Using the lens of the Search Institute’s “40 Developmental Assets” to support student outcomes

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Developmental Assets

Developmental Assets help children grow into caring, engaged, and responsible adults. Developmental Assets include the internal character strengths and commitments young people need as well as the external supports and opportunities they need from their families, schools, organizations, and communities.

Search Institute introduced the framework in 1990 and, since then, has studied developmental assets in more that 5 million youth across North America and around the world. The approach focuses on young people’s strengths and working across the many parts of their lives to support their growth and successful development. Hundreds of schools, coalitions, and other organizations have used the developmental assets as a guiding framework for their youth development efforts. Source

Questions

WHAT IS IT?
Asset Building, Resiliency and Youth Development and are philosophies and strategies for creating youth-centered environments that prioritize the positive development of young people.

WHY USE IT?
Research and practitioner experience has proven that a positive school day and after school environment that intentionally develops youth’s assets and adopts a youth development approach can provide the experiences and skills that youth need to develop into healthy adults.

WHEN TO USE IT?
Utilizing an asset building, resiliency and youth development based approach is effective in planning and facilitating all aspects of school day and after school programs. The approach can be used:
As the foundation of your school’s philosophy to establish emotionally, physically safe and engaging learning environments; As a framework for creating engaging classroom, program structures and activities that offer meaningful participation, build skills and expose youth to new opportunities and resources; As an approach for increasing youth involvement and youth buy in to lesson and activity components; As a professional development component or part of a job orientation for all staff.
HOW IT IS USED:
Below are three philosophies of asset building, resiliency and youth development that are often referred to by school sites, local city agencies and community based organizations.
SFUSD- School Health Programs Department encourages the following Asset Building, Resiliency and Youth Development core principles for working with young people as measured by the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS):

Young people have the capacity to develop and transform as they move toward adulthood.
Young people are genetically intended to develop and are actively seeking to meet their own needs.
All young people need the same types of positive resources:
-Caring, Respectful Relationships
-High, Clear and Fair Expectations
-Meaningful Opportunities to Participate and Contribute
All young people need adults in their lives.

Source

PROCESS

First, the kids take a pretest called the DAP (Link). The school gets the results to help direct efforts to support students at their school based on the needs represented by the child responses. The school chooses activities to carry out throughout the year to intervene with the needs. Finally, a posttest of the DAP is given to measure the growth of the schools’ efforts to address the needs identified in the pretest DAP.

DAP QUICK REFERENCE

Length: 58 questions

Average Completion Rate:10 minutes
(Add at least 10 minutes for general instructions and collection.)

Youth: 4-12 grade; ages 9-18

Minimum youth needed for report: 30

Minimum time between Pre and Post: 3 months

Source

 

Need a Copy of the 40 Developmental Assets?

These documents are provided, compliments of the Search Institute. Click on the links to download PDF copies of 40 Developmental Assets lists for different developmental stages and in different languages.

These pages may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only. Copyright © 1997, 2006 by Search Institute, 615 First Avenue N.E.,Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413; 800-888-7828; search-institute.org. All Rights Reserved.

The following are registered trademarks of Search Institute: Search Institute®, Developmental Assets® and Healthy Communities • Healthy Youth®.

Asset Checklist

Assets for Different Developmental Stages

Assets in Alternate Languages

Please note, these asset lists were compiled by Healthy Communities, Healthy Youth sites across the United States. They represent volunteer efforts. Assets lists in alternate stages for different developmental levels are not available for every language.

Would you like to learn more about the Search Institute and their work with the 40 Developmental Assets? Click here to check out their website!

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Kidpower a Great resource for keeping kids, parents, and educators informed about child safety

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https://www.kidpower.org/

Kidpower is an excellent organization with a world-class reputation in supporting child safety. Their materials and training have helped many schools in our area and I can attest to their commitment to building safer communities.

Resource Library

Books

Training

Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International is a global non-profit leader dedicated to child protection advocacy and empowering people of all ages, abilities, cultures, beliefs, and identities with life skills for safety and success. Our vision is to work together to create cultures of safety, respect, and kindness for everyone, everywhere.

