A Comprehensive SEL Program Built for Covid
Covid changed the way we do school, but it also changed student needs. The new revised 5 Radical Minutes program flexes to meet the social emotional learning (SEL) needs of distance learning, in-school learning, and any hybrid of the two.
The Same Powerful Outcome
5 Radical Minutes delivers increased connection in a simple yet insightful manner.
This daily practice teaches new rules of engagement: to listen more openly, to reflect more quietly, and to respond more thoughtfully. Given the constraints, uncertainty, and differences from one locale to another, we have created much more adaptability in the delivery of program content. Whether your school is on-site, distance learning, or a combination of the two, program use is easy, seamless, and effective.
In our COVID-revised edition, teachers and parents have new options on how to engage students so it works in any setting… in-person, distance learning, or any hybrid of the two. The engagement begins with fun, easy topics that uncover commonalities and gradually move into more challenging areas. The process is easy to implement, but as the program progresses, students learn complex, critical components that increase personal ownership of behaviors toward others. Along the way, they learn community and mindfulness skills as well. This heightened emotional intelligence leads to greater kindness and compassion, creating a fundamental change in school climate.
Increases Teaching Time
In just 5 minutes a day, you’ll lead your students through our communication activities, and actually gain more teaching time. As teachers and students move through the program, all learn common language and concepts that have to do with with coping strategies, resilience, cooperation, community, non-violent conflict resolution and much more. These many dimensions come together to improve school climate by increasing emotional intelligence for students and staff. As students grow in their understanding, acceptance and compassion toward one another, student conflict decreases and teaching time exponentially increases.
Using the 5 Radical Minutes program with my freshmen gave me a chance to include all students in the classroom activities. Students had a chance to interact with each other on a daily basis. Pairing students together allowed them to interact with students they might normally not interact with. It brought a level of comfort to the classroom that allowed all students to contribute to the classroom activities. The various topics of discussion kept the conversation fresh and allowed the students to add their own unique personality to the classroom.
5 Radical Minutes is the foundation of our classroom interactions and relationships. It's helped students immediately feel more comfortable talking with each other and sharing ideas without fear or judgement. We've been able to discuss issues we don't normally get to explore. The connections that they've made with each other at the start of each class has helped with group projects, conflict resolution, and overall acceptance of each other. My students love the program!
Cheri Lovre is the embodiment of what she teaches. As a master communicator, with skill and compassion, she can help transform a school. During 9/11, 2001, I was Director of Pupil Personnel Services in the NYC school district, surrounding the World Trade Center. The advice, warmth and wisdom Cheri offered, while essential during crisis is needed everyday, in every school, facing the challenges and stressors of daily lives.
I witnessed Cheri Lovre’s intervention in a school community torn by racial divide. Guided by her expertise, the community was brought together – parents, students and school personnel. Cheri Lovre fostered deep and meaningful discussion between all parties, some of whom, just hours prior, had refused to share the same room. Her skill facilitated expressions of deeper understanding, compassion, even forgiveness in the community. Her guidance led to a palpable change in school climate, exactly the prescription so needed to help students and parents experience school as a safe place of learning and human growth. I couldn’t recommend her work more highly.
Cheri Lovre’s 5 Radical Minutes curriculum addresses our world's need to engage in productive dialogue head on. This solution to affecting change is packaged in an easy to follow curriculum that takes just 5 minutes daily. Cheri is just the credible source to provide us with this pro-active approach to improving relationships, and therefore improving our schools and society.
Our New Covid Focus
We’ve adjusted our program to be Covid-sensitive. We don’t talk about Covid per sé, but instead focus on the coping skills that are necessary to get through this time. We’ve included more prompts about anxiety, isolation, connecting, and the difficulties of living with an uncertain future. We also foster the formation of a durable moral compass of kindness in every student, every day.
Allows for Great Flexibility
With this new COVID model, there is greater flexibility in how students are engaged.
The program now provides several alternate ways of bringing the topic to life for students, given the method of attendance for the day. Ultimately, we trust teachers to make the best choice on delivery based on both the situation and knowledge their students.
For instance, if the prompt is, “Talk about an act of kindness I saw at my school,” teachers can choose the best format for engagement:
- Whole-class discussion (in-person or on a video call)
- Paired sharing in-class or through a video call’s break-out function (Students come back afterwards to discuss how the class could work together on acts of kindness)
Increases Parent Engagement
We provide pdfs and downloads to increase students’s support at home. These additional engagements help parents develop better communication with their child, build a stronger relationship with their child and the school, and further reinforce what’s being taught in the classroom, whether it’s in-person or virtual.
Our weekly prompts for staff meetings connect each staff member with every peer in a compassionate, mindful, and meaningful way.
Addresses concerns About Our New COVID World
When staff comes together — whether onsite or virtually — there will be a wide variation of resilience, anxiety, optimism and a whole host of feelings that until now have never been an issue at school. To keep staff operating at their best, it will be very helpful for administrators to come up with a check-in process that will work, given your particular staff. Each person needs one short weekly time of connecting with someone in a meaningful way, reinforcing an “I’ve got your back” kind of relationship. This brief weekly connection allows teachers to diffuse any anxiety or frustration and present a more positive attitude with students. It also keeps staff who are struggling be less apt to focus on their doubts and instead be focused on common support.
