Elementary Learning Center

The month of October was filled with a lot of fun and adventure. Field trips to Mi’kmawey Debert trails, apple picking and to the pumpkin patch were all fun activities scheduled in for the month of October. Now filed trips are typically fun filled events that give student an opportunity to learn in a different environment but they also have the ability to bring out unexpected anxieties in some students. In the Learning Centre we try to alleviate some of this anxiety by preparing students with the use of social stories and explicit teaching. By doing this we can help students prepare for the change in their daily schedule and bring clarity to the unknown’s that exist with unfamiliar field trips. Field trips are essential in providing students with an opportunity to learn in a different setting and to have a lot of fun while their doing it, it’s just some students experience unexpected challenges with field trips so that’s why we work to prepare our students so everyone can have fun and enjoy the lessons learned on field trips.

Field trips also give us as educators the freedom to promote social skills in surroundings that aren’t familiar to the students. During field trips students are usually placed into small groups in which they travel with and partake in the day’s activities. For some of our students that may find social situations harder to navigate, it is a perfect opportunity to teach students mini lessons on social happens that occur during field trips. Field trips are fun, exciting and enjoyable events that are both beneficial for staff and students to build on skills that have been started at school.

Tyler Schussler

During the month of September, the Learning Centre really focused on re-establishing the routines and schedules that were in place before the students left for their summer vacation. Now that we’ve accomplished that our focus has moved to other priorities like emotional regulation and social skills. Controlling one’s emotions may seem easy for most people but for some of our students it can be a real challenge. Our mood can vary from day to day and it’s important that we recognize what kind of mood we are in because the outcome of the school day can change drastically depending on if we are mad or upset. In the Learning Centre we help students identify their moods by helping students recognize their body signals especially if they are becoming angry or frustrated. We also teach students that it’s ok to be mad or frustrated, it’s how we deal with those feelings and the actions that sometimes come with them. 

Social skills have also been one of the Learning Centre’s priorities early on in the school year. Social skills are the skills that help us communicate with each other both verbally and non-verbally through gestures and body language. These skills are essential especially when students are developing friendships with other students. School provide a number of positive experiences for students and developing friendships is one of these experiences, which is why social skills are high on the Learning Centre’s priority list.

The Learning Centre is happy to welcome back all the Students of LSK from their summer vacations. Summer is a time for students to recharge and relax however, the summer break can also dismantle all the structure and routines that were established from the previous school year. The goal of the Learning Centre to start off the school year is to help re-establish the structure and routines from the previous year, along with creating new ones that are best suited for our students. Structure and routines are developed with the best interest of the student and the sooner both are re-established the sooner students will be able to grow within them. 

The beginning of the school year is also a great time to develop social skills. Social skills are important for students to learn because not only will these skills help students make friends but also help them navigate through a variety of social situations that aren’t always easy. Students will still have the relationships they formed over previous school years but with ice breaking exercises and introductory themed activities there will be plenty of opportunity to create new and hopefully lasting friendships. People need to have a range of different skills to help them maneuver through social situations, social skills can be seen as a vehicle that helps students with this maneuvering, which is why social skills are a priority early on in the school year.

Thanks,

Tyler Schussler

As we move into May the Learning Centre has been focusing on developing a growth mind-set.  It is believed that there are two types of mind-sets, a fixed mind-set and a growth mind-set. There are many differences between the two mind-sets regarding effort, criticism and failure. A person with a growth mind-set values the effort they put into things above all else. In the Learning Centre we really try to plant this into our students so whatever goals they decide to pursue in life, they will go after it with maximum effort, helping them successfully reach their goals. A growth minded person does not see criticism as a negative term but an opportunity to improve oneself. In the learning Centre we try and teach our students that criticism isn’t negative but is an opportunity to improve our choices, actions, effort or work. Lastly a growth minded person does not view failure as an end result to an undertaking but rather an opportunity to learn from it. If we can teach our students that failure is part of the journey to learning, then it will hopefully help our students not only cope but also embrace failure as a learning opportunity. Developing a growth mind-set in our students will set up our students with the tools they will need to be successful not only in the classroom but also in life. 

During the month of March, the Learning Centre focused on regulating emotions and as we move into April our focus has shifted to calming down strategies. Calming down seems simple for most people but once someone has become dysregulated or even angry the task becomes a lot more difficult. If students can focus on the warning signs before becoming angry it can help them calm down and prevent inappropriate behaviours. Things like clinched fists, tightening of the facial muscles and an increased heart rate can all be signs that someone may becoming angry. Once an individual recognizes they are becoming angry, they can apply calming down strategies such as taking deep breaths, thinking happy thoughts or taking a body break. These are just a few strategies that can help students calm down. 

Our focus during the month of April will also be on understanding other people’s perspectives when we act out inappropriately. When we act out inappropriately it may seem like the only person it affects is ourselves but this simply isn’t true. The people around us are also affected and depending on the behaviour this could be a negative effect. It’s important that we teach our student’s this so that they can understand; their actions may be affecting the people around them. A student’s inappropriate actions may have unexpected consequences on some of their peer relationships which is why it’s important that we understand other people’s perspectives. ​

The Learning Centre is excited to announce the arrival of a bunch of new equipment to our learning environment. The white fluorescent bulbs found in most schools have been known to cause stress and anxiety in some students which is why the Learning Centre has covered them up with calming coloured shades that will hopefully improve our student’s academic performances. In addition to the shades the Learning Centre was also equipped with a new trampoline that will be provided to any student in the Learning Centre that requires a body break.

Secondly, the Learning Centre will be focusing on regulating our emotions moving into the month of March. When students become dysregulated it can disrupt their daily schedules, their learning and their relationships, which is why the Learning Centre has put emphasis on regulating our emotions. The tool being used to teach our students how to regulate their emotions is called “Zones of Regulations” which takes almost every human emotion and categorizes them into different coloured zones. For example, if you were feeling happy, you’d be in the Green Zone. There are four zones: Red, Green, Yellow and Blue and depending on how someone is feeling they can identify with one of the four zones. Our goal along with the Zones of Regulation is to provide our students with the tools and strategies needed to help them regulate their emotions throughout their daily routine.

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