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eSchoolNews: 7 Educators Share Back-to-School Action Plans

Posted By KinderLab Christina On September 9, 2022 in Media Coverage

eSchoolNews shares back to school action plans from 7 educators, who shed light on their own back-to-school experiences, from early childhood education to STEAM and robotics and teacher recruitment.

The KIBO robot is included in the Integrating Robotics and SEL section and reads:

“We [Megan Bounit and Barbara Tennyson] both come from schools that use a responsive classroom approach, so we’ll spend the first six weeks of school setting up our routines. It seems like a large amount of time to invest, but elementary students need to learn how to go up and down the stairs, how to line up, and not to spin in your chair. If we do it at the beginning of the year, we’re better than if we have to go back and explain things.

Integrating SEL at the beginning of the year also pays off in the long run because students practice those skills all year, and they get better and better at raising their hands, asking for help, expressing their feelings, and working through a solution.

As STEAM educators, we have both found robotics to be a natural vehicle for SEL. In fact, your students can practice skills in all five of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning’s (CASEL’s) five core principles through robotics before they even start coding. These principles include relationship skills, social awareness, self-awareness; self-management; and responsible decision-making.

The robot that we use, KIBO, comes in ready-to-go kits that include many different parts, such as wooden programming blocks, sensors and modules, wheels, and motors. To inspire social-emotional learning, all you have to do is put different pieces in different baskets, such as all the motors in one spot. By asking the students to get their own parts, you can inspire all kinds of deliberate conversations about sharing pieces. Students need to think about their own needs to finish the project and the needs of their peers who are trying to gather the same resources. This leads them to communicate with one another, advocate for themselves, think about the consequences of these decisions for their project, and communicate all this information with their peers. By combining robotics and SEL, we look forward to starting next year with a combination of efficiency and excitement.”

See the full back-to-school article.