Boosting ALL Children's Social and Emotional Brain Power: Life Transforming Activities
Publication Year: 2014
Proven, brain-based techniques that build social and emotional intelligence and problem-solving skills!
For a child to thrive in school today and succeed in life tomorrow, there's no more important quality than social and emotional intelligence. Since children's brains are still developing during the K–12 years, educators can positively influence students' development, including strengthening essential skills such as empathy, self-management and problem-solving.
Dr. Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin, one of the world's leading experts on children and brain development, shares award-winning techniques that connect with students' lives and concerns. Readers will find:
A research-based approach refined through ongoing work in public schools; Classroom exercises grouped by age, but adaptable for all grade levels; Lively activities that keep students engaged; Valuable content for anti-bullying initiatives and counseling programs.
This new guide is an essential ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Section 1: Understanding and Mobilizing the Brain's Inherent Social and Emotional Power
- Chapter 1: What you Really Need to Know about the Brain!
- Chapter 2: A Closer Look at Children's Skills
- Chapter 3: Facilitating with the Brain in Mind and Enthusiasm at Heart
- Section 2: Building a Community of Self-Aware, Kind, and Patient Children
- Chapter 4: The Choice Brain Versus the Lion Brain: Self-Awareness, Calm, and Impulse Control
- Chapter 5: The Mind's Hidden Treasures: Efforts, Skills, Self-Worth, and Self-Confidence
- Section 3: Making Empathy, Consequence Thinking, Respect, and Responsibility more Easily Accessible in Children's Brains
- Chapter 6: Shrinking Power: Keeping Problems Small
- Chapter 7: Double-Vision Power: Compassion Comes from a Broader Perspective
- Chapter 8: Anchoring Power: Rain or Shine, I Choose to Be Me
- Chapter 9: Foresight Power: Considering the Future Implications of Our Choices
- Section 4: Empowering Young People to Competently Navigate Recurring Interactions such as Bullying and Teasing
- Chapter 10: Seeing Complex Relationships in Action
- Chapter 11: Conclusion
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So many people should be acknowledged for this book! I am grateful to all the teachers who have asked me over and over again how our helpful therapeutic practices could be extended beyond the therapy room to benefit more children. Their constant questions and invitations to help in their classes required that I develop an increasingly large number of activities.
These activities would also never have existed if it were not for the enthusiasm of my doctoral students at Bay Area Family Therapy & Training Associates (BAFTTA), who were willing to try the projects and immediately saw the benefits to children. While many interns have been interested in these projects, Russ Groom (aka Mr. Hat!) and Shane Sheridian stand out as having contributed significant playfulness and creativity to these projects. Dan Coleman, Meredith Moersch, and Michael Schmidt have helped me polish the instructions along with workshops participants from around the world who have watched the videos and asked some helpful questions.
I am also grateful to all the children who have patiently tried all my silly and serious exercises and been willing to give me honest feedback about what helped and what needed improvement. They have taught me a lot, even some problem-solving strategies, which still inspire my life.
This book would be less engaging if it weren't for my two cartoonists, Tri Tran and Emily Phan, who have transformed the many cartoons in my mind into actual, artful drawings.
My editor, Jessica Allan, and the Corwin team have been an incredible support, giving me flexibility and patiently waiting for the endless polishing and editing of the book. I have come to agree with the classic quote: You never finish a book; you abandon it.
Finally, my loving family has been terrific. They have been intrigued by the ideas, accepted to read portions of my drafts, patiently waited for me to finish writing sections, helped with technology problems, and shared my availability with a computer for two years … Thanks for everything![Page viii]Publisher's Acknowledgments
Corwin gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the following reviewers:
Mathematics Leadership Educator
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM
Mentor, Field Supervisor, and Coordinator
District 77 and Minnesota State University Partnership
North Mankato, MN
Diane P. Smith
Smethport Area School District
Gary L. Wilhite
University of Wisconsin
La Crosse, WI
About the Author
Appendix 1: A Note about the Brain Powers Research Project[Page 221]
At the time of printing of this book, the Brain Powers Project had just received a grant, which will allow the analysis of data with several hundred students. Preliminary results have only looked at the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and success stories for 180 students in fourth grade in six diverse public schools in San Jose, California. So far, all the teachers and more than 90 percent of the students report improvement in their abilities to solve social-emotional problems. The preliminary analysis of this data before and after the projects, as compared to the control group, reveals an increase in empathy, perspective taking, sense of personal identity, and internal motivation to solve problems (as opposed to external motivation such as avoiding trouble). The rest of the analysis is expected to be completed by the fall of 2015.
Appendix 2: Adaptation of Projects Across Different Ages[Page 222]
Adaptation of the projects based on age Younger children (5–10 years old) Older children (10–18 years old) Purpose Become aware that they are thinking thoughts and feeling emotions; noticing and labeling these increased choices Become aware that they are thinking thoughts and feeling emotions; noticing and labeling these increased choices; developing a greater perspective on others’ experiences and relationship patterns Theoretical concepts used Snake, Lion, and Choice Brains and brain powers Neocortex and limbic systems Material Stuffed animals, costumes, success slips, and drawings Poster or 3-D model of the brain, personal journals [Page 223] Process Let's discover the powers in your brains. Your brains have secret powers, and just like superheroes, we discover these powers when you solve problems. The programs in your brain shape how you respond to life. Each unique person's brain tends to have programs for specific skills and may also get stuck in habitual problem habits. We will examine the tendencies in each of your unique brains. Format Entertaining demonstrations with the full classroom and extensive public sharing of personal stories Whole classroom discussion of theoretical concepts: memory and mood congruent recall; mirror neurons and empathy; limbic area and emotions; private journal writing and self-reflection assignment Typical session adaptation Tell me a story of a time when you could have responded in a way that made a problem bigger but you didn't. (a) Let's draw the situation where you listened to the Choice Brain. (b) Let's draw a brain map of what would have happened if it went the other way. (c) Let's share it with the class. Make sure you don't share the name of anyone in a negative way. Then we can do skits about this. The limbic system is there to protect you and responds quickly to threats. When it starts firing, it is important to be able to verify if the threat is real or if the brain is mistaking a stick for a snake. Write in your journal a recent time when your limbic system wanted you to jump to a negative conclusion and act on it quickly (be angry or really sad), and you chose to slow down and think. These stories will remain private. Practice story Make sounds that illustrate a Snake, Lion, or Choice brain as the facilitator reads a story. Write the letters “L” or “NC” on the top of the sentences on this worksheet (excerpt of an age-appropriate novel) depending on which part of the brain is involved: limbic or neocortex. Weekly stories Shared personal stories in class Literature examples or stories from other classrooms Witnessing Students and community members are involved in witnessing each others’ efforts and success stories. Students are invited to write essays on the effort of a family member, of a novel or movie character, or of one's own personal experience.
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