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November 2013
We want to hear from you!

Post a comment to our PATHS4Kids Facebook page with a favorite part of the PATHS� program in your classroom and be entered to win a special PATHS� program prize!  Winners will be announced in our December newsletter!

Key Concept:  Calming Down
Did you know that your brain has a hard time problem solving if you aren't calm?  Sure, we all know that! This month's focus is on helping your children brainstorm ways to calm down so they can think! 
Give your children a situation that would evoke strong uncomfortable feelings.  Maybe a test coming up soon?  Or a friend sitting with someone else at lunch.  Ask them to brainstorm 5 ways to calm down.  Make sure that you make a list of ways YOU calm down at school too! Then model, model, model for your students the 5 ways YOU calm yourself down. 
Over the next two weeks, stop each day and ask students how well they are doing using their top 5 strategies for calming down.  Make sure you agree on the acceptable strategies as a class.  Celebrate their successes and encourage them when they are challenged! te concepts across all subjects.
Group practice for calming down
The holidays are coming and we all know that means lots of excitement and children having difficulty with calming down. 
What are some ways that you can encourage your class as a group to calm down?  How about playing some soothing music?  Some teachers like classical, maybe jazz, or some ocean or nature sounds might do the trick! Or you can create a "calm corner" in your classroom that students can go to unwind.  A special desk or chair in a quiet place, or a headset with music to listen to, or paper and crayons to draw out their emotions. 
How about calming down as a class on a regular basis?  Think about those natural times during the day when you feel stressed. During those times, model for your students the 3 steps for calming down or doing turtle and then ask the class to help you stay calm.  You may be surprised at how well it works!
 Next step:  Problem Solving
The natural next step after students have mastered calming down is to help them become confident problem solvers.  Let's think up some ways to incorporate problem solving throughout the day.
  • The holidays are fast approaching, students are overly excited...have children write about what can they can do to solve their problem. 
  • Have them read a story about a character that is having a problem, have them write about how the story would have ended differently if they had chosen a different solution.
  • Present small groups with a problem and have them come up with solutions.  Encourage them to be creative and think outside the box. 
  • Read a story about a character that is having a problem and have the students evaluate whether or not the solution worked and what other solutions might be for the same problem.
Literature Connections
Here are a few books that you can read with your class to make the connection to calming down and problem solving:
Angry Arthur by Hiawyn Gram

SYNOPSIS:  A boy's anger at being forbidden to watch television takes on the force of a storm, then a typhoon and finally grows so big it catapults him to Mars. There, he realizes he can't remember what he was upset about. Arthur doesn't know about self control and look what happens!


Berenstain Bears and the Blame Game  by Stan &  Jan Berenstain                 

SYNOPSIS:  Members of the Bear family try to solve their problems without playing the blame game of arguing over who is responsible for every disaster. The kernel of wisdom at the heart of this book is ""Who really cares?" Let's face it - there's always enough blame to go around. What matters is how we work together to fix the problem.


Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

SYNOPSIS:  As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen's family takes in Annemarie's best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.  Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

Quote Corner-Here's what you are saying!
"At first I only used problem solving during PATHS program time.  Now I realize there is such a connection between problem solving and social studies, language arts and just being able to help the children manage their behavior throughout the day.  Plus me modeling it for the students has made me a calmer, better problem solver as a teacher." 
User of PATHS , Nashville, TN
"A previous student who had some behavior problems in my first grade class had come back to say "Hi." I complimented him on how well behaved he had become and his response was, "It's all this PATHS  program stuff we learn." It's neat that students can understand the purpose of these lessons"
- 1st grade teacher, Allentown School District  

We want your ideas! We are looking for your ways to better support your PATHS� program implementation, email us to let us know what topics you'd like to see in our newsletters! 

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