Social-emotional well-being a top priority at Washington Drive

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Second graders at Washington Drive Primary School made mindfulness jars on March 2, adding yet another tool to their social emotional tool box.
Since September, the students have been working with school phycologist Lauren Gallagher to become more self-aware of their emotions. Students have learned how crucial coping skills, like mindful breathing, maintaining a growth mindset, drawing or coloring, exercise and “talking to yourself like you’re your own best friend,” can help calm stress and anxiety.
Students rotated between four stations in the school’s Makerspace and spent time listing their frustrations and their preferred calming methods during Battle of the Brains. Alongside Superintendent Dr. Francesco Ianni, they also searched for words, like exhale, gratitude and focus, in a Search for Mindfulness word search. Additionally, students had an opportunity to tinker and explore the Makerspace.
However, the highlight of the day was choosing what color glitter to pour into their mindfulness jars. Ms. Gallagher told the students that it’s calming to shake their jars and watch as the glitter slowly sinks to the bottom. Students were ecstatic to test that theory as they jumped up and down and shook their jars to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” during a mindfulness dance party.
At Washington Drive, teachers, administrator and staff are dedicated to ensuring that each student has the social emotional tools to succeed in school and beyond. As part of that mission, students also have access to an arsenal of books in the school library, which share important messages about team building, social skills, kindness, emotional intelligence and character skills.