Please take a few moments to support the STEM K-8 Direct Give!. You can donate via the form sent home with students or submit a payment online. Direct Give contributions support STEM learning experiences. Books, additional tools and materials, Project Based Learning, staff training, and field experiences are all supported by Direct Give funds. Any size donation is appreciated!
A minor modification to STEM’s uniform policy was made for Middle School students. Spirit Wear Friday’s were established for Middle School students to support STEM extra-curricular activities. On Friday’s Middle School students can wear Spirit Wear, STEM team shirts, and Spirit Wear sweat shirts. For preK-5 Spirit Wear Friday’s remain the last Friday of the month. There are some privileges that come with age and experience!
The parents/guardians of students who receive (or are seeking) Special Education or 504 services at STEM are invited to a parent meeting on Thursday, October 18 from 6:30-8:00 in the STEM library. The purpose of the meeting is for families to be able to connect with one another and identify ways for STEM K-8 to better support and respond to their experiences.
STEM K-8 is entering it ’s second year of RULER implementation. RULER is an evidence-based socio-emotional curriculum that teaches vital self-regulation, empathy, and social skills. It is designed to teach the skills detailed below and provide opportunities for students and teachers, administrators, and family members to help them apply these skills. I will continue to communicate information about RULER. We want families to know the important skills being taught and also the key RULER tools.
RULER teaches five emotional intelligence skills:
- Recognizing – Identifying emotion in oneself and others by interpreting facial expressions, body language, vocal tones and physiological reactions.
- Understanding – Knowing the causes and consequences of emotions, including the influence of different emotions on thinking, learning, decisions, and behavior
- Labeling – Using a wide range of emotion words, developing a rich feeling word vocabulary.
- Expressing – Knowing how and when to express emotions with different people and in multiple contexts (nonverbal, written, and spoken)
- Regulating – Developing strategies that help us manage our emotions to support healthy relationships and achieve goals.
RULER is comprised of four Anchor Tools that will be rolled out over the first four months of school. At this point all classrooms should have developed Charters (detailed below), and many will have introduced Mood Meters.
Ruler Anchor Tools:
- Charter Each classroom will create a Charter that describes how they want to feel in class, what needs to happen to support those feelings and guidelines for handling conflict.
- Mood Meter A tool for recognizing and labeling one’s feelings.
- Meta Moments A 6 step process that teaches self-regulation strategies and how to handle stressful situations.
- Blueprint A problem-solving tool for navigating conflicts in which students consider each other’s feelings and identify effective solutions.
The Charter is designed to support a positive culture and climate. Unlike “rules” of conduct, an Emotional Intelligence Charter represents agreed-upon norms for how everyone will be treated, including (1) how teachers, and students want to feel in school, (2) what everyone needs to do to feel that way consistently, and (3) guidelines for how to handle uncomfortable feelings.
The process of creating a Charter involves responding to three questions:
- How do we want to feel in school each day? Everyone is asked to think about what these feelings will look like in school in terms of specific, measurable, observable behaviors. In other words, what will the group need to do each day to ensure everyone experiences these feelings?
- What will we do to have these feelings consistently and create a positive learning environment? The class first discusses (A) the uncomfortable feelings and unwanted behaviors they would like to avoid experiencing in school and then (B) how these feelings and behaviors will be handled and how conflict will be prevented and managed, including what happens when the Charter is breached.
- How will we prevent and manage conflict and unwanted feelings?
Once all three questions are answered, the Charter is written or typed up, signed by everyone in the group, and posted somewhere visible so it can be referred to and revisited for amendments as needed. The Charter is a living, growing Ruler tool used in all STEM K-8 homerooms.