princesses! 

Dr. Alan Grant - Jurassic World

"Oh the places you will go!" 

Two great choices! 

Doug the Pug! 

Reading in ASA Gear! 

A family of storybook characters! 

Learning about Saints! 

St Francis! 

Congratulations to Jenna & Edmund, winners of the bike raffle! 

Check out our ASA Facebook Page to the fun video of the drawing with Mr. Debri! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

At Home Calming Caddies

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) At Home - Tips for Parents

Joyful, confused, worried, happy, sad, frustrated, excited are only the beginning of the many feelings we experience. Our children are learning to identify their feelings, where they feel them in their body and healthy ways to cope with their feelings. It’s important that students learn that all of their feelings are ok.  Students are learning that since they are in control of their thoughts, feelings, actions and they are able to manage their feelings. 

This time at home, as we are experiencing these changes, may include plenty of joy being with our families and more time to be outside, play, read and be creative.  However, it may include uncomfortable feelings too. Some kids might worry about when they will be able to go back to school, will I or a family member get sick, missing their friends, missing their teachers, frustration with assignments, and sibling disagreements.

As kids experience stressors, it is valuable to continue to practice their healthy coping strategies. Encouraging our kids to take belly breaths when we notice an uncomfortable feeling helps to calm their uncomfortable feelings more quickly. As parents, taking the breath with them can also be supportive and helpful. Belly breathing is one way they are learning to cope with the situation in a healthy way.  You may need to review and remind your child to use the strategy. Here is a great resource link called “Just Breathe”: Elementary students are taught emotional regulation skills at school with Second Step, a social emotional learning program. This is a song many of our students know from our elementary that reminds them to stop, name their feelings and calm down.

Sometimes when strong feelings surface, we breathe and may still need a little more time to calm down. When more is needed, At Home Calming Caddies are a great tool to provide just that! An At Home Calming Caddy is a container or basket that is kept in a quiet area that holds tools your child can use to continue to support the healthy regulation of strong feelings. Using the calming caddy is not intended to be a consequence but rather as an opportunity for coaching and encouraging kids to regulate, helping them to manage and return to a calm feeling. 

Some Ideas to be included in your At Home Calming Caddy:
  • Feelings chart- helps your child name the feeling they are experiencing
  • Glitter Jar- Shake up the glitter and watch the glitter settle to the bottom
  • Play dough- to squeeze and sculpt away the strong feeling
  • Stuffed animal to hug and provide comfort
  • Stress ball or make a stress balloon- fill balloons with either rice, sand or flour and then tie it off
  • Crayons/coloring book
  • A book to help relax

After a few minutes calming down, they are ready to learn from and talk about how they came to their strong feelings.