Since 1989, Kidpower has protected nearly 5 million people, including those with special needs, from bullying, abuse, kidnapping, and other violence by empowering them with awareness, knowledge, and skills – and has prepared them to take charge of their safety and well being. Worldwide, thousands of educators, mental health experts, public safety officials, health care providers, community leaders, and parents recommend Kidpower for being effective, positive, hands-on, safe, trauma-informed, culturally competent, age-appropriate, and relevant.

Kidpower delivers services through:

  • Hands-on experiential workshops for families, schools, organizations, businesses, and agencies

  • Training for people wishing to learn how to use and teach our programs

  • Partnerships with groups that share our commitment to safety and respect

  • Consulting and coaching calls, for individuals and groups, to provide long-distance support

  • Extensive online educational resources including articles, handouts, posters, and videos

  • Cartoon-illustrated books for children, teens, and adults and other publications

  • Initiatives such as International Child Protection Advocacy Month in September

Death of a loved one can be difficult to navigate with your children.

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Death is that inevitable phenomenon that no one really cares to talk about, especially with your children. As we go through life death often pops up when we least expect it. This post is dedicated to resources to support your efforts in guiding your child through the tough process of death of a loved one.

Thoughts

Parenting While Grieving

How to help a grieving child

Grief Tip Sheets

Talking to Kids About Death and Grief: 10 Comprehensive Tips

The Grief Coaster: Understanding stress in grief

Journaling

Grief Activity Books for Kids 3-9

Activities

Here are some things you can do to help you express your feelings.

Activity 1:  finish the sentences

Finish the following sentences.

The thing that makes me feel the saddest is …..

If I could talk to the person who died I would ask….

Since the death my family doesn’t….

My worst memory is….

If I could change things I would….

One thing that I liked to do with the person who died was…

When the person died I….

Since the death my friends….

After the death, school….

When I am alone….

Is there anyone you want to share this with?

Activity 2: drawing

Find a piece of paper and fold it in half. On one side, draw a picture of your family before the death. On the other side, draw a picture of your family after the death. You might want to share your picture with someone who would understand.

Source

Activities for Grieving Children

Sesame Street Materials-

  • Storybook (2.1mb PDF)
    Curl up with this printable book, starring your child’s favorite characters: Elmo and Jessie.
  • Caring Cards (631kb PDF)
    Have these cards on hand when you need a conversation starter, an activity idea, or just a little inspiration.
  • Memory Chain (709kb PDF)
    Connect all your favorite memories—our paper chain template shows you how.

Books

List of children’s books about death (PDF)

The Dougy Center Materials (Books and Pamphlets on Death, Dying, and Grief)

1. Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children (kids 5+)

2.The Invisible String (kids 3+)

3. Everett Anderson’s Goodbye (Reading Rainbow)  (kids 5-8)

4. The Tenth Good Thing About Barney (kids 6-9)

5. I’ll Always Love You (kids 3-7)

6. When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death (Dino Life Guides for Families) (kids 4-8)

7. I Miss You: A First Look at Death (First Look at Books) (kids 4+)

8. The Saddest Time (kids 6-9)

9. Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss  (kids 8+)tear soup

10. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages (kids 4+)

11. Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying (kids 4+)

12. Where Are You? A Child’s Book About Loss (kids 4-8)

13. Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile: A Story About Coping With the Loss of a Parent (kids 5+)

14. The Scar (kids5-9)

15. A Terrible Thing Happened (kids 4+)

16. The Elephant in the Room: A Childrens Book for Grief and Loss (kids 4+)

17. The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Be Sad (kids 4+)  elephant in the room

18. I Wish I Could Hold Your Hand…: A Child’s Guide to Grief and Loss (Little Imp Books) (kids 9+)

19. Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children (kids 4+)

