Category: Cognitive Awareness

Helping Students Turn Negative Thinking into Positive Thinking

During a SocialEyes Together®SEL group recently, our third and fourth graders responded in a way that was not surprising. We asked them to think about this situation:⁣ “You’re late for recess because you had to finish some work. Some kids in your class are playing your favorite game. You ask if you can join them. […]

Teaching Students How to Embrace Their Uniqueness

When our students were little, they had a fairly easy time being themselves. By late elementary school, groups started to form such as the popular kids, the athletic kids, the kids who sat alone, the rich kids, the bullies, the smart kids, etc, and they wondered, where did they fit in? Some of them started […]

From Awfulizing to Imperfectly Awesome

Many of our students react to uncomfortable situations by turning them into catastrophes. It’s easy for teachers to dismiss this as drama on their part.  In a way, it is. And it also isn’t.  It’s a “socially acceptable” pattern they’ve adopted to avoid uncomfortable feelings.  Their story expands and gathers momentum as it’s shared with […]

How to Prevent Your Students From Spiraling

When our students struggle with self worth and resilience, any setback can become a downward spiral. An incident that doesn’t go their way becomes the truth of their lives. If a friend can’t come over, that generalizes into, “No one likes me” or “I can never count on friends.”  Wow. That’s a heavy thought to […]

How to Teach Your Students Not to Jump to Conclusions

To the complete horror of the little girl and her grandma watching, a man picks up a blackish, four inch substance lying on the ground near his dog’s butt and happily takes a bite. The man looks up at them, smiles with a huge dark chunk visible between his teeth, and quickly registers their disgust. […]

How an “All or Nothing” Attitude Brings You Down and What To Do About it

After an especially trying SocialEyes Together® SEL group, discouraged by our students’ insufficient progress, I dumped my frustration on my co-leader, Jean. Emily had spent 45 minutes intermittently spewing negativity like a surprise hailstorm and Reggie was a master at that stealth distraction executed below adult radar detection that is the bane of every teacher’s […]