RULER in the Classroom!

September 12, 2023

Dear SMS Families,

We are excited to finally be introducing RULER in classrooms! RULER is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER is also an acronym for the skills of emotional intelligence: Recognizing emotions, Understanding emotions, Labeling emotions, Expressing emotions, and Regulating emotions. Research from the field of emotion science finds that children who understand and manage their feelings make more responsible decisions, have stronger relationships, and perform better in school. You can learn more about RULER and why emotions matter in early childhood in this brochure and this article.

After learning and practicing the skills of emotional intelligence as a faculty and staff last year, we feel prepared to teach and model the skills. We will be infusing RULER into all parts of our school by leading class- and school-wide activities, integrating conversations about emotions into evening events, and offering further opportunities for families to be involved.

In the classroom, teachers will be integrating routines that build emotional awareness, such as creating a class Charter and checking in on the Mood Meter. Teachers will also lead lessons that help students understand emotional concepts such as community building, self-awareness, and conflict resolution. As the program continues, your child’s teacher can provide more information about what RULER looks like in their classroom.

We are eager to see your children plotting themselves on the Mood Meter, to hear the shared language of best self, and to witness them being kinder to themselves by practicing positive self-talk strategies to regulate emotions. Students will bring home activities related to the RULER skills and tools to do together. Your involvement is very valuable in reinforcing their learning.

Over the course of the year, we will be providing ongoing communication to you about RULER. You will be asked to check in with your students at home and engage in different activities to continue promoting skills. We hope that you will join us in supporting our students (and ourselves!) in all aspects of life.

I’m looking forward to hearing how you and your children are feeling this year and how we can support one another in creating a positive and emotionally safe school climate in which everyone may flourish.

The SMS Team