11285 Bond Blvd, Delta, BC V4
Kinderarten Registration - Date Change
Due to the recent power outage our Kindergarten Registration will now be held on Friday, February 28, 2014 beginning at 9 am and running until noon. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Update on Social Emotional Learning at Sunshine Hills
During Term 1, we completed the first unit, “Getting Focused”, of our social emotional learning curriculum, MindUP. The students learned about the three key parts of their brains that help them think and respond to stress:
- Amygdala: our brain’s security guard who protects us from threats.
- Prefrontal cortex: our brain’s “wise leader” who focuses our attention, helps us to make good decisions, and allows us to learn.
- Hippocampus: our storage vault of memory and learning.
When a child is in a positive emotional state, the amygdala sends incoming information to the prefrontal cortex, the conscious, thinking, reasoning brain. However, when a child is in a negative state (anxious, stressed, fearful), the amygdala prevents the input from passing along, effectively blocking higher-level thinking and reasoned judgement. The amygdala responds with an automatic fight, flight or freeze reaction.
How these reactions manifest themselves in the classroom:
- Fight – disruptive
- Flight – distracted
- Freeze – withdrawn
The students learned how breathing can come to the rescue when we are stressed or anxious:
Benefits of Core Breathing Practice
¥ Focusing on breathing helps calm the body, lessens anxiety, sharpens focus and supports strong functioning in the prefrontal cortex.
¥ Breathing helps counteract the amygdala reaction which shuts down access to the prefrontal cortex during times of stress.
¥ As children practice controlled breathing, their brains develop and reinforce the habit of responding to stress by focusing on breathing.
¥ The one-minute Core Breathing Practice is done three times daily (begin the day, settle after recess/lunch, end the day).
Breathing Techniques (from Roxanne Jones)
1. Square breathing: (combat breathing, tactical breathing): Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four counts, hold for four counts. Start again.
2. Diaphragm breathing. (“Bird Breathing”)Inhale, and exhale, counting to four. On your next inhale, bring your arms up so that by the time you reach "4", your hands will be above your head. Exhale and gradually bring your arms back down to your sides by the time you reach "4". The movement of your arms will help promote a diaphragm movement while you breathe. Keep working on it. When you feel comfortable, add a 1-2 pause when your lungs are full and when they are empty.
3. Elevator breathing: Inhale for 2 – exhale for 2 – inhale for 2 – exhale for 4 – inhale for 2 – exhale for 6 etc.
4. Belly breathing: Place your hand, palm down over your belly. As you inhale feel your hand rising as your belly expands. Exhale and feel your hand lower as your belly falls. (have children lie down and put a small stuffed animal on their tummy – have them watch the animal rise and lower as the child breathes)
5. Balloon breaths: Deep slow breath in exhale through the mouth as though blowing up a balloon.
6. Anger to Awesome : Inhale through the mouth gathering in all of the anger exhale slowing through the nose releasing relaxation and peace
7. Colour breathing: Imagine standing underneath a rainbow on a bright sunny day. Pick two colours: one that reminds you of peacefulness and calm and the other that reminds you of stress or worry. Now, close your eyes and think about that calming colour. Breathe in the colour slowly and steadily, filling up your belly and your whole body with that calming colour. Now, as you breathe out, let the stress colour leave you body, slowly, slowly. With each breath breathe in the colour of peace and breath out the colour of stress. Keep doing this 5-10 times and it’ll leave you ready to face whatever comes your way.
During this second term, we are looking at the unit on attitude. The students are learning about perspective taking, putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, and developing empathy for others. We are also stressing the importance of developing a positive mind-set and choosing optimism. The students are learning to reframe negative, “red” thoughts into positive “green” thoughts. Here are some examples of helpful “green thoughts”:
- “This may be hard but I can do it.”
- “I will do the best I can.”
- “One step at a time and I will get there.”
- “I don’t have to be perfect as long as I give my best effort.”
- “I think I can.”
- “I can handle this.”
Why Teach Social Emotional Learning?
¥ Children’s achievement in Grade 7 is better predicted by Grade 3 social and emotional competencies than by academic scores
¥ explicitly teaching social and emotional learning leads to an 11% increase in academic scores
Benefits of Social Emotional Learning
¥ improve self-control and self-regulation skills
¥ strengthen resiliency and decision-making
¥ reduce anxiety
¥ improve attention and focusing skills
¥ bolster enthusiasm for learning
¥ increase optimism
¥ increase academic success
¥ develop positive social skills, such as empathy, compassion, patience and generosity
¥ reduce peer-to-peer conflict
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” ( Aristotle)