MACS has heart

Mrs. Dagianis, social emotional learning

We Have an Attitude of Gratitude!

The Citizenship characteristic of the month comes from our 12 Concepts of Kindness that we explicitly investigate and work on each week in guidance. Septembers focus was Fairness, October was Self-Discipline, and November is all about Gratitude!

One of our all time favorites, Kid President, led us into thoughts of gratitude with this hilarious video that reminds us to be grateful for the little things.

The students then shared things that they were grateful for with the class and created a leaf that reflects their thoughts of gratitude. I was blown away by the genuine sentiments the students shared such as being grateful for school and clean water. Clearly they have a global perspective when they are aware that school is a privilege and that such a unique school experience as ours is something to be grateful for!

I thoroughly enjoyed creating the gratitude tree that is on display near the Multipurpose Room upstairs at MACS.  Over 150 leaves are displayed on it’s branches, bringing it to life. Our motto this month is “we have an attitude of gratitude” or “gratitude is an attitude”. This is a motto to carry with us throughout the year! Having a grateful mindset goes hand in hand with thinking positive and listening to our inner coach over the critic that tends to bring us down. I am grateful for the opportunity to facilitate these moments with our students!

Students continue their practice of being actively grateful through a  100 Thoughts of Gratitude Challenge and their Gratitude Journals which will be on going. Stay tuned!

Knowledge is power…to keep our kids safe

An unfortunate but necessary conversation we have to have with our children is about how they can stay safe around people they don’t know. “Stranger danger” is a very real concern for our families these days and you really just never know. So the best strategy is to be preventative and empower our children with the information they need to be smart and stay safe.

Today in guidance we took the first portion of class to discuss:

  • Who are strangers? (People we don’t know)
  • How do movies or shows portray them? (Scary, ugly, dark clothing, villains)
  • What do they really look like? (Normal everyday people)
  • Who are “safe strangers”? (Police, and other first responders, employees at shops)
  • How to recognize and handle a dangerous situation and other strategies to keep ourselves safe. A grown-up should never be asking a child for help! A grown up should ask another grown up for help. 
  • “No, Go, Yell, Tell.” – The students offered strategies to avoid several potential dangerous scenarios and put into practice our new saying.

The conversations took place at an appropriate developmental level for each grade, however, across the board I was impressed at how aware and informed our student body was about the topic. So kudos to you grown ups for having these conversations and empowering your child(ren) to be safe!

*One of the best strategies for unexpected pick up situations I learned from a student today:) Make up a code word or phrase with your family. In case of an emergency where you might have to ask someone new to pick up your child from a friends house or event, your child can ask for the secret code and be reassured that this person was sent by you.

Needless to say, the most important part in all of this is your role as the parent…

  • Know where your children are at all times. Make it a rule that your children must ask permission or check in with you before going anywhere. Give your children your work and cell phone numbers so they can reach you at all times.
  • Point out safe places. Show your children safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go if there’s trouble.
  • Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain that if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can and tell an adult. Tell them that sometimes adults they know may make them feel uncomfortable, and they should still get away as fast as possible and tell another adult what happened. Reassure children that you will help them when they need it.
  • Teach your children to be assertive. Make sure they know that it’s okay to say no to an adult and to run away from adults in dangerous situations.
  • Encourage your children to play with others. There’s safety in numbers!

Here is a link to the National Crime Prevention Council’s page and discussion on “What to Teach Kids About Strangers”… Most of our discussion stemmed from the questions and scenarios found in this one page article.

Another great article: Does your family know these 6 stranger danger rules?


Kinder Camp!

It’s hard to believe that summer is already behind us when it feels like just yesterday. What an incredible week of kindercamp we had during the heat of July! It was a blast and an honor to spend a week learning together with a great group of our 2016-2017 Rising Kindergarteners!!

Our daily activities included a fun, hands-on, multi-sensory and differentiated approach to basic academics, school routines, and social emotional connections…

All about ME and All about YOU! Social Emotional Learning through various activities such as: Get to know you Jenga questions & “All about me” books!

Literacy skills: Letter Naming and Phonemic awareness through activities such as our alphabet scavenger hunt where we also explored the building!

We also included listening and comprehension activities with some great literature about school and added to our about me books in our reflections!

