Articles about Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Mindfulness in the Classroom and Trauma Informed Teaching

Five Tips to Reduce Winter Break Anxiety for Students

While the upcoming break may be a much-needed break for teachers, they know that the time leading up to holidays and school breaks can create periods of stress and chaos in the classroom. Many students enjoy the structure and safety they find in the classroom and the holidays cause an interruption to the predictable routine of the school day. This month, we reached out to a handful of educators for their insights and together we created five tips to reduce stress and anxiety for students during this time of year.

SEL Book Review: Small Things by Mel Tregonning

In the no-words graphic novel, Small Things, Tregonning tells the story of a boy realizing he is not alone struggling with his adolescent feelings. The boy learns the importance of naming his feelings and like so many social and emotional learning ideas is a skill that speaks to adults as much as children.  

Classroom Gratitude Challenge

With Thanksgiving coming up, it’s a good time to practice some gratitude. Research on gratitude has shown that regular practicing gratitude (thinking about what you’re grateful for) enjoy lots of benefits, including having better physical health! Here are two weeks of daily gratitude questions you can pose to your class leading up to Thanksgiving break.

SEL at Parent-Teacher Conferences

While kids may worry about what is said at parent-teacher conferences, those conversations can be just as stressful for teachers. Parents may feel defensive or upset when they hear that their child is not excelling academically — but it can be even more difficult when teachers have to relay that there are problems of a social-emotional nature. This month we offer teachers SEL resources for parent-teacher conferences.

Classroom Activity for Emotional Management

Research has shown that those who are able to analyze, reflect, and pay attention to their internal body states, such as their heart rate, have a stronger sense of emotional awareness thus are better able to regulate their emotions and respond appropriately to situations that arise. This month, we offer a ready-to-go lesson plan helping students build skills to understand what is going on in their bodies while building social and emotional skills along the way.

The Neuroscience of Mindfulness

As mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions become more popular in schools, it is important to investigate what benefits mindfulness has on youth and their development through the field of neuroscience. Through the research and literature collected, it is clear that mindfulness generates stillness, moment-to-moment awareness, and calm centered breathing can all work together to decrease anxiety, blood pressure, depression while increasing immunity, compassion, empathy, and non-reactivity (Wells, 2015). This month, we dig into how mindfulness has been found to impact brain development.

Why SEL Matters

With an increase in SEL in schools around the world, it is important to know the benefits and impact SEL can play on students’ development inside and outside of the classroom. This month we dig into the research behind social and emotional learning and look into the benefits of implementing consistent SEL in schools.

Top 5 SEL Books for Teachers to Read

While students might get some informal SEL education at home, they will probably only encounter direct lessons on SEL in the classroom. So if you’re doing some professional reading this summer, deepening your knowledge of SEL and mindfulness is a great way to go. This month, Emmi Scott introduces five SEL books for teachers to read this summer.

Self-Care For Teachers

You became a teacher because you want to make a difference; because you love children; because you enjoy seeing the expression on a child’s face when he or she finally understands a new concept. It is that passion that makes you a great teacher—the same passion that can also lead to burn-out.

SEL Post Spring Break Motivation

Spring break is a great time for students and teachers alike to take some downtime away from school. However, coming back to school after an amazing week off can present challenges in the classroom. With the end of the school year in sight for many teachers coming back from spring break, we put together a list of ways to keep both your students and yourself motivated to finish the school year on a high note.