Increases Staff Camaraderie
Designed to increase quality engagement among your staff, 5 Radical Minutes for Staff activities can be used in your weekly staff and department-level meetings.
Transforms Discipline into Making Kids Whole Again
5 Radical Minutes integrates restorative practices, whether in classrooms or distance learning. It replaces punishment and discipline with a program that engages students in a process that teaches self-responsibility, fosters an internal locus of control, facilitates apologies and the making of amends, and “makes them whole again.”
Boosts Schoolwide Fidelity
By using 5 Radical Minutes for School Staff in your staff meetings, you will reveal both the simplicity and effectiveness of the program. This reinforces the importance of teachers taking the time to do the activities with their students.
Experience Positive Behavior Approach
5 Radical Minutes for School Staff teaches common language and an attitude of support.
It’s challenging to address your students’ social emotional needs as they walk through the pandemic. We can help. Our K12 curriculum includes the following:
- 180 days of scripted curriculum
- Multiple 8-week topic-specific small group curriculum for School Counselors
- Weekly staff engagement
- National event-specific resources as the need arises
- Zoom and email support as needed
The Same Research-Based Foundation
More Flexible Delivery
Structured, paired activities bring students together with all others in the classroom over time. As a result, all classmates get to know one another. Designed to foster acceptance, compassion, and kindness, paired sharing connects youth who may feel isolated or not liked with fellow students by revealing what they have in common with others.
Classrooms use structured circle activities to further build community. Some circles are geared for fun and laughter. Others address a range of emotions, issues, and attitudes and are designed to enhance classroom climate. (When something has gone awry between a student and others in class, Restorative Circles can be used to support the student needing to make amends.) Because most circles focus on community building, students learn how to create that “safe container” for conversations that are more difficult, and student behaviors need to be addressed.
Stress Management Coping Skills
Stress prevents students from doing their best on tests. Additionally, stress leaves students vulnerable to impulsive reactions and short-sightedness. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has a 40-year history of research. Robert Sapolsky‘s research on the debilitating effects of stress brings meaning to the relief it is for students to be mindful of the present. Students learn to break the cycle of ruminating on the past or worrying about the future. This contributes significantly to operating as a trauma-informed school. We suggest that all adults in the building join in these 5-minute classroom activities as often as is feasible. This participation significantly increases students’ trust in adults’ willingness to listen, their desire to support youth, and their acceptance of and care for students.
The Same Transformational Benefits
For Individual Students: Greater Mindfulness and Decreased Isolation
- Structured, paired sharing increases students’ willingness to get along with others – ALL others – such that it decreases student-to-student conflict and as a result, increases teaching time.
- Students face risk factors that, left unaddressed, often lead them to self-harm, depression, and other self-destructive behaviors. Our carefully crafted prompts address these risk factors by providing insights and teaching increased coping skills.
- Community circles (which may be led in-person or virtually) make sure that each student is known, respected, and has a voice in relationship with all others in the classroom, resulting in decreased student isolation.
- Mindfulness activities reduce stress and increase the ability to focus and think clearly, leading to better test scores and longer concentration for academic tasks.
For Teachers: Step-by-Step Guidance for Onsite or Distance Learning Incorporation
- Prompts for the shared activities provide insights and strategies that teacher may employ any time student difficulties arise.
- Community circles build camaraderie and improve classroom climate.
- Restorative practices decrease discipline and increase students’ sense of self-worth.
- Staff meeting activities reinforce 5 Radical Minutes classroom concepts and strategies for all adults in the building.
- Quarterly surveys show progress and enable teachers to refine their approach in order to
For School Counselors: Targeted Topics for Pull-Out Groups
- Prompts created specifically for school counselors designed as group check-ins. (Many counselors find that they can easily build on the concept of the prompt and turn it into an entire group session.)
- Prompts cover a range of topics from Anxiety to Depression to Addiction in the Home, and are 8-10 weeks long.
- Our flexible format allows you to use prompts for group check-in or your entire group time.
- Paired-sharing and discussions teach positive coping skills, leading to less peer conflict, less
stress, and increased self-worth.
- Introduces students to a peer group who can both understands their struggles and provide
support on an ongoing basis.
- Practices teach students to engage their vagus nerve, which allows them listen from a place of kindness.
For Administrators: Restorative Discipline and Trackable Metrics
- The 5 Radical Minutes discipline process engages students in taking responsibility and making amends for their behaviors rather than focusing on negative deterrents, which only occur when students are caught. We encourage all discipline to start with the 5 Radical Minute format, where each party respectfully listens to the other without interruption, but without the two- minute time limit.
- Quarterly surveys provide insight on the strengths and needs in each classroom and provide data that allows buildings and districts to track overall progress and benefit.
See 5 Radical Minutes In Action
The program is easy to implement and simple to use. We walk you through each step of the process, and provide the words to say at every turn.
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