Archive for January, 2015

Here at HIS, we believe that:

  • our social curriculum is as important as our academic curriculum
  • how children learn is as important as what they learn
  • the greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.

An integral part of our Social/Emotional curriculum is our use of Morning Meeting in the Lower School and Early Years, and Circle of Power and Respect in the Middle School.  Starting with MM or CPR allows us to begin each day as a classroom community of caring and respectful learners.  It establishes a climate of trust and motivates our students by addressing two human needs:

  • the need to feel a sense of significance and belonging
  • the need to have fun. (more…)

HIS kicked off the New Year with an inservice for faculty and administrators focused on research- and evidence-based social and emotional learning programs in the elementary and middle years. The Responsive Classroom (elementary) and Developmental Designs (middle) programs are rooted in neuroscience and human development. We began to implement these practices last year with Morning Meeting (elementary) and Circle of Power & Respect (middle). These practices are associated with greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate.

Guiding Principles

While there are important differences between these two programs based on their intended audience, they share a common set of guiding principles:

  1. Social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum
  2. How children learn is as important as what they learn
  3. Knowing the children we teach is as important as knowing the content we teach
  4. There is a set of social skills children need to be successful (CARES)
  5. We learn best by actively constructing our own meaning
  6. Trust among adults is a fundamental necessity for academic and social success

Educational experts across the globe have been highlighting the research over the last decade that has demonstrated what many already knew: an effective, embedded social curriculum that emphasis social and emotional skills is essential to whole-child development. Have a look at these two resources to learn a bit more about the recent research and the reasons why this work is so important to your child’s future success.

The Five Greatest Predictors of Student Success: This article by Tim Elmore, a best-selling author, international speaker, and a leading authority on preparing tomorrow’s leaders today, shares how connectedness, adaptability and resilience, emotional intelligence, clear targets, and decision-making skills help our graduates excel in high school and in life.

The biggest predictor of career success? Not skills or education – but emotional intelligence. This Financial Post article highlights several recent studies that demonstrate interpersonal competence, self-awareness, and social awareness are better predictor of who will succeed and who won’t in the workforce.

Over the next several weeks, we will share more about our social curriculum: why it is important, what it look like, and how it positively impacts your child’s HIS experience.  To share how excited we are to continue our work in this area, and to recognize how important ongoing professional development is here at HIS, we’ve shared some faculty reflections from this week’s inservice below.

“I have started it (class message) already this week and I noticed that it has greatly facilitated our time together. The students know what is going on and have a clear understanding of what I am asking them to do.”

“I feel like that (Responsive Classroom) and the growth mindset really gel in my teaching.”

“The training was sooooo good. I am implementing the end of the day circle today!”

“Thank you so much for a very productive, engaging and educational in-service. I learned ideas that I can implement right away.”

“In my math class, I have been working diligently to foster an environment where the kids want to work independently and stay on task. Clear messages, energizers, and a instilling a bit of fun helps with their independence and helps foster their responsibility.”