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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

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

Calming End-of-Year Stress

Last comment 5 days 11 hours ago
6 80 1,732 views

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

Last comment 1 day 18 hours ago
5 90 5,035 views

Exit Celebrating: 8 Epic Ideas for Ending the School Year

Last comment 1 day 12 hours ago
5 797 13,157 views

7 Tips for Better Classroom Management

Wed, 09/11/2013 - 10:07
51 2,322 178,086 views

How Do We Measure Social and Emotional Learning?

Wed, 03/09/2016 - 10:00
6 4,857 17,129 views

5 Myths Working Against Character Education in Our Schools

Wed, 04/06/2016 - 06:00
11 1,585 12,897 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.

4 1,815 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 3,832 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.

1 5,242 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 1,614 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 4,438 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 1,210 views

Browse

two students in yellow shirts at a desk
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Tools to Assess Social and Emotional Learning in Schools

A well-designed SEL program includes not only evidence-based curricula and instruction, but also clear goals, benchmarks, and tools for universal and targeted screening and progress monitoring.

1 10 2,667 views
A young black girl is laying down on top of about 300 books stacked together on top of each other, looking up at the camera, smiling.
blog

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

Use young children's understanding of differences to teach social justice through age-appropriate literature, news stories, anti-bias lessons, familiar examples, and problem solving.

5 90 5,035 views
blog

Responding to Tragedy: Resources for Educators and Parents

When tragedies happen, it can be difficult for young people to process their emotions and manage stress. Here are a few resources from around the web to help teachers, administrators, and parents respond.

3 1,174 5,844 views
A closeup of two female teens from the shoulder up sitting, looking towards the front of the class.
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The Counselor's Role: Scaffolded Support In and Outside of the Classroom

Embedded in study halls, Trinidad Garza Early College High School counselors support their students to succeed through scaffolded academic and social-emotional supports.

3 2,535 views
Two teen girls are fighting for a ball on the soccer field.
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4 Ways to Use Athletics to Promote SEL and Character Development

Check out these four ways that athletic experiences promote social and emotional learning and character development.

79 1,592 views
A closeup of a young girl standing outside in the sun beside a wooden picnic table. She's drawing a heart on a small flower pot with a blue marker. Two kids and a male teacher are behind her, slightly out of focus, doing the same.
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Calming End-of-Year Stress

The school year's end can be stressful to students leaving a structured environment for uncertain situations. Offer connection and affirmation to help them feel valued and confident.

6 80 1,732 views
A young female teacher in an orange shirt is standing, bending over holding a book, and smiling while she's looking at two young students sitting at their desks.
blog

Exit Celebrating: 8 Epic Ideas for Ending the School Year

Give your students a year-end send-off that celebrates their learning. Ideas include Top 10 lists, party-themed exams, symbolic toasts, and heartfelt letters.

5 797 13,157 views

Pages

photo of a teacher presenting to a classroom
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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.

58 37,001 580,645 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.

26 45,493 278,322 views
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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.

6 285 264,406 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 24,821 244,843 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.

50 2,322 178,086 views
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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 5,589 164,775 views
Two young boys wearing backpacks rushing down the front steps of school
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Homework vs. No Homework Is the Wrong Question

Does your school have a homework policy? How does your school ensure that teachers don't overload students with busy work?

65 22,785 153,279 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 25,412 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 10,076 views
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