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Staten Island, NYC: Schools continue social-emotional curriculum

June 17, 2021, NY1, Spectrum News: A look at social emotional learning in one Staten Island classroom

The city launched its social emotional learning curriculum two years ago, and the effort to help students cope with their feelings is set to play a big role in the next school year. In fact, in one classroom on Staten Island, it's already making a big difference. “We're going to pass the clap to just get us all focused, so that we know that we are ready to start our circle,” Nadine Thompson tells her class. She is kicking off a discussion in her third grade classroom at P.S. 78. But it is not just any classroom chat. “Our circle is a safe space for everyone to share how they’re feeling,” she says. This lesson, taught by Thompson and special education co-teacher Nicole Attardo, is part of the city’s social emotional learning curriculum, championed by First Lady Chirlane McCray, who along with Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter joined the circle. The curriculum is aimed at helping students identify and manage their feelings…. The students toss a beach ball around to determine who speaks next. "Angry and overwhelmed,” one student replies…. The training also changed how teachers react when a student acts out. “You would immediately think that the student was showing disrespect to the teacher or the adult in the room,” she says, referring to reactions before the training. “And after the training, we started looking at it and really thinking about what was driving the behavior, and realizing that some of these students are comiqng to school every day with so much emotional weight on them.”…


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