Western Avenue Elementary School started the school year strong with “Motivational Mondays” and “Validation Fridays.” Following the after school snack on Mondays and Fridays, Beyond the Bell Youth Development Program Coaches host community circles.
Students begin their “Motivational Mondays” by reciting a teamwork chant. This chant was created by the 4th and 5th grade group and is now a regular uplifting practice across the playground. Coaches give each Super Student in their circle the opportunity to express how they are feeling. Once everyone, including coaches, has shared, coaches pose a simple question such as “What can we improve on this week to help us to be greater campus Superheroes?” Students are given the opportunity to “reflect, collect and share” their responses. As a group, students come to consensus on a focus for the week.
Recently the kindergarten and first grade group chose a goal to decrease bullying. They agreed that they would promote respecting each other’s personal space and belongings. They would also be mindful of their words when speaking to one another throughout the week.
“Validation Fridays” mirror “Motivational Mondays” by opening with the “Western Avenue Elementary teamwork chant.” Coaches follow with a review of their group’s goal for the week. Students reflect upon their week and share how they achieved their goal. When coaches share, they highlight and praise the positive choices they saw students make throughout the week in the after school program. After the coach has shared, students are eager to add what their peers have done during school hours.
“Motivational Mondays” and “Validation Fridays” are a great opportunity for Western Avenue Elementary School students to practice positive social and emotional learning. Students effectively apply their knowledge, attitudes, and skills. They are understanding and managing their emotions through setting and achieving weekly goals. Students have also been able to emotionally connect and guide one another through positive decision making. Western Ave students are Superheroes, indeed!