European Assessment protocol for Children's SEL Skills
Program Paths in the classes 1A and 1B
Primary School borcev za severno mejo Maribor joined the Paths-Growth project in the school year 2013/2014. The program was designed to develop children's social and emotional competences that are included in the first period of primary school education.
Before the start of the program, the first grade teachers attended a two-day training at the Pedagogical Faculty in Ljubljana.
The classes 1A and 1B started with the implementation of the Paths-Growth program on 22 October 2013. The teachers presented the program to the pupils and implemented the first lesson with the topic Rules. While reading the story the pupils got to know the class rules of the teacher Tomsic. Then the teachers invited pupils to develop the class rules, they recorded and hung them at a prominent place in the classroom. They discussed why it was necessary to follow the rules.
After the first step everything was easier. The children were excited to take in the program.
In the next lesson the teachers explained that they needed an assistant to help them during the lessons. That pupil was called the pupil of the day. They prepared two bowls with the following two labels, I've never been a pupil of the day and I've been a pupil of the day. Each pupil wrote his or her name on a piece of paper and put it in the bowl I've never been a pupil of the day. The mutual agreement was that the first pupil was chosen by the teacher and all the others by the pupil of the day
The pupil of the day had a special place by the teachers and wore a special symbol (orange cap, yellow brooch or was sitting on a soft cushion during the morning circle).
At the end of the day the pupil received a list of compliments from his/her classmates and the teacher, commended himself/herself and received a letter which he or she showed to the parents.
At the start of the program the pupils of the day were selected every day, later once or twice a week. In the next few lessons the pupils learned about different feelings. They realized that these feelings were positive and negative. Each student got a picture with a face of a feeling, which he or she could relabel and tape in the circle of feelings. When pupils had a certain feeling, they could take the face and put it on their desk. So the other pupils knew how he/she was feeling
Throughout learning, the pupils listened to fairy tales, watched photos and played role plays which they enjoyed a lot. They identified with the other characters and improvised with enthusiasm. They recognized the different behaviors which they divided into suitable and unsuitable.
In order to make the pupils learn how to better have control over themselves, they were shown a teaching tool, scoreboard control, that contained three steps for moderation. According to the parents’ reports, pupils used the scoreboard controls also at home. They often reminded their parents how to act when they were upset.
The pupils often clarified problems with peers and parents and wrote them on a special box for problems.
One of the priorities of the program was to inform parents about the progress of the program.
The teachers presented a detailed program for parents at the first parent-teacher meeting.
They forwarded a letter to parents in which they defined when the program will be implemented and what was the purpose of the program. At the same time the parents were informed, that the child will sometimes wish to obtain a specific information from them. So throughout the year they were encouraged to participate in various interviews with their child at home. These interviews were also connected with the time when they attended primary school.
To obtain feedback from parents about the effectiveness and positive experiences with the program, a brief questionnaire was carried out at the end of the school year. The feedback was very encouraging, as parents evaluated the program as an important added value to regular school work and a great contribution to the life-long learning.
The program has certainly had an immense influence to good and positive interpersonal relationships among peers.
Primary school teachers from the Primary school borcev za severno mejo:
Mojca Birsa, Marija Leben, Katja Viltužnik, Petra Hernah
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