20. When Your Grandparent Dies: A Child’s Guide to Good Grief (Elf-Help Books for Kids) (kids 5+)

21. Someone I Love Died (kids 4-8)

22. What Happened When Grandma Died? (kids 4+)

23. Always and Forever (kids 4+)

24. Badger’s Parting Gifts (kids 4-8)

25. Ghost Wings (kids 5+)

26. Finding Grandpa Everywhere: A Young Child Discovers Memories of a Grandparent (kids 7+)

27. The Grandpa Tree (kids 3+)nana upstairs

28. Sad Isn’t Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss (Elf-Help Books for Kids) (kids 6+)

29. Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs (Picture Puffins) (kids 4-8)

30. Daddy, Up and Down: Sisters Grieve the Loss of Their Daddy (kids 4-8)

31. Saying Goodbye to Daddy (kids 4+)

32. The Angel with the Golden Glow: A Family’s Journey Through Loss and Healing (kids 4+)

33. Where’s Jess: For Children Who Have a Brother or Sister Die (kids 3-6)

34. A Taste of Blackberries (kids 8-12)

35. Bridge to Terabithia (kids 8-12)

36. My Grandson Lew (kids 4-6)

37. Aarvy Aardvark Finds Hope: A Read Aloud Story for People of All Ages About Loving and Losing, Friendship and Hope (as the title says, people of all ages!)

38. The Empty Place: A Child’s Guide Through Grief (Let’s Talk)(kids 5-10)

39. Dancing on the Moon (kids 3+)  sammy in the sky

40. Lost and Found: Remembering a Sister (kids 6+)

41. Stacy Had a Little Sister (A Concept Book) (kids 4+)

42. Ragtail Remembers: A Story That Helps Children Understand Feelings of Grief (kids 4+)

43. Goodbye Mousie (kids 4-8)

44. Remembering Crystal (kids 3+)

45. Rudi’s Pond (kids 5-8)

46. The Memory String (kids 4-8)

47. Sammy in the Sky (kids 4-8)

48. Where Do People Go When They Die? (kids 3-8)

49. Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories (kids 3-8)

50. Her Mother’s Face (kids 4-8)

51. Remembering Mama (kids 4+) her mother

52. Old Pig (Picture Puffin)(kids 3-8)

53. Pearl’s Marigolds for Grandpa (kids 3-7)

54. Saying Goodbye to Lulu(kids 3-6)

55. The Mountains of Tibet(kids 7+)

56. Rabbityness (kids 3-7)

57. I Wish I Could Hold Your Hand…: A Child’s Guide to Grief and Loss (Little Imp Books) (kids 9+)

58. Can You Hear Me Smiling?: A Child Grieves a Sister (kids 8+)

59. The Copper Tree (kids 5-8)

60. Everybody Feels Sad (kids 4+)

61. Grief is Like a Snowflake (kids 4+)

62. My Baby Big Sister: A Book for Children Born Subsequent to a Pregnancy Loss (kids 4-8)

63. Ladder to the Moon (kids 4-8)

64. Missing Mommy: A Book About Bereavement (kids 3-8).

Source

Camp

Grief Camp 

Camp Erin is the largest national bereavement program for youth grieving the death of a significant person in their lives.

Children and teens ages 6-17 attend a transformational weekend camp that combines traditional, fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support, free of charge for all families. Led by grief professionals and trained volunteers, Camp Erin provides a unique opportunity for youth to increase levels of hope, enhance self-esteem, and especially to learn that they are not alone.

Camp Erin is offered in every Major League Baseball city as well as additional locations across the U.S. and Canada. The Moyer Foundation partners with hospices and bereavement organizations to bring hope and healing to thousands of grieving children and teens each year

Organizations

National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC)

Family Lives On Foundation

School

When death impacts your school

Therapy Materials

Clinical Grief Activities for Working with Bereaved Children

Turn taking / Listening at School (Elementary)

“Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble.” – Frank Tyger

“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” — Turkish saying

“I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention.” — Diane Sawyer, newscaster

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” — Bryant McGill, author

turn-taking

Turn taking is a social skill that can take time to develop in young school aged children. By providing different opportunities to practice the skill the student in time will be more adept at using those skills in a social setting with peers and adults. This post will show some ideas for promoting Turn Taking.

