Social Decision Making

Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving K-4

This year in the Alpine Elementary School (K-4) we have been introducing a new curriculum: Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving (SDM/SPS). The Social Decision Making/ Social Problem Solving curriculum is an evidence-based approach to building skills that students need for success in school and in life. This program was developed as a collaborative effort between the Rutgers University Department of Psychology and the Social Decision Making Program of University Behavioral Health Care at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

The skills taught and practiced are skills that are all linked to the five domains of emotional intelligence and social-emotional learning:

· Self- awareness

· Self-regulation of emotion/self management

· Self-monitoring and performance

· Social awareness, empathy, and perspective taking

· Responsible decision making and relationship management

In the primary grades, children are introduced to the first phase of the Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving curriculum, which focuses on problem solving and integrating these skills within their academic and everyday life situations. The teachers and school personnel throughout the building have a shared vocabulary and consistent methods, which help children to know what is expected of them in their daily interaction with teachers and other students. Your child will be participating in lessons in Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving (SDM/SPS). These lessons are designed to help children develop skills necessary for self-control, getting along with others, solving problems, and making decisions. These skills will be helpful throughout your child's life and also help students in our school get along and work collaboratively as a group.

We will be having SDM/SPS lessons approximately bi-monthly in each grade level with follow-up practice in both homeroom and Health classes. As with learning any skill, this will take time and practice to develop. Periodically, I will be sending you information and ideas for activities that will assist you in helping your child practice these skills at home. Additional skill practice at home will help strengthen your child's social competence and confidence.


I am excited about implementing this program in our school because it is so important for children to learn the skills needed to work as a member of agroup and to become a responsible decision makers.