SEAL in Action: Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology
Throughout the school year, all Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) students will receive additional instruction in social, emotional and academic learning (SEAL). The 30 minutes of SEAL time each day helps our students with relationship skills, responsible decision making, self-awareness, self-management and social awareness. While the curriculum materials are developed by the division, each school can make modifications to support the unique needs of their school community.
The ACPS Office of Communications recently visited Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology (Cora Kelly) to observe how SEAL helps empower students to make responsible decisions and express their feelings.
How do you feel today? Uncomfortable or Comfortable? High Energy or Low Energy? Identifying your feeling and locating it on the mood meter is a great way to ease into your day. On an early Monday morning, many fourth grade students in Nancy Baker’s class felt tired, but a few also felt cheerful, pleasant, happy, calm and peaceful!
After eating breakfast, students formed a circle at the front of their classroom and got down to business. It was time to employ their SEAL skills as they discussed an upcoming school field trip and expectations for students’ behavior during the field trip.
Baker explained to her class of Cora Kelly Cougars how the ROAR acronym — Respectful, Our Best, Always Safe, Responsible — sets expectations for behavior on the bus. She followed with a video of Mo Willems’ book “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.” (It’s safe to say the pigeon might need a SEAL refresher course.) Baker noted how the book can help the students make good choices for themselves and for how they treat others around them, such as being polite and remembering to say “thank you.”
It was then time for the students to go to their desks and write in their SEAL journals, explaining two ways they can practice ROAR while on their field trip. The students understood, writing examples such as, “stay safe,” “stay in my seat,” “speak calmly” and “no fighting on the bus.”
The student consensus in Baker’s class is that SEAL helps them to share their feelings, express their thoughts, be calm and focus on their work. Baker agrees, adding, “I do think they enjoy the mood meters… they ask to do that, so I see the need to share how they feel.”
- Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology