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January 2017 upDATER - Big Ideas

January 13, 2017
 
Dear Dater Families,
This year at Dater, to support the Ramsey School District's Wellness Initiative, we are excited to be using RULER, an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that helps school communities integrate the practice of emotional intelligence into daily life.

RULER teaches five key skills of emotional intelligence:
Recognizing emotions in one's self and others.
Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions.
Labeling emotions accurately.
Expressing emotions appropriately.
Regulating emotions effectively.

Your child has been learning how to use a few tools to develop the skills of emotional intelligence. These skills will help them understand and manage their feelings effectively, make better decisions, build healthy relationships, and be top learners.

One of these tools is called the Mood Meter.  The Mood Meter is a self-awareness tool for teaching children and adults how to recognize and regulate their emotions effectively. The Mood Meter is divided into 4 quadrants - red, blue, green, and yellow - each represents a different set of feelings. Different feelings are grouped together on the Mood Meter based on their pleasantness and energy level.

The Mood Meter

RED feelings:  high in energy and low in pleasantness (e.g., angry, scared, and anxious)
BLUE feelings: low in energy and low in pleasantness (e.g., sad, disappointed, and lonely)
GREEN feelings: low in energy and high in pleasantness (e.g., calm, tranquil, and relaxed)
YELLOW feelings: high in energy and high in pleasantness (e.g., happy, excited, and curious)

Why do we care about social and emotional skills? Decades of research shows that emotional intelligence is essential to effective teaching and learning, sound decision making, physical and mental health, and success in school and beyond. Research also shows that when schools and homes partner to support children's emotional development, children not only feel better, but they do better.  I encourage you to ask your child to explain more about how the Mood Meter works.  If you are curious to learn more about the Mood Meter and some of the other tools of emotional intelligence, here is Mrs. Turk's presentation from last night's PTO meeting and here is a resource specifically tailored for parents about RULER.

As always, thank you for your partnership.

Sincerely,  
Andrew Matteo



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