California Educator

November / December 2016

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Page 21 of 59

Managing Our Inner Selves Kids Learn Compassion, Self-Control With Social-Emotional Learning By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin Photos by Scott Buschman L e t 's c h e c k i n ," su g ge st s Jay m i e S a c ra m e n t o t o first-graders on the rug in her classroom at Garfield Elementary School in Oakland. "Our eyes should be on the speaker to show we're listening." e youngsters have just come back from lunch. Before transitioning to language arts, their teacher takes a few minutes to assess their psychological well-being. "Our first topic is whether we are treating people the way we want to be treated," says Sacramento, an Oakland Education Association member. "Let's talk to our partner knee to knee, eye to eye." e students pair up and talk about their experiences on the playground. "It is not OK when people call you a booger or a loser," Allan Perez tells partner Markayla Davis. She nods and answers, "If you hurt anyone's feelings, they may not want to be your friend." Students share ideas about what to do when others engage in bad behavior. Sacramento explains that it's best to let another student know they are making you feel bad before asking adults to intervene. "I feel upset when you call me names," says Markayla to Allan, practicing a new way to express her feelings. "When you won't play with me, I feel sad," he replies. Garfield Elementary School's Markayla Davis and Allan Perez talk eye-to-eye about behavior on the playground. 20 Feature

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