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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Atmosphere objectives? Ways to build in SEL throughout the year.

Atmosphere objectives? Ways to build in SEL throughout the year.

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4 Replies 419 Views
Hi. I thought we could share ways we build SEL into our content throughout the year.

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Rachel Pickett's picture
Rachel Pickett
10th grade Social Studies

I'm going to try out implementing daily atmosphere objectives, along with content objectives. At the end of class, we can spend 5 minutes processing the atmosphere. From what I hear, processing time is vital in SEL.

Does anyone do something like this?

I started a brainstorming list of potential atmosphere objs... :) I invite your feedback, and any of your additions! My students' core agreements (across classes) are 'respect others' and 'respect yourself.' How to make them a living part of class? Maybe having SEL objectives each day could be a way? Brainstormed potential objectives follow...

- Listening when other students are talking
- Observing body language
- Speaking up when you don't understand something
- Notice what builds an atmosphere of respect
- I.d. what respect looked like in class today
- consider why respect is important (or if it is important)
- consider the benefits of respect
- observe if there's equal air time
- observe what it feels like to learn something interesting/boring
- I.d. what we're doing to create a positive atmosphere
- think about the benefits of respect

When students have a voice in processing, and observing... do you ever experience them getting into it? They have so much smart stuff to say, and they like thinking about social-emotional stuff.

While it's a positive atmosphere for the most part in my classes, I think there's so much more to develop. My students are turning in beautiful work, and are also starting to be tardy and chatty -- including when I'm teaching. I know power struggles don't work, and I don't want to damage the positive and productive energy in the classroom. I'd prefer to focus on SEL objectives and building community and structure.

Does anyone manage your classroom through SEL?

Maureen Costello's picture

Rachel,
I think these are great ideas, and the key is to get your students to take ownership of them. Perhaps if you introduce the concept, provide some examples and then ask students at the end or beginning of class what they would like the SEL objective to be that day? I suspect that students will come up with spot-on objectives that respond to actual classroom needs.

On another note, we know that this kind of positive atmosphere in a classroom is most effectively produced when there's a positive atmosphere in school. Have you looked at the Teaching Tolerance program, Mix It Up at Lunch Day? It's intended to get the entire school off to a good start by asking students to acknowledge and break through the social boundaries in the school, and to sit and have a dialogue with someone they wouldn't normally sit with.

Check it out at www.mixitup.org.

Rachel Pickett's picture
Rachel Pickett
10th grade Social Studies

[quote]Rachel,I think these are great ideas, and the key is to get your students to take ownership of them. Perhaps if you introduce the concept, provide some examples and then ask students at the end or beginning of class what they would like the SEL objective to be that day? I suspect that students will come up with spot-on objectives that respond to actual classroom needs. On another note, we know that this kind of positive atmosphere in a classroom is most effectively produced when there's a positive atmosphere in school. Have you looked at the Teaching Tolerance program, Mix It Up at Lunch Day? It's intended to get the entire school off to a good start by asking students to acknowledge and break through the social boundaries in the school, and to sit and have a dialogue with someone they wouldn't normally sit with. Check it out at www.mixitup.org.[/quote]

Thanks! I totally notice that when I collaborate with students, and they direct where we need to go, there is much more investment.

Jenny Wiley's picture

Dear Rachel,

You may find this article helpful for students http://www.6seconds.org/blog/2010/09/smarter-about-feelings/

Six Seconds Social Emotional Learning Curriculum, called "Self Science - Getting Started with Social Emotional Learning" is one of two curricula recommended in Daniel Goleman's book, "Emotional Intelligence." Originally released in 1978, it has been updated and re-released this summer. It is a well developed and well proven curriculum. EQ Family Workshops for parents are available, as well teacher training, and assessments for students, adults and school climate. Please see www.6seconds. org.

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