TURN TAKING is a life skill necessary for social success in all environments. TURN TAKING is not a skill that develops naturally for many children. Many children need to be taught TURN TAKING skills and offered many opportunities to practice. Teaching TURN TAKING involves many skills such as: 1) a social understanding of why we share; 2) self-regulation skills; 3) what to do when I am waiting; and, 4) knowing when to take a turn. By preparing a child to learn about TURN TAKING you are setting them up for successful play with peers.

Source:HOW TO TEACH: “Turn Taking”

Social Stories

In the Classroom 

PREZI on Sharing and Turn Taking

Taking Turns at Circle (Word Document)

Activities

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Read: My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook, (2005)

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Use this lesson to talk about blurting and interrupting.

Lesson Plan: Specific Skill: I Can Listen Attentively

Active Listening (for grades 3-6)

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Classroom Strategies

Using a Talking Stick

This is a method of enforcing turn-taking in conversation which is part of Native American lore and tradition.  Making simple Talking Sticks and using them can provide a fun and useful series of social skills lessons for young people on the autism spectrum.

Videos

 

Visuals

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Influencing Student Self Concept

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Many times in my work as a School Psychologist I see students who are capable of doing the work, but their self-concept as not being a learner gets in the way of success.

Four ideas for teachers to help start students thinking of themselves as competent learners.

  1. Start with what they are doing well at academically. (Be specific and authentic)
  2. Ask the student what might be missing from your instruction that they need to be more successful.
  3. When a student has responded to corrective feedback, praise the student with specifics on how they helped to transform their learning and you are excited to keep watching them grow as a learner.
  4. Connect and talk to your grade level team and also support staff (Principal, Counselor, and School Psychologist) to get more ideas and tools to support your student in need.

Articles

Self-Concept and Self-Esteem in Adolescents (NASP)

Understanding and Fostering Achievement Motivation (NASP)

Student Self Esteem and the School System: Perceptions and Implications

Dr. Ken Shore’s Classroom Problem Solver -The Student With Low Self-Esteem

Self-concept and School Performance – UCLA

SELF-BELIEFS AND SCHOOL SUCCESS: SELF-EFFICACY, SELF-CONCEPT, AND SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT

Ideas to support students

Characteristic How to support
Sense of security
  • Maintain a safe and healthy learning environment by following safety policies and procedures.
  • Show all children you care about their well-being by talking to them each day and learning about their lives.
  • Be consistent and follow through on your promises.
Sense of belonging
  • Create a community atmosphere.
  • Celebrate all children as individuals.
  • Implement a zero-tolerance policy on bullying, and promote kindness and character education.
Sense of purpose, responsibility and contribution
  • Give children responsibilities in the environment.
  • Ask for input from children when creating activity plans and setting themes.
Sense of personal competence and pride
  • Give children opportunities for success.
  • Have activities that are varied in levels of difficulty so that children can be challenged in a safe way.
Sense of trust
  • Gain the trust of children by creating an atmosphere based on respect and kindness.
  • Set boundaries that give children opportunities for safe risk taking.
  • Be consistent and follow through on your promises.
Sense of making real choices and decisions
  • Give children the opportunity to choose their activities, field trips, etc. Make them feel like their input and voice matters by taking their suggestions seriously and using them to develop activity plans.
Sense of self-discipline and self-control
  • Use positive guidance methods that support school-age children and their ability to regulate their own behavior.
  • Help children gain self-control by teaching them coping techniques.
Sense of encouragement, support and reward
  • Provide guidance, encouragement, feedback and praise when children are working hard towards any goal (big or small).
Sense of accepting mistakes and failures
  • Turn mistakes, setbacks or failures into learning opportunities by talking to children about what happened. Discuss with them the choices, steps or decisions that could have changed the outcome.
  • Always talk about how a child would do something differently in the future. This helps them to apply their current situation to future events.
Sense of family self-esteem
  • Families are a child’s first and most important caregiver, teacher and advocate. Children need to feel comfortable, loved and safe within their family unit.
  • Work with families to support their needs.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics (2015). Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5 to 12. Available at:https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/Pages/Helping-Your-Child-Develop-A-Healthy-Sense-of-Self-Esteem.aspx

