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A foundation of good habits in West Hempstead


George Washington School and West Hempstead Middle School have recently implemented the Habits of Mind program to students. The Habits of Mind nourishes students’ social-emotional learning and aims to improve the performance of students under challenging conditions.

Social workers and support staff in each school have been pushing into classrooms to introduce students to the different aspects of the program, such as persistence, thinking flexibly and striving for accuracy.

Students at George Washington will first concentrate on the habit of gathering data through the senses. Liz Binstock, the school’s social worker, visited the classes and completed a sensory board together. The activity had students identify different senses and how they can be utilized to implement the different habits.

At West Hempstead Middle School, students took part in different Habits of Minds introductory activities throughout the week of May 17. The week began with students viewing a video of school Principal Sean Murray and Assistant Principal Joe Pumo introducing the program. Each day following, there was a focus on the habits related to subjects such as social studies, math and science. For the science focus, students discussed the conditions necessary to support seed germination and planted wildflowers, which they will take care of for the rest of the year. This activity reinforced the first habit they will be focusing on, which is thinking interdependently.

Habits of Mind instills a foundation in students at the elementary level to build on as they progress in age. In the coming years, the district will continue to grow the Habits of Mind program with students and staff, building a solid foundation in social-emotional learning at all ages.

Courtesy West Hempstead School District; compiled by Nakeem Grant