Krekelberg, Alyssa. Social and Emotional Learning. The Child’s World, 2021. $228.00 (set of 12), $18.95 (individual titles). Grades K-3.
Doing the Right Thing: Making Responsible Decisions. 978-1-503-84450-6.
Finding Solutions: Problem Solving. 978-1-503-84451-3.
Helping Friends and Family: Taking Care of Others. 978-1-503-84449-0.
Know Your Feelings: Recognizing Emotions. 978-1-503-84452-0.
Let’s Get Along: Resolving Conflict. 978-1-503-84458-2. No One is the Same: Appreciating Differences. 978-1-503-84456-8. Setting Boundaries: Learning about Healthy Relationships. 978-1-503-84457-5. Stop and Think: Learning about Self-Discipline. 978-1-503-84448-3. We Need Each Other: Being a Good Friend. 978-1-503-84447-6. We Work Together: Learning about Teamwork. 978-1-503-84455-1. When Things Get Tough: Overcoming Obstacles. 978-1-503-84454-4. Worrying Too Much: Learning How to Manage Stress. 978-1-503-84453-7.
Social situations can be difficult for children; they do not have the social experiences that allow them to develop understanding of interpersonal communication and relationships. This SEL series helps children develop understanding of situations they may have encountered or will in the future. Each text is divided into chapters that begin with a vignette that explores a realistic situation and the emotions that are involved in it. Throughout the chapter, ideas on how to respond and questions for reflection are presented. The questions help children reflect on their own experiences and consider the feelings of others in the same situation. Each text includes a glossary (words are highlighted throughout the text) and a section to learn more about the topic.
THOUGHTS: This is an excellent series for young children to explore their feelings through very realistic situations. The series includes 12 titles. This reviewer had the opportunity to two review Let’s Get Along: Resolving Conflict and No One is the Same: Appreciating Differences. Each individual chapter can be used for character education and development and could easily be divided into short 15-20 minute lessons. This series is highly recommended for all elementary schools for use in the classroom and library especially in our current environment where students are lacking SEL and interpersonal skills due to more isolation from the pandemic.
Arrow, Emily. My Feelings, My Choices. Cantata Learning, 2020. $25.49 each. $101.96 set of 4. 24 p. Grades K-2.
Trying Again. 978-1-684-10407-9. Checking In. 978-1-684-10404-8. Making It Happen. 978-1-684-10405-5. Taking A Spin. 978-1-684-10406-2.
This reviewer read Trying Again in the My Feelings, My Choices series. This series from Cantata Learning is as much a book as a song. Each book is meant to be sung, with music accessible on the Cantata website as well in the back of the book. Trying Again is about a young girl learning to take care of her plant. While she makes many mistakes in caring for her plant, instead of giving up, she adopts the Growth Mindset thinking of not being able to care for her plant yet.
THOUGHTS: This is a cute series for those interested in Growth Mindset and teaching kids not to give up after a mistake. Also would be excellent for those who teach by singing.
155.4 Childhood Krista Fitzpatrick, Waldron Mercy Academy
Racism can be a tricky topic to discuss, but this title handles the subject well and encourages conversation and reader participation. The text begins by describing how there are millions of people in the world, and they’re all different, coming from different countries, wearing different clothes, speaking different languages, and having different appearances. It goes on to describe how it is important to respect and value all people for who they are and to treat everyone fairly and equally. Racism is defined as a kind of bullying, and can include using hurtful words, intentionally leaving people out of activities, destroying a person’s property, or physically hurting someone. The authors describe how both adults and children can be racist, but racism is always wrong. They also include suggestions for combating racism, including taking time to get to know someone new, inviting people from different cultures into your classroom, and talking to teachers or other trusted adults if someone acts racist towards you. Throughout the text, italicized discussion questions are embedded. They ask things like “What makes you different?,” “How would you like people to treat you?,” “How would you feel if someone called you names?,” and “Who would you tell?” A Note for Caregivers at the end of the book includes strategies for approaching the topic of race with young readers, and a page of Group Activities offers ideas for extending the conversation. This book is part of an 8-title series called “Questions and Feelings About…”. Other titles include Adoption, Autism, Bullying, Having a Disability, When Parents Separate, When Someone Dies, and Worries.
THOUGHTS: This approachable title will work well for morning meeting conversations, particularly in primary classrooms. The built-in questions will generate authentic discussion and will prompt other social-emotional learning connections.
305.8 Ethnic and National Groups Anne Bozievich, Southern York County SD