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Encouraging a Sense of Gratitude in Students

Edutopia – Marissa King

“In the glittery bustle of the holidays, teachers often scramble to fit in last-minute lessons and refocus students dreaming of vacation excitement. It’s worthwhile to pause in the middle of all that excitement to build in reflective moments of gratefulness. Yet without a clear plan to foster classroom gratitude, we risk missing the improved attitude, improved physical and psychological health, and enhanced social and emotional skills that giving thanks can bring. Positive psychology suggests that learning to be thankful has benefits that extend far beyond the classroom walls, including lifelong happiness.”(more)

Giving Students’ Empathy Muscles a Workout

Edutopia – Suzie Boss

“Fourth-grade teacher Jesse Ediger wants her digital learners to realize that they can tap into opportunities far beyond their hometown of Hutchinson, Kansas. “I want to draw back the curtain, show them the world, and let them see how connected they are,” she says. Some 1,500 miles south in Maninalco, Mexico, English teacher Karina Cavazos Almaguer has similar hopes for her students. “I want them to have the self-confidence to investigate the whole world,” she says. Using a new global education platform called Empatico, the two teachers recently started connecting their students for learning activities designed to foster empathy along with global awareness.”(more)

Exaggerated Thoughts That Can Cause Adolescents to Misperceive Reality

KQED News Mind/Shift – Jess P. Shatkin

“In the late 1950s, University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist Aaron Beck, MD, studied the effectiveness of psychoanalysis for the treatment of depression. Beck committed to the theoretical foundations of Freud’s “talking cure.” To his great surprise and disappointment, however, the experiments failed to validate the treatment. By the early ’60s, Beck had penned two important articles on “thinking and depression,” which ultimately led to the development of cognitive behavioral therapy (currently the premier evidence‐based psychotherapeutic treatment for anxiety and depression in both adolescents and adults) and the design of the cognitive triangle, as shown in the diagram below.”(more)

4 Tools to Help Kids Develop Empathy and Cultural Humility

KQED News Mind/Shift – Danny Wagner

“Humility is not necessarily about modesty or pretending to be less than you are. In fact, people who are humble often have a high sense of self-worth; it’s just that they can recognize their own strengths and limitations. Research about humility also suggests a strong connection between being humble and being generous. For kids growing up in a media-driven world that often rewards narcissism, humility has become a way to stand up and stand out, like this valedictorian student who used a secret Instagram profile to sing the praises of his peers.”(more)

Emotional intelligence: why it matters and how to teach it

The Guardian – Bradley Busch

“In our work with schools, it’s now commonplace for us to hear those in education talking about helping students (and staff) develop their emotional intelligence. But what do we mean exactly? Why and how should teachers support its development in their students? Emotional intelligence can be said to cover five main areas: self-awareness, emotional control, self-motivation, empathy and relationship skills. It is, of course, important for good communication with others – and is therefore a gateway to better learning, friendships, academic success and employment. Skills such as these developed in our formative years at school often provide the foundation for future habits later on in life.”(more)

How to use picture books to get your class talking about emotions

The Guardian – Helen Hanna and Stefan Kucharczyk

“In the early years of primary education, there is a healthy emphasis on circle time discussion that allows children to talk about their feelings openly. One of the most effective and long-standing strategies to talk about difficult emotional issues such as anxiety and loneliness has been to use stories.”(more)