SEL in the classroom

Ways to get started with effective SEL activities in your classroom

Trauma teaches us a lot about ourselves. How we react, how we cope, and how we reset after a traumatizing event is what strengthens our resolve and builds our character. As adults, we do this almost innately. But as we move into a post-pandemic world, even we adults need more resources to help our kids process, recover, and start again. This is where effective social emotional learning solutions can help turn the tide.

The funding is here, and you championed the cause

Because the pandemic brought our education system to its knees, educators like you partnered with parents and championed the SEL cause. You carried conversations about the necessity of these important competencies to district planning sessions and school board meetings. And, thanks to the passing of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), part of your hard-fought battle has already been won. The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund has begun rolling out $350 billion to state and federal governments, and a large portion of that money, $122 billion to be exact, is reserved for student academic and SEL support. This is fantastic news for schools like yours.

SEL in the classroom
Effective SEL in the classroom teaches kids how to copy and recover

So, where do we go from here?

Even with funding available, a big part of the SEL challenge still looms. You might be wondering with all the available options out there, how do you choose the best fit for your classroom? Though one solution might not fit all situations, we’ve compiled a couple steps, along with some helpful resources, to get you started.

Step 1 – Activities: Dipping your toes in the SEL ocean

These easy, quick, and affordable SEL-integrated or “integrate-able” activities are a good way to try out some different SEL approaches to see what works best for you. No planning, no prep time … just unpack and go.

SEL journaling kits like Managing Our Emotions or Reflections help students discover self-awareness and self-reflection.

This self-management-centered lesson also involves a little exercise and outdoors time.

Games, such as What Do You Think, can be a great way to deliver key messages in a fun way.

Step 2 – Lessons: Turning it up a notch

With SEL-fortified lesson plans and classroom activities, you can incorporate deeper SEL learning in a cross-curricular way. Each includes information about standards alignment, materials lists, and detailed How-To information to make your life easier.

For effective SEL activities for middle school, check out this recent blog: Effective middle school SEL activities for your classroom and school, and, if you’re looking for even more SEL solutions, visit our SEL resource page now.

Special thanks to Lisa Sympson , Director of Omni-Channel Marketing at Nasco Education, for researching and co-writing the information used in this blog.

Ways to get started with effective SEL activities in your classroom

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