Term

Fall 2017

Capstone

Capstone Project

Degree Name

MAT

Facilitator(s)

Laura Halldin

Content Expert

Bonnie Jean Flom

Abstract

This capstone project focuses on the question: How can intermediate elementary teachers create student environments that foster social­emotional growth? Educators are increasingly cognizant of the impact of social­emotional learning on students, especially within the intermediate elementary grades. Chapter One provides a background and rationale that led to the focus of the research and project. Chapter Two contains a literature review that highlights the many facets of a thriving classroom community with a particular focus on the development of empathy and resilience, including the significant impact of the teacher­student relationship. Popular social­emotional curricula are profiled, and the significantly positive impact ­ short­term and long­term, academically and socially ­ of these influential experiences in elementary school are also highlighted. Chapter Three outlines a culminating website project created as a resource for teachers to incorporate new community building strategies and activities into their classroom routines. Chapter Four describes the lasting implications and future possibilities for the website project as a contribution to the teaching profession. As educators continue to understand the importance of students developing social­emotional competencies along with academic skills, creating classrooms that provide opportunities to develop these skills becomes imperative. This capstone highlights the research and provides practical ideas that can serve as building blocks to putting students on the path to finding personal success and becoming positive contributors to society.

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