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By Joy Brooke on 7/14/2014 10:10 PM

Like our students, the end of the year brings on many feelings for us educators. Summer is here and it is time to rest and rejuvenate.


Mrs. Brooke’s SEL Classroom
By Joy Brooke on 6/23/2014 10:08 AM

At the end of each year, one of my favorite activities to do was to make a “Remember When … ” book for each child. This book would ensure that each of my students walked away feeling part of a community of learners. They were special. They were one of a kind, and they knew it.

Mrs. Brooke’s SEL Classroom
By Joy Brooke on 6/9/2014 11:40 AM

Part 1 of this blog was about teaching introverts. In this second part, I will discuss teaching extroverts and their needs in the classroom.

Mrs. Brooke’s SEL Classroom
By Joy Brooke on 6/3/2014 9:41 AM

There is such a buzz these days about the word “introvert”. Author Susan Cain has created a new awareness with her bestselling book, “Quiet”. She and other experts explain an introvert is not someone who is shy. It is someone who gains his or her energy from being alone. This is unlike an “extrovert” who gains their energy from being around others. And of course there is a spectrum from highly social to not at all.

Mrs. Brooke’s SEL Classroom
By Joy Brooke on 5/12/2014 10:44 AM

One of the first activities I do with my classroom in the beginning of the year is to brainstorm reasons of why we read. Always, the list we create is full of the great benefits of reading and the list hangs on our wall all year long as we continue to revisit WHY we read.

Mrs. Brooke’s SEL Classroom
By Kim Gulbrandson on 5/5/2014 11:52 AM

Schools and families both play critical roles in students’ social-emotional and academic success. To meaningfully strengthen these important partnerships, we must first abandon the notion that family engagement is about whether family members attend school events or volunteer in the school buildings. It also includes the things that families do at home with their children (Wilson, 2013). It encompasses both parent voice and presence.

Talking SEL and More
By Joy Brooke on 5/5/2014 11:42 AM

We must celebrate in our classrooms. We must teach that learning is about fun, excitement, and joy! Celebrations are the perfect opportunity! What do I mean by celebrations? They can take on many forms. Here is a list of ways you can bring celebrations into your classroom and teach our children that in life and learning, happiness and pride are great feelings to acknowledge, feel, and celebrate.

Mrs. Brooke’s SEL Classroom
By Kim Gulbrandson on 4/28/2014 9:05 AM

A few days ago, I was walking into an elementary school building as students were preparing to start the day by lining up on the playground with their classrooms. Immediately after getting out of my car, I noticed a little girl sitting on the ground, crying hysterically. She was sitting next to another student, and her head was lying on this student’s shoulder. There were at least 10 other students standing there, watching the crying girl. Two of the boys who were watching kept pointing their fingers at each other, saying “He did it!"

Talking SEL and More
By Joy Brooke on 4/21/2014 9:44 PM

The testing era is upon us whether we like it or not. It is our job as teachers to make this experience as less stressful as possible. Here are a few tips.

Mrs. Brooke’s SEL Classroom
By Joy Brooke on 3/31/2014 10:35 AM

My first year of teaching my goal was to have a well managed classroom because I had heard so many of those stories about “the first year teacher” who couldn't control her kids! I was determined that wasn't going to be me, my first year… or ever. I read all the books about classroom management and implemented many strategies, but after a few months, even though my classroom was “managed” pretty well, I still felt there was something lacking in my classroom environment. Even though I was following all the standards and doing a pretty darn good job as a first year teacher designing individualized education for each of my students, there was still some element missing, for me and for them.

Mrs. Brooke’s SEL Classroom
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