5​ ​Ways​ ​to​ ​Implement​ ​Social-Emotional​ ​Learning​ ​for​ ​Student​ ​Success

The​ ​bell​ ​rings​ ​signaling​ ​the​ ​start​ ​of​ ​the​ ​school​ ​day.​ ​Classrooms​ ​of​ ​students​ ​across​ ​the country​ ​wait​ ​for​ ​lessons​ ​to​ ​begin,​ ​but​ ​are​ ​these​ ​students​ ​really​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​learn?​ ​One student​ ​is​ ​anxious​ ​about​ ​his​ ​test​ ​next​ ​period,​ ​another​ ​hopes​ ​their​ ​college​ ​acceptance letter​ ​will​ ​arrive​ ​today.​ ​A​ ​fourth​ ​grader​ ​wonders​ ​if​ ​his​ ​mom​ ​will​ ​make​ ​it​ ​home​ ​in​ ​time​ ​for dinner.​ ​A​ ​kindergartner​ ​thinks​ ​about​ ​the​ ​older​ ​student​ ​who​ ​teased​ ​him​ ​on​ ​the​ ​bus.

How​ ​can​ ​we​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​these​ ​students​ ​are​ ​mentally​ ​present​ ​and​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​take​ ​on​ ​the day?​ ​Social-emotional​ ​learning​ ​(SEL)​ ​can​ ​help.

The​ ​Aspen​ ​Institute’s​ ​National​ ​Commission​ ​on​ ​Social,​ ​Emotional,​ ​and​ ​Academic Learning​ ​recently​ ​released​​ ​scientific​ ​statements​ ​of​ ​evidence​​ ​that​ ​demonstrate​ ​the lasting​ ​impact​ that ​social-emotional​ ​programming​ ​has​ ​on​ ​students,​ ​staff,​ ​school​ ​culture,​ ​and the​ ​surrounding​ ​community.​ ​They found that​ ​SEL helps students​ remain​ ​mentally​ ​present​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​school​ ​day.​ ​There​ ​is​ ​considerable​ ​evidence demonstrating​ ​that​ ​students​ ​learn​ ​more​ ​when​ ​they​ ​are​ ​able​ ​to​ ​manage​ ​their​ ​emotions, form​ ​meaningful​ ​relationships,​ ​and​ ​demonstrate​ ​resilience.​ ​Research​ ​shows​ ​that​ ​SEL programming​ ​can​ ​increase​ ​executive​ ​functioning,​ ​self-efficacy,​ ​and​ ​persistence.

So​ ​how​ ​do​ ​we​ ​help​ ​children​ ​develop​ ​these​ ​social​ ​skills​ ​and​ ​improve​ ​emotional​ ​health?

Children​ ​and​ ​adolescents​ ​spend​ ​the​ ​majority​ ​of​ ​their​ ​time​ ​in​ ​a​ ​classroom,​ ​so​ ​schools need​ ​to​ ​devote​ ​time​ ​to​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​skill​ ​development.​ ​By​ ​prioritizing​ ​social and​ ​emotional​ ​learning,​ ​schools​ ​create​ ​safe,​ ​supportive,​ ​and​ ​effective​ ​learning environments​ ​for​ ​their​ ​staff​ ​and​ ​students.​ ​Continue​ ​reading​ ​to​ ​discover​ ​5​ ​easy​ ​ways​ ​to integrate​ ​social-emotional​ ​learning​ ​in​ ​the​ ​classroom.

Schedule​ ​a​ ​Morning​ ​Meeting

Give​ ​students​ ​the​ ​chance​ ​to​ ​connect​ ​with​ ​one​ ​another​ ​by​ ​gathering​ ​for​ ​morning meeting.​ ​This​ ​can​ ​be​ ​an​ ​opportunity​ ​for​ ​students​ ​to​ ​share​ ​how​ ​they’re​ ​feeling, discuss something​ ​they’re​ ​struggling​ ​with,​ ​or​ ​set​ ​an​ ​intention.​ ​Coming​ ​together​ ​at​ ​the beginning​ ​of​ ​the​ ​school​ ​day​ ​can​ ​affect​ ​how​ ​everyone​ ​will​ ​interact​ ​with​ ​one another​ ​for​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​the​ ​day.

Build​ ​a​ ​Diverse​ ​Classroom​ ​Library

The​ ​books​ ​and​ ​literature​ ​students​ ​are​ ​exposed​ ​to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​impact​ ​on developing​ ​empathy​ ​and​ ​building​ ​global​ ​awareness.​ ​It’s​ ​important​ ​to​ ​share books​ ​that​ ​represent​ ​a​ ​diverse​ ​set​ ​of​ ​cultures,​ ​races,​ ​family​ ​structures,​ ​living situations,​ ​etc.​ ​They​ ​should​ ​also​ ​address​ ​a​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​themes,​ ​main​ ​topics​, ​and central​ ​lessons.​ ​Use​ ​books​ ​as​ ​a​ ​starting​ ​point​ ​to​ ​discuss​ ​individual​ ​differences, feelings,​ ​and​ ​conflict​ ​resolution.

