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Social and Emotional Learning

Find and share resources for creating a healthy school culture by helping students develop skills to manage their emotions, resolve conflicts, and make responsible decisions.

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Overview

What is Social and Emotional Learning?

When students work together on project teams, they learn to collaborate, communicate, and resolve conflicts. Cooperative learning and character development supports the social and emotional development of students and prepares them for success in the modern workplace. Watch an introduction video.

History

A Short History

Teaching the soft skills, traditionally associated with conflict resolution and character education, has evolved from being considered "wishy-washy" to being an integral part of educating the whole child. See how a movement takes off.

Experts

What Experts Say

National and local experts discuss how educating the whole child by including social and emotional skills with academics is critical for success in school and in life. See what the experts say.

Research

SEL Research Review

Numerous research reports show that social and emotional learning (SEL) can have a positive impact on students' academic performance. Edutopia's SEL research review explores those reports and helps make sense of the results. Dig deeper.

Why

Why Champion SEL?

Helping students develop a sense of self will ultimately help them to better manage their emotions, communicate, and resolve conflicts nonviolently. See how to help students build character.

Discuss

Building Community With Attendance Questions

Last comment 5 days 18 hours ago
11 16,142 views

13 Common Sayings to Avoid

Last comment 3 days 2 min ago
69 37,218 721,451 views

Helping Students Start the School Year With a Positive Mindset

Last comment 5 days 11 hours ago
20 4,814 86,488 views

4’33” (Four Minutes and Thirty-Three Seconds): What Our Brains Need

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 12:49
11 3,906 29,757 views

Why Representation Matters

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 12:00
5 1,733 views

Back-to-School Night: A New Approach

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 10:00
1 570 views

Browse

A young teenage boy in a teal t-shirt and brown pants is in the air on a skateboard. Both of his arms are extended out to his sides and his knees are up to his chest. He's hovering over a yellow beam against an off-white brick wall.
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The Teenage Brain: Stress, Coping, and Natural Highs

To help young people cope with stress and a rapidly developing brain, educate them about the "natural highs" of beneficial brain chemistry triggered by exercise and passion.

11 2,832 16,912 views
Two young, smiling boys standing in a school hallway wearing white polo shirts have an arm around each other's shoulder and are making the peace sign with their other hand.
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Motivating Successful Teamwork With Games

Launch your next student project with laughter through physical, team-building challenges like escaping the room without touching the lava field or cooperating in blindfolded dodgeball.

12 759 8,570 views
A closeup of a teenage girl sitting slouched, resting her head in her cupped hands. She's looking up and to the side with tears in her eyes. She's sitting in a naturally lit room with couches, comfy chairs, coffee tables, and a small, potted tree.
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Helping Students Who Have Experienced Trauma

To help a student who's experienced trauma, ground yourself emotionally, determine your own role, and address that student's emotional truth from a place of informed support.

8 2,737 14,350 views
Four young students are sitting together at two, two-person desks put together as one table. They're near the front of the classroom near a whiteboard. The two girls are looking down, writing, and the two boys are looking up, smiling.
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Fostering Identity Safety in Your Classroom

Dissolve stereotype threat and increase identity safety by affirming all types of identity, modeling strategic vulnerability, inviting students into self-authorship, and creating identity safe classroom agreements.

5 1,218 4,499 views
A closeup, side profile of a young girl with glasses standing in a classroom, reading a music sheet.
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Connections, Not Consequences

For individual student behavior issues, rely less on consequences and more on personal connections, scaffolding your process with dialogue, negotiation, and ultimately agreement.

26 5,389 21,836 views
A closeup of a side profile of a young female student looking out a window. Her left cheek is resting against her left hand, and there's a hair tie around her wrist.
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Student Autonomy, Compliance, and Intrinsic Motivation

The pressures of education today seem to be tilting the balance toward order and compliance, and this can have harmful long-term consequences for both children and society.

14 2,353 12,213 views
Three elementary school children sitting together at a table in class coloring with markers
blog

Why Social and Emotional Learning Is Essential for Students

Learn more about the critical role that social and emotional learning plays in promoting student success.

2 9,821 24,405 views

Pages

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Helping Students Develop the Skills to Focus

Edutopia blogger Maurice Elias shares a classroom activity that helps K-8 students develop their ability to focus and pay better attention.

24 1,191 65,509 views
Assistive Technology: Enabling Dreams
video

How Assistive Technology Enables Dreams

From voice-activated software to customized laptops, tech is changing the way disabled students communicate, learn, and play.

33 342 62,297 views
blog

Engaged Teaching: "Do Now" Activities for Your Lessons

Blogger Maurice Elias shares some simple tips for implementing SEL in elementary, middle and high school classes -- including a short quiet time at the beginning and end of the day, using transition circles, and reflective writing and discussion ideas.

8 1,537 59,728 views
A young boy wearing a striped blue and orange t-shirt is looking at a bubble in front of his forehead that is almost the size of his head. He's outside. Behind him is grass next to a brick floor with a basketball hoop and a tree fence.
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How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships

In the first of five posts about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels offers strategies to help explore how joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust can help students.  

28 12,794 58,872 views
blog

It’s a Mistake Not to Use Mistakes as Part of the Learning Process

I recently heard a TED talk from Brian Goldman, a doctor who admits to having made mistakes. In very emotional language, he describes some costly emergency room mistakes, and then makes a strong case for changing the way that the medical profession addresses...

29 16,635 57,159 views
The Heart-Brain Connection: The Neuroscience of Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning
video

The Heart-Brain Connection: The Neuroscience of Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson presents his research on how social and emotional learning affects the brain.

18 1,567 56,731 views
Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management
Schools That Work

Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management

At Glenview Elementary School, dialogue circles are part of a program aimed at building collaboration, respect, and positive behavior among students.

6 2,078 55,661 views

Pages

An Introduction to Social and Emotional Learning
Video

Social and Emotional Learning 101

Emotional intelligence must be developed in children before any other learning can effectively take place.

7 288 25,690 views
Educating Hearts: A Districtwide Initiative to Teach How to Care
Video

Educating Hearts: A Districtwide Initiative to Teach How to Care

The Anchorage School District's investment in social and emotional learning is paying off both socially and academically.

13 129 8,999 views