Does this program address inclusion, equity, and diversity?
The Sami’s Circuit On Demand video program supports SEL and PBIS through a toolbox of powers (aka the Circuit of Powers) that students can learn to use: Honesty, Kindness, Courage, Expression, and Positivity. The program combines these powers with Movement, as well as learning how to set goals and achieve them. The Circuit of Powers is used in different ways for each video, including celebrating our differences, practicing empathy, and supporting human connection. The Movement portion of each video encourages adaptation to help ensure everyone feels capable and included.
Does this program take into account the social, cultural, and gender expectations that influence students’ ability to develop important social and emotional skills?
The Sami’s Circuit On Demand video program does not specifically address social, cultural, and gender expectations. The videos focus on universal truths and general topics that all kids can relate to such as self-esteem, positive/growth mindset, celebrating individuality, mental and physical health, healthy habits, resilience, and perseverance - tools that all parents would agree they want their children to have, no matter what background.
What is the best way for a teacher to support, reinforce, integrate or embed the program within classroom instruction?
Sami’s Circuit On Demand was created with a teacher’s busy schedule in mind. There are no trainings to take and no binders to lug around. Everything a teacher needs to implement this program can be found on the Welcome page, including tips & tricks for implementation. If the teacher is passionate about the message, it will be contagious, and the program will be far more successful.
What role do school counselors play in supporting this program?
The Sami’s Circuit mission aligns with counselors’ overall goals for their school: promoting a school environment designed to help students develop positive mindsets and behaviors and supporting social/emotional development. The school counselor will play a role by supporting the message of the program, reinforcing the SEL skills taught in the videos, and encouraging Family Night participation.
What does Sami talk about in his school videos?
Sami's videos are grouped by grade level (Primary and Secondary), and content is tailored to each age group. The videos support school physical education programs and growth mindset, and include several aspects of social-emotional learning and support trauma recovery as well. The videos introduce students to the Sami’s Circuit of Powers. Each "power" is a tool that students (and Sami!) use to: overcome obstacles; identify, understand and manage emotions; relate to and show respect for others; and practice mindfulness. Each video contains exercise and cooldown segments.
Why combine movement with learning ?
Numerous studies, including this extensive study by the National Institutes of Health, have shown that aerobic exercise combined with cognitive engagement not only promote a child's ability to learn, but also suggest that physical activity/cognition coupling that begins in early infancy likely promotes goal-directed behavior, problem-solving skills, and cognition- and continues into later development.
Are there any physical limitations to the movement section of the videos?
Sami's Circuit exercises follow very few rules. The exercises are better thought of as suggestions. Whatever physical limitations a child or adult may have, Sami encourages tailoring each exercise to the individual's abilities. The goal of Sami's Circuit is inclusion.
Does this teach kids that they need to lose weight?
Absolutely not. When Sami shares the story of his childhood with students, he specifically points out that it was NOT ok for him to be treated differently because of how he looked. He explains that his biggest obstacle wasn't his weight, but how he had to overcome not believing in himself. Sami believes that leading a happy, healthy life is an important goal for all of us, but not because of looks or a number on a scale. "Losing weight" is never a part of any Sami's Circuit video or assembly.
My child is talking about the "Negative Voice," what is that?
Sami takes a very careful approach to discussing what adults know as our "inner critic." Believe it or not, this inner critic can start as young as 12-18 months of age!* Sami strongly believes that the first step to overcoming any obstacle is to identify it. Identifying an "inner critic" to a 6 year old can be challenging. With this in mind, Sami has created "The Negative Voice," a character that Sami interacts with in his videos, demonstrating how negative self-talk like "I can't do this," "I'm not good at this," or "I should just give up," can be overcome by using our positive words, such as "I got this!" "I CAN do this!" "I am awesome today!" and "Never give up!" The approach has been so well-received, that in 2016 Sami authored a book based on this concept titled, "Sami vs. The Negative Voice."
If your child asks you about the Negative Voice, it's a great conversation starter! You can help explain the importance of overcoming negative self-talk if and when it pops up. You can practice positive self-talk with each other by using phrases similar to the ones above (Sami's all-time favorite is YOU GOT THIS!). Sami explains to the children that the Negative Voice is not a real, living thing to be afraid of, but that it is something that exists only when we are speaking poorly to ourselves or others.
I just received an email about a "Virtual Family Night," what is that?
In order for your entire family to support one another in leading happy, healthy lives, the Sami's Circuit program offers Virtual Family Nights. During this livestreamed family night, everyone in the family is encouraged to get up and move! Sami kicks off the night by explaining to the parents what kids are learning about in his videos, and then it's time to get moving! Sami will lead families through 8-10 different exercises for 45 seconds each, set to an upbeat energetic music mix! Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and have some water handy for those water breaks! And remember Sami’s motto – there is no “right” or “wrong” way to exercise – if you’re moving, you’re doing it right!