Math skills including number identification, shapes, patterns, & more!

A visit from Miss. Froleiks! We collaborated to create a group art project and a Finding Dory welcome gift from the Dagianis family:)

Thank you to all the families who gave their children the gift of a head start!

What questions do you ask after school?

Back-to-school is well under way and I am curious…How are your after school conversations going? Still getting the same old vague interactions and responses?

“How was school?” Followed by “Fine”, “Great”, etc…. One word, no details and your left wondering…Have they done nothing all day?

Trust me, I’m there all day and I know the work; socially, emotionally, and academically that is taking place. It’s incredible really, but how do we get our students to reflect and have pride and ownership of this information?

By asking these three questions you will challenge, engage & connect on a whole new level and may be in disbelief of the conversations that ensue…

  1. How were you brave today?

  2. How were you kind today?

  3. How did you persevere or problem solve after a challenge or failure today?

By asking how your student was brave you are showing interest to know where they took risks. They are sharing moments of strength and confidence and should be proud of that. Any area of the day provides an opportunity for bravery. Maybe they raised their hand to offer an answer, talked to a new friend, or attempted a new concept or skill. 

By asking how your student was kind, you are showing them that compassion for others is important and they should reflect on those moments. They will be sharing moments of empathy with their peers where they connected positively. Kindness matters and it should be highlighted in our conversations with our students. 

By asking how you failed today, you are reminding them that failure and mistakes are opportunities to learn. You are showing them a growth mindset by asking them to look forward through a challenge to the point where they were problem solving and trying a new way through. 

I was inspired by a Huffington post article and was in disbelief when my 3-year-old even responded that she was brave today when we said goodbye at preschool in the morning. Amazing, I dare you to experience the power of intentional conversation with your children. They are developing exponentially and we have to keep up with them by asking the right questions.



Classes 4 Classes Teacher Ambassador

I was honored and eager to share my passion and this mission on a greater scale when Kaitlin DeBellis, Founder of Classes4Classes, asked me to be a Teacher Ambassador. I can’t think of a more important message to be explicitly teaching and spreading in our schools.

I am thrilled to be changing the way we look at social emotional learning as MicroSociety Academy’s Guidance Counselor, Case Manager, and Special Educator. My passion as a counselor and educator rises out of an understanding that students mental and emotional well being and understanding of self, are an essential component to a successful day at school and a critical component of a functional society.

At our core we all desire to be loved, connected, and accepted. When we are loved and connected we are confident, compassionate, and able to reach our full potential socially and academically. It is my responsibility to help facilitate this connection so that young people will learn their true power and potential. Through my guidance lessons, each week, students work to enhance their social intelligence and use it to inspire, encourage, and uplift others. The impact of this learning is evident in our building…compassion and kindness radiates from our classrooms.

MACS School Counselor invited to present at the 24th Annual MicroSociety Conference in CT!

It was an incredible honor and inspirational experience to present my passion and work at the 24th Annual MicroSociety Conference in Connecticut this past June. Sharing the critical message of social emotional learning with other MicroSociety Schools from across the country  was a wonderful opportunity! We truly have a special school and to be able to share that with other educators so that they might be able to incorporate some of it into their school communities feels incredible. My colleague, friend , and Founder of Classes4Classes, Kaitlin DeBellis, was able to join me and share about C4C and our inspiring collaboration. This program has enriched our school community and expanded our connection to the surrounding community and beyond. With a spotlight on our unique focus of Social Emotional Learning as a key factor in student success and a priority in student learning, MicroSociety Academy is growing rapidly. We are lucky to be building this story together.

MACS School Honors from MicroSociety Annual Conference highlighted in local news!!!

Honored, literally and figuratively, to have our incredible school and a mention of my conference presentation on social emotional learning in our local news. Telegraph and Patch:) Please Read!

Kate Dagianis, MACS School Counselor, spotlights social emotional learning and Classes4Classes collaboration on local news interview!

MACS on the radio 💕


Joining us: Kate Dagianis, Guidance Counselor at MicroSociety Academy Charter School is the first C4C school in New Hampshire, enabled by our collaboration with The Kraft Family Foundation (Mr. Robert Kraft)

Listening details here!

If you missed us live, tune in:

Wednesday 15th 4am/4pmET

Saturday 18th 9am/9pmET

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