Fly Five is developed on the core belief that in order for students to be academically, socially, and behaviorally successful in, out of, and beyond school, they need to learn a set of social and emotional skills, namely cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control (C.A.R.E.S.). The Fly Five lessons are intentionally designed to be easy to follow and implement so that teachers can place their attention on the important work of noticing students’ academic, social, and emotional growth and progress and creating conditions for that progress to continue.
Fly Five includes daily lessons. Each lesson is color-coded according to its competency color and icon. All grade levels have five units with four themes based upon the C.A.R.E.S. standards. Also, each unit has a School-to-Home Connection unit delivered as a newsletter (English, Spanish) with information and flexible SEL activities. Further, each grade level has a deck of age- and grade-appropriate mindfulness cards aligned to the lesson objectives. These cards can be used throughout the day.
All lessons provide a teacher objective and a student objective and identify the materials that are needed to complete each session in the lesson. All lessons also provide interactive learning structures (ILS) for active and interactive learning (individual, small group, and whole class) with guidance for the teacher on how to implement each ILS. The lessons provide key points for facilitating discussion and monitoring student interaction, and some lessons include bully-prevention strategies. Also, teachers can adapt lessons to meet the school’s schedule. Finally, all lessons end with a reflection to be used as a formative assessment.
K-2 learners are building the foundations of their social and emotional skill development. The K-2 Fly Five curriculum provides teachers with the tools they need to support these students as they navigate unfamiliar social situations, broaden their understanding of the world around them, and begin integrating social and emotional skills practice into their daily lives (Morin, 2020). Fly Five supports social and emotional learning for K-2 learners through the use of developmentally-appropriate activities and resources. These resources include scenario cards and SEL stories that support a lesson’s skill focus and help students practice their SEL skills in a text-to-self or text-to-world format. Other resources consist of hands-on manipulatives that offer students opportunities to practice critical social skills, such as sharing and teamwork.
The Fly Five curriculum for grades 3 through 5 supports students’ social and emotional development through activities tailored to their newfound desire for independence. At this developmental stage, students are curious and driven to find their place within their classroom, family, and community. The curriculum offers more opportunities for personal reflection and introduces PowerPoints to reinforce their learning. Through SEL stories and hands-on group activities, students explore their social and emotional learning with more autonomy, engage with diverse stories, and continue developing self-awareness (Eva n.d.).
For grades 6-8, the Fly Five curriculum activates the power of reflection, guiding students to explore their social and emotional skills by sharing ideas with their peers and listening openly to new perspectives. Rather than teaching students to view their experiences as a series of unrelated events, during this developmental stage the curriculum helps students make connections between their past and current experiences. Through independent and group exploration, self-reflection, and more frequent journaling, students are able to demonstrate social and emotional skills both in and out of the classroom. With increased independence and understanding of their SEL strengths and growth areas, students are primed to continue growing their social and emotional skills as they move on to the next phase of their educational journeys.