Social-emotional learning is a strategy used to understand your own feelings and the feelings of others to know how to react in specific settings. Children in K-12 education are not fully able to understand the range of emotions they have and control them to still be forward-focused. For many students school becomes tougher and tougher for them as the years’ progress because they are unable to grasp the task of balancing their social life, emotions, and school work. Educators have to be aware of the effects of social-emotional learning and how students are able to grow with a healthy mind and in a healthy environment. 

To help educators get a jump start to using social-emotional learning in their classrooms, we have compiled a list of 10 social-emotional learning resources for educators to choose from to be successful. 

10 Social-Emotional Learning Resources for Educators

1. Rev up Robotics

Published through ISTE, author Jorge Valnezuela debuted  Rev up Robotics: World Computational Thinking in the K-8 Classroom; a book all about computer science, STEM, and conceptual thinking. The book is in the context of robotics, but the fundamental ideas and themes that align with these three topics will be part of that person’s prior knowledge and application skills. Each chapter is dedicated to certain content areas like ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Based on common core and standards, Jorge identifies what the best skills and tools are for the specific subject they are teaching.

2. Cannon Balling In

Tara Martin, the author of Cannonball In explained that this is a real-life story about a memory from Tara’s Childhood. The basis of the story is that Tara realized that most of her critics were people who had never even tried what she had done. Tara cannonballed in, failed, got up, and tried again. This book is great to encourage students to take risks and be okay with failure.

3. The 4 Areas of Focus

Dr. Marcia Tate shared 4 areas of focus to keep in mind when conducting social-emotional learning. 

  • Self-awareness – has to do with your confidence
  • Self-management – has to do with self-control
  • Social awareness – empathy for other people
  • Relationship management – teamwork and collaboration

As well as encouraging students to work on themselves, educators should also encourage group work and teamwork. Social skills are just as important to hone when developing. One of the most important sets of skills for the working world is interpersonal skills – the ability to be able to work on a team with diverse people and get a finished product out the door or work on a project.

4. Social Media

Incorporate tools that are already familiar to your students for lessons. Make lessons fun by utilizing these social media apps to your advantage. That way these lessons become personalized and engaging for the students. Students begin to get the sense that you are listening to what they tell you outside of the lesson and doing as much as you can to make their learning experience great for them.

5. Be R.E.A.L 

Relatable, Expose vulnerability, Approachable, Learning through life. Tara Martin believes that everyone needs to express these four qualities and also empower those in their realm of influence to be REAL themselves. She stated, “We all started somewhere, no one gains a high status without starting at the bottom and going through some challenges.” Educators have to empower their students to embrace their identities and tap into their own talent strengths.

6. EVERFI

EVERFI is a website that offers free digital SEL resources ranging from lesson plans, videos, curriculum, activities, etc. This software is “designed to equip students with skills like empathy, leadership, conflict resolution, self-awareness, and resilience” stated EVERFI.

7. Positive Affirmations List

Have your students write out encouraging statements to themselves and each other. This way they have a written resource they can go back to and read if they need encouragement or reminder that they are great. These affirmations have been proven to work with mental health cases.

8. Book Snaps

Tara created #BookSnaps to utilize a social media platform that students were already familiar with to enhance their lessons and increase engagement. 

Download Snapchat from the App Store

Add your book study pals by clicking the little ghost and “Add Friends by Username.”

Begin documenting your reflections as you read

Tara shared that she uses Snapchat as a tool to make reading, annotating, and analyzing way more engaging for her students. They are able to use Snapchat, insert emojis and stickers, draw pictures, make observations, and send it to their friends.

9. Growth Mindset

Erik Youngman explains to us why a growth mindset is so important for students in K-12 education. A growth mindset creates a foundation of continual growth, the ability to overcome obstacles, and the motivation for betterment. 

10. Makerspace

A makerspace is a place where students with similar interests, goals, and projects can go to make. A space to create, learn, and collaborate to benefit one’s overall mental health as well as strengthening motor, interpersonal, and conceptual skills.

Social-emotional learning is becoming one of the most important ways to engage with students in 2020. Take the first step by using one or all of these resources to help engage your students.

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