Positive words and intentions are crucial in building a thriving learning community.

“Language actually shapes thoughts, feelings, and experiences.  It produces fundamentally new forms of behavior.”                -Lev Vygotsky

Before you continue reading this post take a minute to read this article: The Power of Our Words by Paula Denton.

Example from the book:

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Laughter

Using Humor in the Classroom Laughter has the power to fuel engagement and help students learn By Robert McNeely

Choice

Classroom of Choice by Jonathan C. Erwin Chapter 4. Power in the Classroom: Creating the Environment

Empathy

Building Empathy in Classrooms and Schools

Body Language

Good Body Language Improves Classroom Management Successful Teachers Blend both Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

Teacher Relationships

Improving Students’ Relationships with Teachers to Provide Essential Supports for Learning Positive relationships can also help a student develop socially Sara Rimm-Kaufman, PhD, and Lia Sandilos, PhD, University of Virginia

Growth Mindset – Reframing Negative Self Talk

A growth mindset is a belief that your most basic abilities can be nurtured and developed though dedication and hard work. Talent is just the starting point. People with a positive growth mindset create a love of learning that is vital for doing great things. A positive growth mindset will also lend itself to being resilient in the face of setbacks. Failures are seen as learning opportunities to people with a positive growth mindset.

Verses

A fixed mindset is a belief that your basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, are fixed traits. People with a fixed mindset believe that talent makes people successful. Effort is secondary to brains and talent.

4 Ways to Encourage a Growth Mindset in the Classroom

10-growth-mindset-statements

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Programs that support developing positive learning environments

A promising program out of Yale University that helps supports Developing Classroom Culture is called RULER.

RULER is an evidence-based approach for integrating social and emotional learning into schools. RULER applies “hard science” to the teaching of what have historically been called “soft skills.” RULER teaches the skills of emotional intelligence — those associated with recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotion. Decades of research show that these skills are essential to effective teaching and learning, sound decision making, physical and mental health, and success in school and beyond.

The RULER Approach to Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) helps build the following skills:

Recognizing: Recognize the emotion of either yourself or of someone else in order to react in the most socially appropriate manner to help resolve the issue. This includes picking up on cues such as facial expression, words, tone, behavior, and one’s own thoughts.

Understanding:  Emotions are often triggered by events that bring upon specific emotions and thoughts. When a child understands more about what is triggering specific emotions, they are more likely to be less reactive. Understanding of emotions helps young children see how emotions affect decisions, behavior and goals. Problem-solving skills are needed to learn how to cope, as well as develop empathy towards others.

Labeling: Labeling emotions is nothing more than connecting different scenarios with a specific emotions, and descriptive words. For example, a child with emotional literacy may use the words inspired, enthusiastic, and thrilled.

Expressing: practicing control, timing, and expression of emotions in appropriate ways helps with communication development for healthy relationships. Students who have difficulties in both labeling and expression tend to not have successful relationships.

Regulating Emotions: Regulation during emotional experiences means organizing and managing the thoughts, emotions and behavior that often develop. Successfully regulated emotions are often prevented, reduced, initiated, maintained, or enhanced (PRIME). Source

PBIS

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture and needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional and academic success. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining primary (school-wide), secondary (classroom), and tertiary (individual) systems of support that improve lifestyle results (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation) for all youth by making targeted misbehavior less effective, efficient, and relevant, and desired behavior more functional.

Practical Strategies for Common Classroom Issues

Positive Behavior Support in the Classroom: Facilitating Behaviorally Inclusive Learning Environments Terrance M. Scott, Kristy Lee Park, Jessica Swain-Bradway & Eric Landers

Anne Fernald suggests talking to your infants increases intelligence

I know that this seems like a no brainer, but I cannot stress that if you have access to a parent of a young child it is important to convey that talking and interacting with their child as much as possible is crucial for their development. Despite all the pressures and stresses that we endure to make ends meet financially. We should be reminded that cultivating shared time and activity with our children can help fuel our energies and be renewed to take on the difficult tasks that face us daily.

Anne Fernald is an American psychologist, the Josephine Knotts Knowles Professor in Human Biology at Stanford University,[1] and has been described as “the leading researcher in infant-directed speech”.[2]

Fernald specializes in children’s language development, investigating the development of speed and efficiency in children’s early comprehension in relation to their emerging lexical and grammatical competence. Recently, she has also begun to study language development in bilingual Spanish-English speaking children and children who are learning Spanish in addition to English. Her research has shown that infants prefer baby talk to adult speech and that it plays an important role in their language development,[3]and that baby talk has universal features that span multiple cultures and languages.[4][5] She has also studied the effects of television on infants, showing that young TV viewers echo the emotional responses of the actors they see.[6][7]

Fernald received a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Oregon in 1982,[8] where she studied under the mentorship of Patricia K. Kuhl. As well as her position as a psychology professor, Fernald has taken an administrative role at Stanford as Vice Provost for Faculty Development.[9] Her husband, Russell Fernald, is the Benjamin Scott Crocker Professor in Human Biology at Stanford. Source

Stanford psychologist shows why talking to kids really matters

SES differences in language processing skill and vocabulary are evident at 18 months

Speech and Language Developmental Milestones

How to work towards change according to Tandem™ who promotes early literacy and family engagement programming in the Bay Area.