Math Emotional Support Llama

“Emerging research evidence suggests that social-emotional understanding and self-regulation skills contribute in important ways to academic success.”  

The article in the link below talks about one of many studies done to research the impact of these skills. As part of their social-emotional learning, students need to be able to identify their feelings, know when they are stressed, and find healthy ways manage it. Students who feel safe and cared for, are more open to learning, and taking risks in their learning.

What started years ago with a lucky pencil or eraser put on a students’ desk, has now evolved into the classroom math support llama! It’s a blend of unicorn and llama, but nevertheless, a magical creature! It brings smiles, a bit of playfulness, and a sense of comfort to students.  They discuss among themselves as to what time the llama will be shared to the next person. It brings a bit of warmth to the classroom environment, allows students the opportunity for introspection, and actively take part in self-regulation well-being. In the process, their silliness, creativity, and the negotiation of limited resources all have an opportunity to be expressed or practiced. Sometimes a companion while working, sometimes a reason to be goofy, other times, just present, it’s a warm, fuzzy, win-win for all.

Thanks to the following MYP 2 students for photos:

Jai, Reyansh, Anaya

Naisha, Aditya, Chae, Sean

The llama has glitter food, a weekly menu, and a necklace (from Claribel)

Sources:

https://ies.ed.gov/funding/grantsearch/details.asp?ID=849                            https://www.edweek.org/leadership/social-emotional-needs-entwined-with-students-learning-security/2013/01