Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
In a large-scale review of 213 SEL programs for K-12 students, Loyola University Chicago’s Joe Durlak and his colleagues found that students who participated in SEL programs, compared with those who didn’t, not only improved in their social and emotional skills, attitudes and behaviors, but they also had an 11% gain in their academics.
Some key lessons include:
Focus on relationships between teachers and students.
Use “Who am I?” activities, ask students to list their favorite books, activities, food, memories.
Greet students at the door, connect with them before class by name with a handshake, fist bump or nod generate greater student engagement in learning and fewer class disruptions
Explicitly teach SEL competencies since it helps students identify emotions (e.g. Edsby Social, Emotional Check-Ins).
Incorporate SEL programs such as from CASEL
Try standalone activities, such as SEL Kernels, including games, routines, storytelling, and more
Address teachers' well-being through self-care, SEL support, supportive relationships, and online resources (Committee for Children, Second Step, Transforming Education, Panorama Toolkit)
Draw How You Feel
A "temperature check" is a great way to check-in with students. Get quick feedback on how they are feeling, how learning is going, what they are planning to do during the day, and who they may need support from.
Questions to Ask Yourself First
What are you hoping to learn from students?
How often will you conduct check-ins?
How will you take action if students share that they need help?