Source:  https://www.virtuallabschool.org/school-age/self-culture/lesson-2

Course work

Complete Lesson on Building self-concept of school aged children

Video

Caregivers give their own examples on how to promote positive self-concept in children Video

Quick Measure

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Begining the School Year Right

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EASE BACK INTO SCHOOL

The beginning of school may very well be parents’ most favorite time of the year. Even so, the transition for parents and kids can be a little rough. Here’s help to ease you and your child into the back-to-school groove.

SOURCE: PBS PARENTS

Good Reads

10 Things Parents Should Do at the Beginning of the School Year

Start Now, to Start the School Year Right by Arne Duncan Ex U.S. Secretary of Education

Back-to-School Resources for Parents – via Edutopia

Back to School Guide – via NEA

How Parents Can Prepare for Back to School Time Excerpt By: Janelle Cox

1. Get back into your sleep routine. To help eradicate those stressful school mornings, set up a regular bedtime and morning time routine to help prepare your child for school. Begin your usual school sleep routine about a week or so before school starts.
2. Shop for school supplies together. To get your child excited about starting a new grade, shop for supplies together. Allow them to pick out their own backpack, lunchbox, etc. This is a great way to give them a little bit of responsibility too!
3. Re­establish school routines. Have your child practice getting back into the rhythm of their daily school routine. You can do this by having them wake up at the same time every day, and eat around the same time they would at school. About a week or so before school starts, plan a few outside activities where your child will have to leave and come home around the same time they would if they were in school. This will help them be rested and ready for the big day.
4. Set up a homework station. Sit down with your child and together designate a time and place where he can do his homework each day. This can be somewhere quiet like in the den, or even in the kitchen while you are preparing dinner. Make sure to choose a time where you are available in case your child
needs your help.
5. Prepare for the unexpected. Working parents know that it can be difficult to find a sitter when your child is sick. Before school even begins, it’s a good idea to have a sitter already lined up in case you get that phone call home from the nurse saying your child is ill.
6. Make an after­school game plan. Make a plan for where your child will go after school lets out for the day. Depending upon the age of your child, figure
out if they will go to a neighbor’s house, an afterschool program, or be allowed to stay home by themselves. This will help eliminate any confusion during the
first few weeks.
7. Turn off the TV and video games. For a lot of children summertime is filled with endless video games and TV programs. Children are usually in shock when they begin school and realize that six hours of their day is going to spent learning and not playing games and watching TV. Ease your child into the learning process by turning off the electrics and encouraging them to read or play quietly.
8. Review school material and information. For most parents, schools send home a packet with a ton of information regarding their child’s new teacher, important dates to remember, emergency forms, and transportation routines. Make sure that you read through this information carefully, and mark down all
important dates on your calendar.
9. Get organized. The best way to prepare for back to school time is to be organized. With school comes a massive amount of paperwork which can consume your household. Designate a spot in your house for homework, permission slips, and any other school­related papers. This can help eliminate all of that paper clutter and make your life less stressful.
10. Get your child’s yearly checkup. School and germs go hand in hand, so it’s best to get your child’s yearly checkup before school even starts. Get any
required vaccinations and ask your pediatrician the best ways your child can stay healthy throughout the school year.

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The Book: Start the School Year Right What parents, students, and teachers should know

Activity

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL MAGIC DUST

Kids Books for Starting School

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Inclusion on the Playground

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WHAT IS AN INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND?
An inclusive playground addresses the needs of all people including those who have autism, intellectual disabilities, hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other disabilities. It also addresses the needs of typical children. An inclusive playground accommodates everyone and challenges them at their own developmental level. Source

After school how do I find an Inclusive Playground?

Playgrounds For Everyone A community-edited guide to accessible playgrounds. 

Resource list

(courtesy of AAA State of Play in the article “How-To Accommodate Special Needs Children on the Playground”)

Follow these links to learn more about accommodating special-needs children on the playground: