A goal of the MMS guidance department is to be proactive rather than reactive in our approach to working with students on the many challenges they face throughout adolescence. This goal is achieved through classroom guidance lessons using the Second Step: Student Success Through Prevention curriculum. The Second Step curriculum includes lessons that address the following:
Empathy Communication Perspective taking Respectful disagreement Negotiation and compromise Emotion management Coping with stress Goal Setting
The Second Step curriculum builds social/emotional and communication skills, teaches students how to set goals, and how to positively deal with stressful situations. Skills taught align with RSU 57's Habits of Mind Standards.
This year, students in 6th grade build upon these skills by learning how to problem solve, by practicing how to have empathy for others, identifying their short and long-term goals, and role-playing to build positive relationships with their peers. One of our lessons introduced students to grit and growth-mindset by watching the following short video and discussing the quote: "Success and failure are not measured by how you fall, but by how you pick yourself up."
Seventh grade students have participated in activities such as developing successful group work skills by creating a story out of pictures using empathy clues. Additional lessons have focused on practicing action steps for decision-making and problem-solving, discussing and role-playing skills for disagreeing respectfully, negotiating, and compromising. Students have also practiced perspective-taking and brainstorming around issues related to bullying.
Our 8th grade students are developing these skills by working as a team to determine what 5 items would be most helpful to get off of an imaginary island, by setting personal goals and determining steps to reach those goals, by developing trust and empathy through partner puzzle activities, and by discussing bullying, bystanders, and how to be an upstander. One of our lessons begins with the following quote by John Quincy Adams to help facilitate discussion on positive leadership qualities.
Growth Mindset Lesson
Marie and Halie at the Hardy Girls Healthy Women Conference.