This week’s author is ASM’s Learning Specialist, Courtney Cooper.
Social-emotional learning is a foundation for many of our most pressing priorities. It helps young people and adults learn and practice skills that set them up for academic success, fulfilling careers, healthy relationships, and responsible civic engagement. Research has shown that social-emotional learning in schools leads to positive outcomes, including better academic performance, and decreases in stress and anxiety. As we begin the lifelong process of social-emotional growth, we work to create a strong connection between our students and their community.
Each month, I have the pleasure of visiting Children’s House and Lower Elementary classrooms to share our social-emotional curriculum, Slumberkins. Slumberkins is an emotional learning program that works to empower children to be caring, confident, and resilient. The curriculum is designed around social-emotional learning that fosters healthy connections between students, teachers, and our larger ASM community. These experiences help students realize that they are not alone in their social-emotional journey.
Together, we discuss noticing, naming, and welcoming our feelings and explore how this impacts our choices and behaviors. Slumberkins focuses on a “Connect-to-Grow” approach that supports a more conscious and compassionate world by helping children:
- Identify, embrace, and learn from all feelings, big and small
- Deepen healthy relationships through meaningful moments in everyday life
- Step into their most authentic selves and honor the diverse world in which we live
- Lay the foundation for a lifetime of confidence, empathy, and resiliency
With the help of Slumberkins stuffed animals, students have shown great interest in exploring their feelings and collaborating on ways to work as a community to help and empower their peers. I encourage you to ask your child(ren) about their Slumberkins friends (Hammerhead, Otter, and Sloth, just to name a few) – they are well loved members of our community.
At ASM, we place significant emphasis on social-emotional learning, aligning with Maria Montessori’s core belief that children should have opportunities to explore their emotions and understand how these feelings intertwine with their learning journey. We are proud of the work we continue to do and strengthen in this area.