George Lucas Educational Foundation
Social & Emotional Learning (SEL)

Resources and Downloads for SEL Classroom Management

Educators from Mount Desert Elementary School in Northeast Harbor, Maine, have shared a few social and emotional learning tools and we’ve gathered some of our favorite resources to help educators implement positive discipline strategies, build community, and keep kids engaged.

April 4, 2013
Photo credit: Alyssa Fedele
Educators at one Maine elementary school are embracing social and emotional learning and watching their students achieve sustainable academic success.

If you'd like to deepen your understanding of SEL and how to apply it as an educator or parent, here are resources to get you started. The following are the combined recommendations of Mount Desert Elementary and the Chicago-based nonprofit Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).


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Resources from Mount Desert Elementary School

Rebecca Heniser, a third-grade teacher at Mount Desert Elementary School, shared some resources that can help you get started.

  • Rebecca Heniser's Class Schedule - See how Mount Desert teachers make time for SEL programs, such as morning meetings.

  • Collaborative Teaching Form - See how counselor Pam Parvin and teacher Rebecca Heniser work together to teach social and emotional well-being to the third grade. This particular document focuses on how to structure class -- and the topics to discuss -- to improve student self-confidence.

  • Responsive Classroom Themes - Get a list of the topics teachers focus on when incorporating the Responsive Classroom approach.

  • Ideas for Transitions - See a list of student-created transitions used in Heniser's class throughout the day. These transitions keep the kids engaged and focused as they move between classes, and while walking to lunch and recess.

  • Cleanup Transitions - More activities that Heniser's students created to help keep the classroom focused.

  • Ms. Heniser also recommends these books:

    * The Morning Meeting Book, by Roxann Kriete
    * Doing Math in Morning Meeting: 150 Quick Activities That Connect to Your Curriculum, by Andy Dousis and Margaret Berry Wilson
    * Rules in School: Teaching Discipline in the Responsive Classroom, by Kathryn Brady, Mary Beth Forton, and Deborah Porter

Learn More About Mount Desert Elementary

Social and Emotional Learning Websites for Classroom Management

  • Responsive Classroom - An approach for elementary classroom management that focuses on increasing academic achievement, decreasing problem behaviors, improving social skills, and developing higher-quality instruction.

  • The Lineage Project - A program using awareness-based practices such as yoga and meditation to teach mindfulness to at-risk and incarcerated teenagers.

  • Mindful Life - A program using mindfulness to teach kids how to manage emotion, handle stress, and resolve conflict.

  • A Year at Mission Hill - A ten-part series documenting how a public school is trying to make a connection between social and emotional well-being and intellectual growth.

Reading List: Introduction to SEL

General Introductions to SEL
Books for Educators
Books for Parents
Practical Tools for the Classroom

More Edutopia Resources on Social and Emotional Learning:

Social and emotional learning (SEL) programs recognize that there's more to a child's personal, academic, and adult-life success than pure academics. Self-awareness, self-respect, self-control, and interpersonal skills can go a long way to helping a child become a happy, effective student and citizen (watch the Edutopia introductory video on SEL).

(For more innovative ideas for teaching classroom management, check out our social and emotional learning blog series.)

What do you think about this Schools That Work story? We'd love to hear from you!
Tweet your answer to @edutopia, comment below, or email us.

School Snapshot

Mount Desert Elementary

Grades K-8 | Northeast Harbor, ME
170 | Public, Rural
Per Pupil Expenditures
$15756 School$15756 District$9121 State
Free / Reduced Lunch
95% White
1% Black
1% Asian
1% Hispanic

1% English language learners
15% Special services

Data is from the 2011-12 academic year.

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