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Eagles & Social Emotional Learning (ages 9-11)

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

by Dave Rodich


The 2022/2023 school year has been an exciting one thus far for the Eagles class. With four new amazing students and a year long theme of local agriculture, there has been a great energy and sense of curiosity. At the start of the school year, we put emphasis on social emotional learning. First, the students created their class rules. Then, we moved on to using the ‘CARES’ acronym of social emotional competencies (cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, self-control) to guide our morning meetings. The class guidelines and the competencies frame discussions on a daily basis, serving as umbrella life skills to be interpreted in a multitude of contexts. They also have guided the students creating their own social emotional growth goals.

These same concepts guide our approach to academics, supporting the students to take ownership of their learning. In our introductory math unit (number sense and computation) this has taken shape as our ‘menu of computation’ protocol, in which the students work towards mastery of operations at their own pace, building a portfolio of examples along the way. In ELA, it appears in our work towards our very own, yet-to-be-named, class newspaper. This has prompted students to learn skills such as how to craft interview questions, write in a journalistic voice, edit, proofread, create word puzzles, and more. It’ll be exciting to see the students use this format to express themselves! Another driving force in our approach to academics is integration. We’ve explored our local agriculture theme by visiting farms, inviting a farmer in as a guest speaker, and reading the book Seedfolks, with the students each creating a vignette of their own that wove into the setting of the book. This served as an entry point into the science of sustainability and what it means for local farmers. We’ve studied the water cycle, and students are now thinking critically about the quality of the water that a farm has to use and how it tends to the quality of the runoff emitted from its operations. It’s heartening to see the students thinking critically about bigger picture issues at play in our community.

"My country is Peru. It is in the Southern hemisphere. It is also in the Western hemisphere. Peru is close to Brazil and Columbia. Some questions are is it like 12am right now? How close is Vermont to Peru? It is also bordered by Bolivia and Chile and Ecuador. Peru is to the west of Brazil" - Will

"North Meadow Farms was a field trip the school took. We went to a big farm that was inspirational because I learnt how to cooperate a bit better. There was a coop which Wolfe and I emptied along with Lucy. It was also interestingto see chickens, bunnies, cows, pigs and turkeys. I learnt that some roosters are angry and mad at everything except food and water. All in all it was a great experience." - Max

"Pokemon cards. My first pack Monday. I got it in after school. Barnaby gave it to m. It was a coolant. I have 11 Pokemon cards." - Sammy

"On Saturday, October 15th Red Fox had a harvest fest. The Harvest Fest was both fun and tiring. One example of it being fun is there was some of the best tasting popcorn ever! Another example is playing in Hogalwood also Alabama Sal. A few examples of it being tiring is raking wood chips it really smelled moldy and just gross!" - Gabriel

"Today we filled water. We put sand gravel and charcoal. We layered the stuff into a plastic container and poured VERY dirty water into the container with holes. The dirty water got filtered through the charcoal and gravel first. Then the sands, then into a big container." -Ella

"Art this week was fun. The Eagles drew skulls of birds and cows and goats. It was great. We used special pencils that made light lines. After we finished we drew over the lines with oil pastels. Then we finished class. The skulls looked creepy." - Jack