Inspire​ ​an​ ​Attitude​ ​of​ ​Gratitude

Research​ ​shows​ ​that​ ​demonstrating​ ​gratitude​ ​not​ ​only​ ​improves​ ​mental​ ​health but​ ​improves​ ​physical​ ​health,​ ​decreases​ ​stress,​ ​builds​ ​resilience,​ ​and​ ​improves self-esteem.​ ​There​ ​are​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of​ ​ways​ ​to​ ​inspire​ ​gratitude​ ​in​ ​your​ ​classroom, including:​ ​have​ ​students​ ​share​ ​one​ ​thing​ ​they’re​ ​grateful​ ​during​ ​a​ ​classroom meeting,​ ​create​ ​gratitude​ ​journals​ ​for​ ​reflection,​ ​or​ ​write​ ​thank​ ​you​ ​cards​ ​to other​ ​classmates.

Switch​ ​Up​ ​Your​ ​Seating​ ​Arrangement…and​ ​keep​ ​switching​ ​it

Arrange​ ​your​ ​classroom​ ​so​ ​that​ ​students​ ​have​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​sit​ ​in​ ​groups. This​ ​encourages​ ​collaboration,​ ​communication​ ​and​ ​teamwork.​ ​By​ ​switching group​ ​members,​ ​group​ ​size​ ​and​ ​the​ ​arrangement​ ​of​ ​your​ ​classroom,​ ​you​ ​give students​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​get​ ​to​ ​know​ ​each​ ​other,​ ​discover​ ​strategies​ ​for​ ​how to​ ​work​ ​and​ ​communicate​ ​with​ ​a​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​personalities,​ ​and​ ​keep​ ​things​ ​from getting​ ​boring!

Continue​ ​Your​ ​Best​ ​Practices!

Chances​ ​are​ ​your​ ​lessons​ ​and​ ​activities​ ​already​ ​encourage​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional development​ ​in​ ​your​ ​students.​ ​Look​ ​for​ ​opportunities​ ​to​ ​include​ ​group​ ​work, peer​ ​feedback,​ ​and​ ​creative​ ​expression​ ​in​ ​your​ ​lessons​ ​plans.​ ​Use​ ​literature​ ​and read​ ​alouds​ ​as​ ​a​ ​means​ ​to​ ​inspire​ ​discussion​ ​surrounding​ ​your​ ​classes’​ ​social​ ​and emotional​ ​needs.

This​ ​article​ ​was​ ​contributed​ ​by​ ​​Move​ ​This​ ​World.​​ ​​ ​Move​ ​This​ ​World​ ​provides​ ​PreK-12 schools​ ​with​ ​a​ ​comprehensive​ ​social-emotional​ ​learning​ ​program.​ ​Through evidence-based,​ ​developmentally​ ​aligned​ ​digital​ ​tools,​ ​Move​ ​This​ ​World​ ​ritualizes​ ​a daily​ ​practice​ ​of​ ​identifying,​ ​expressing​ ​and​ ​managing​ ​emotions.​ ​Educators​ ​and students​ ​strengthen​ ​their​ ​social​ ​skills​ ​and​ ​improve​ ​emotional​ ​health​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​create environments​ ​where​ ​effective​ ​teaching​ ​and​ ​learning​ ​can​ ​occur.​ ​​Click​ ​here​​ ​to​ ​learn​ ​more about​ ​their​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​learning​ ​program.

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Resources:

Garbacz,​ ​S.​ ​A.,​ ​Swanger-Gagne,​ ​M.​ ​S.,​ ​&​ ​Sheridan,​ ​S.​ ​M.​ ​(2015).​ ​The​ ​role​ ​of​ ​school-family​ ​partnership programs​ ​for​ ​promoting​ ​student​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​learning.​ ​In​ ​Durlak,​ ​J.A.,​ ​Domitrovich,​ ​C.E., Weissberg,​ ​R.P.,​ ​Gullotta,​ ​T.P.,​ ​&​ ​Comer,​ ​J.​ ​(Eds.),​ ​The​ ​handbook​ ​of​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​learning: Research​ ​to​ ​practice​ ​(pp.​ ​244-259).​ ​New​ ​York,​ ​NY:​ ​Guilford​ ​Press.

Jones,​ ​S.​ ​M.,​ ​&​ ​Bouffard,​ ​S.​ ​M.​ ​(2012).​ ​Social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​learning​ ​in​ ​schools:​ ​From​ ​programs​ ​to strategies.​ ​Social​ ​Policy​ ​Report,​ ​26​ ​(4).​ ​Society​ ​for​ ​Research​ ​in​ ​Child​ ​Development.

Morin,​ ​Amy.​ ​​13​ ​Things​ ​Mentally​ ​Strong​ ​People​ ​Don’t​ ​Do:​ ​Take​ ​Back​ ​Your​ ​Power,​ ​Embrace​ ​Change,​ ​Face Your​ ​Fears,​ ​and​ ​Train​ ​Your​ ​Brain​ ​for​ ​Happiness​ ​and​ ​Success​.​ ​William​ ​Morrow,​ ​an​ ​Imprint​ ​of HarperCollinsPublishers,​ ​2017.

Osher,​ ​D.,​ ​Kidron,​ ​Y.,​ ​Brackett,​ ​M.,​ ​Dymnicki,​ ​A.,​ ​Jones,​ ​S.,​ ​&​ ​Weissberg,​ ​R.​ ​P.​ ​(2016).​ ​Advancing​ ​the science​ ​and​ ​practice​ ​of​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​learning:​ ​Looking​ ​back​ ​and​ ​moving​ ​forward.​ ​Review​ ​of Research​ ​in​ ​Education,​ ​40(1),​ ​644-681.

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