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Social-emotional Learning

Growth Mindset at Oak Knoll

Utilizing the long-standing work of Dr. Carol Dweck, students at Oak Knoll are taught about the differences between a Fixed and a Growth Mindset. They are encouraged to cultivate a Growth Mindset, which is the belief that human abilities like intelligence can grow and change with time, effort, practice, and perseverance. Research shows that a Growth Mindset is associated with many positive outcomes, including increased academic risk-taking, higher self-esteem, resilience, and higher overall achievement. Exemplary scholars apply a Growth Mindset to everything they do. They work hard and are not dissuaded by temporary setbacks or failures, but rather see challenges as an opportunity to learn. 


Tool Time Tuesday  – Every Tuesday during the first half of the year. Mrs. Scott (our School Counselor) goes on KNOL (our daily morning new show) and teaches Otters about our TOOL BOX.  These tools are something you have with you everyday, and Ms. Scott helps students learn when to use them and why. 

Brain Time Tuesdays- During the second half of the year, Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Ryan (our School Psychologist) teach the Oak Knoll students about their brain and how to have a growth mindset.  

Mood Meter Mondays - Each Monday on KNOL our school community learns about a new emotional vocabulary word.  As a school community we use the Mood Meter from RULER to help students recognize, label, and manage their emotions.

Monthly Counselor Lessons

Each month, Mrs. Scott goes into all 1st-5th grade classes (and kinder multi-age) to teach an SEL lesson.  These lessons build on each other and help our students learn to become kind, problem solving, and optimistic people.  To learn more about each month’s lesson go here.

Kimochi’s- A Social Emotional Program

Kindergarten is an important part of a child’s development.  Mrs. Scott goes into each classroom once a week for a 15 minute lesson using the Kimochi SEL Program for the first 16 weeks of school.  The Kimochi program helps students build their emotional vocabulary beyond sad, mad and happy by using little feeling kimochis such as left out, brave, curious, frustrated, and more.  It also teaches students how to solve problems using a talking voice, face and body instead of a fighting voice, face, and body. After students complete the 16-week program, they will get the once-a-month lessons with the rest of the school.

Restorative Practices

Building Community- If your child has come home and is talking about community circle time, this is one of the restorative practice activities.  Classes use this time to connect with each other, take polls, build community, and problem-solve around classroom and playground issues that arise.  

Problem Solving- All of the yard duty and our teachers have learned about using restorative language to support students in problem-solving in a fair way.  One of the first components is to discuss issues using non-judgmental observations, feelings, and needs. The next part of this is when two students have a conflict.  We are using the restorative questions below for both the student with challenging behavior and the student who has been harmed. By responding in the same way and asking these questions in all situations, students know that they are treated fairly and without bias, and the questions have led to thought-provoking dialogues and reflections. We encourage you to try out these questions at home as well!

Mindfulness at Oak Knoll

Oak Knoll is very lucky to have an amazing volunteer named Julie Brody who has been teaching mindfulness at Oak Knoll for the last 4 years.  She uses the Mindful Schools Curriculum, which is an 8 week program 2 x a week.

Embracing Our Differences Month

One full month during the school year, all of Oak Knoll will learn about individuals who are differently abled and will also learn about one or more specific differences or disabilities that some people face. We believe knowledge of these differences helps build empathy, which is extremely important for all of our students to develop as part of their journey to become valued friends. Children with disabilities can often be targets of bullying behaviors, especially when other children do not understand their disability or difference; education is key to creating the welcoming, inclusive climate we want at Oak Knoll.  We use the month to educate students that despite a disability, there are a multitude of things differently-abled students can still do-they just might do it differently! Past areas of focus have been Cerebral Palsy, Hearing differences, Vision differences, Tourette's Syndrome, ADHD, Dyslexia, and more. Both Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Ryan help coordinate this month and visit each classroom. Students also attend assemblies, watch puppet shows, view videos on KNOL, etc. (This program received a Kent Award in 2018!)