Mrs. Joanne Hull
The Social Express
Nelson has made the digital software "The Social Express" free to access until June 30th, 2020. The Social Express is an online resource that provides an excellent opportunity to navigate how to acquire and build on social skills. This Social Express is successful tool to use in a virtual learning environment and is primarily intended for elementary school-aged children (K-3) as well as those with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, nonverbal learning disabilities, pragmatic language deficits or other social-cognitive challenges. Depending on their emotional and social abilities, younger children and young adults may also benefit from using the software.
Fill out the form at the bottom of the webpage to get access: https://www.nelson.com/assessment/the-social-express.html
Dealing with Stress Webinar
This education session aims to increase knowledge and skills for individuals and/or loved ones who are dealing with stress. The goal for this webinar is to enhance your understanding of stress, stress management, and identify ways to manage and cope with it. During this pandemic and going forward into a "new normal" we have and will all find ourselves in situations that feel stressful or overwhelming, so learning more about stress and how to manage it will be beneficial for you and your family.
To remove barriers during this time, Strongest Families Institute has made their programs available through self-referral. The Strongest Families programs are designed to support children and youth from 3-17 years of age with anxiety, behavioral difficulties (such as symptoms related to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiance, and bullying behaviors), and nighttime bedwetting that results in additional stress on the child and family.
Here is a link to the Bridge the gApp website that provides more information: https://www.bridgethegapp.ca/youth/online-programs/strongest-families-program/
To self-refer you can call: 1-866-470-7111
Bridge the gApp
bridgethegApp.ca is a great provincial mental health resource that can be very helpful for teenagers, but also for adults! There are numerous wellness webinars that you may find interesting or useful for your own coping or to pass along to a loved one who may need some support during these times.
Follow this link to learn more: https://www.bridgethegapp.ca/adult/online-programs/wellness-webinars/
Parenting in a Pandemic Webinar
Below is a recorded webinar with local Clinical Psychologist Dr. Janine Hubbard who discusses a range of topics to help you and your children navigate these uncertain times.
Total time (with questions and closing) is 1 hr 14 mins, but the presentation itself is only about 42 minutes long.
The Yucky Bug
You might feel 'talked out' about COVID-19 by this time, but children (especially younger kids) often need repetition and time to process information and complex ideas... particularly global pandemics, which are difficult for us adults to wrap our heads around!
Popular children's author Julia Cook has created a book called "The Yucky Bug" which may be helpful in discussing the virus with your children.
Coronavirus Info & Coping Strategies
Though we tend to shy away from sharing serious news and information with children, providing them with basic child-friendly info can be empowering! Letting them know why it is essential to social distance and practice good handwashing can give them a sense of control over an otherwise uncertain situation.
Additionally, discussing how children are feeling about all of these big changes and letting children know that it's normal to have a lot of different feelings about the current state of world is SO important. Here is a brief handout with some COVID-19 information for kids as well as a few coping strategies...
For more coping and relaxation strategies, visit my Google Classroom! (class code: 4czodxv)
Feelings First Aid
Another resource for helping younger children explore their feelings during this time comes from Scholastic's "The Moodsters". Here is a link to the workbook that includes some information and activities to work through coping with the uncertainty of this pandemic:
Social Emotional Learning at Home!
Exploring social emotional resources and activities may be of particular importance during this uncertain time. Here are some activities divided by grade level to encourage the discussion and engagement with SEL at home! Though the grade levels are differentiated, the books and activities in all presentations could be appropriate across grades with varying levels of discussion depending on the age of the child!
For more information about teaching emotions to your children, visit: http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/familytools/teaching_emotions.pdf
Here is a link to a free SEL program that provides videos, printables, and other resources that may be helpful for younger children. The program focuses on learning about emotional skills such as recognizing emotions, effective communication of emotions, regulating emotional responses, and making good choices in emotionally charged situations:
SEL Bingo + Choice Board
Here's a great idea for your kiddos! Each heading represents an area of social emotional learning. Come up with a reward for a straight line/row and challenge them to work across the various areas of SEL!
Circle of Control
During this time, we have to consider what we can control and what we cannot. Those things within our control we should focus on; those outside of our control we can let go.
We control our thoughts, actions, and boundaries. We can control what we do and say, our mindset/attitude, what we look at online/in the media, and how we take care of ourselves. When we focus on what we control and let go of that which we cannot, we feel better!
'Circle of Control' is an exercise I often do with students- draw two circles, the outer circle being what we cannot control, the inner circle what we can. Using sticky notes, I get the student to write down all of their worries/concerns and then we discuss each as we place the in the appropriate circle of control. This helps them to gain some perspective on what actions they can take and what is not their responsibility to change or fix.
Dealing with Worries
It is not uncommon for children (and adults alike) to feel worried, nervous, or anxious during this uncertain time. Here is a link to a series of videos being published by a licensed counsellor aimed at providing children with information about worries and giving them tools to deal with their worries in a healthy way.
She is adding to this playlist regularly and has a great website with even more information and activity ideas if you are interested in checking out more! https://www.counselorkeri.com/2020/03/14/talk-to-kids-about-coronavirus/