Tag Archives: BUSD

The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM First thing to say is that this is tonight, Friday Nov. 6, with the first presentation starting at 5:45pm. Berkeley Research, Evaluation and Assessment (BREA) is hosting the return of the Berkeley Unified School District Research Symposium. The Symposium brings leading thinkers in current innovative educational research together with Berkeley community members, BUSD educators and parents. Presentations cover a range of topics: from social-emotional learning and adolescent neurology to equity issues in music education, new approaches to assessing student needs, topics in special education, and much more. Check-in begins at 5:15 pm at Longfellow Middle School and last presentation ends at8:30 pm. The event is free and childcare is on offer as are light refreshments. Full details of the program on the BUSD website. … Continue reading »

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BUSD curriculum aims to boost emotional intelligence

Jessica Arroyo and her fifth grade students at Malcolm X Elementary School use the Breathing Tool. Photo: Coby McDonald
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By Coby McDonald

A dog ate Shyel Meisels’ homework. More precisely, Shyel’s puppy Hazel chewed up the book that his 5th grade teacher Jessica Arroyo had assigned.

“She jumped on my bed and demolished the book, and it belonged to the school,” Shyel told his classmates at Malcolm X Elementary, who were gathered on the rug at his feet. “So I totally freaked out.” He was eventually able to calm himself down, he said, by putting the incident in perspective and making a plan: the next day he would come clean to Ms. Arroyo about the book’s demise.

“What tools did Shyel use to find a solution?” Arroyo asked her students.

“The Breathing Tool!” one called out.

“The Courage Tool!” added another.

“He used the Apology and Forgiveness Tool,” said Pearl Gauthier, “because he apologized to you—and he forgave the puppy.”

For the uninitiated, all this tool-talk among Arroyo’s students might seem a bit peculiar, but in Berkeley at least, it’s gone mainstream. Last year, the city rolled out a district-wide Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum meant to teach elementary and middle school students to better manage their own emotions and empathize with their classmates. It’s called Toolbox, and it’s changing the way kids talk about their feelings. … Continue reading »

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