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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 1 week 4 hours ago
11 16,400 views

13 Common Sayings to Avoid

Last comment 4 days 9 hours ago
69 37,218 726,822 views

Helping Students Start the School Year With a Positive Mindset

Last comment 6 days 20 hours ago
20 4,814 88,145 views

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

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 12:49
12 3,906 30,883 views

Why Representation Matters

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 12:00
5 1,833 views

Back-to-School Night: A New Approach

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 10:00
1 1,387 views

Resources

Screenshot of a page from How Do We Measure SEL?

Guide: How Do We Measure SEL?

Download this guide to assess and improve descriptions of social-emotional skills and character development within student report cards.

1 4,290 views
Photo of students standing in front of lockers

Self-Assessment Questions for Social & Emotional Development

Download a list of self-reflection questions to help you support student self-assessment of social and emotional learning.

2 4,719 views
Photo of students sitting and talking

Self-Assessment Rubric for Social & Emotional Development

Download a rubric template to help you support student self-assessment of social and emotional learning.

4 8,150 views
Photo of two students reading together

Goals Worksheet for Social & Emotional Development

Download a list with examples of daily goals and big goals to help you guide student goal-setting for social and emotional learning and development.

2 1,716 views
Graphic of colorful mosaic

Handbook: Stress-Reduction Activities for Students

Download a handbook from Glenview Elementary School in Oakland, California, with nine practical and fun classroom activities that promote stress-management skills for students.

1 4,933 views
screenshot of report cover: The Economic Value of SEL

Study: Social and Emotional Learning Yields Major Economic Benefits

There's ample research showing the academic benefits of social and emotional learning, but a new study provides an even stronger reason to implement SEL in schools.

2 1,501 views

Browse

A young girl is raising her hand amidst a group of children and adults sitting together. They're all looking towards the front of the classroom.
blog

Back-to-School Night: A New Approach

Back-to-school night can be a time to shine light on the importance of social-emotional learning -- at both home and school.

1 1,387 views
Eight young students are outside on top of a metal, geodesic dome at a playground, looking down.

Longer Recess, Stronger Child Development

With an hour-long recess, elementary schools can help children develop through increased creative play, authentic SEL, and adequate physical regulation.

6,444 views
A young girl is dressed up in costume as Rey, the female protagonist from the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Why Representation Matters

Children’s early experiences shape what they imagine to be possible. Here are six strategies for giving them positive, familiar examples of who and what they can be.

5 1,833 views
A closeup of three young boys sitting at a classroom table looking at an opened laptop together.
blog

The Long-Term Economic Benefits of Social and Emotional Learning

Evidence suggests that universal SEL programs for children and adolescents can offer tremendous return on investment in reducing problems, promoting competence, and improving school success.

2,522 views
A young girl is lying in a hospital bed, holding a teddy bear, smiling, and pointing at her doctor's face. Her doctor is wearing a clown hat and nose.
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Teacher Support for Children Undergoing Medical Treatment

When children are absent for ongoing medical treatment, educate the class about their illness, and foster a classroom community that reaches out to include the recovering classmate.

1 1,218 views
Boy happily running with his backpack
blog

Helping Students Start the School Year With a Positive Mindset

Three activities teachers can use to help students -- especially those who had a rough summer or struggle academically -- get the school year off to a fresh start.

20 4,814 88,145 views
Four young students are smiling and sitting at two desks pushed together. Five paper-made windmills are on their desks.
blog

4 Approaches to Building Positive Community in Any Classroom

All students want to feel part of their classroom community. Here are four activities to help them feel welcomed and comfortable.

4 10,670 views

Pages

photo of a teacher presenting to a classroom
blog

13 Common Sayings to Avoid

Teachers should avoid the reflexive language of anger or frustration. Here's a list of these sayings, framed as opportunities to constructively address difficult student behavior.

69 37,218 726,822 views
Boy sitting in class, eyes closed, nose wrinkled, sticking his tongue out
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Sometimes Misbehavior Is Not What It Seems

Misbehaving students might like you too much or be physically attracted. Maybe they want attention or want you to prove yourself. Be sensitive to underlying reasons.

27 46,393 284,166 views
article

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

See an overview of Edutopia's core strategies, including project-based learning, social-emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, technology integration, integrated studies and teacher development.

6 285 258,430 views
Close up of three metal folding chairs with table
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Classroom Management: The Intervention Two-Step

Edutopia blogger Rick Curwin examines what happens when a student acts up in class, and illustrates how dealing with it is a two-step process - stabilize the situation ASAP, and intervene at a later, calmer moment.

77 25,129 247,493 views
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7 Tips for Better Classroom Management

Tyler Hester, teacher and professional development coach, offers seven compelling tips - and one amazing video - about the roots of better classroom management.

54 2,388 200,954 views
photo of community support
blog

5 Ways to Stop Bullying and Move into Action

Becki Cohn-Vargas, Director of Not In Our School, presents five ways to empower and motivate young people to turn a climate of bullying into one of safety and acceptance.

32 5,596 172,216 views
blog

Teaching Your Students How to Have a Conversation

Guest blogger Dr. Allen Mendler presents eight strategies for helping your students reclaim and master the lost art of conversation.

19 7,835 169,213 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 25,736 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 9,017 views