How to Teach Social-Emotional Learning Everyday
Interested in teaching an SEL curriculum daily? Below is our plan for how any teacher could implement SEL five days a week. The following curriculum plan works either fully online, face-to-face, or through hybrid learning.
Last year at this time, many schools around the world were implementing some sort of social-emotional learning. For lots of schools, it was through an evidence-based program like Empowering Minds in which teachers would lead SEL lessons for maybe 30 minutes, one day a week. Oh, how things have changed!
In a post-COVID world, teachers don't have 30 minutes a day to spend on SEL. They barely have that much in-person face time with their students!
Using a little bit of SEL each day, we lay the foundation for those five CASEL SEL competitions we all know and love. CASEL competencies new to you? Check this out.
Monday: Introduce the SEL Topic of the Week
Teachers can tackle those Monday-morning-blues with a minute of mindfulness with one of our 90 mindful moment activities, either led by the teacher or a student in the class, or through our audio recordings.
Then, give students an opportunity to reflect on their weekend through a sharing activity like Roses and Thorns. When tough feelings are mentioned, remember to validate by simply saying them back and reassuring students that the feeling is understandable. We discuss this and other SEL routines in our free workshop, How to Teach SEL Online.
After the mindfulness and sharing time, teachers can spend time introducing the unit topic for the week (e.g., coping skills, active listening, conflict resolution, etc.). This would be the time to build students’ background knowledge on the skill for the week and pique their interest.
Tuesday - Do Part One of The Activity
Daily SEL should start in the morning with a quick review of the week’s topic. Then, depending on the grade band, either read the first part of the Munchy and Jumpy story or lead the first part of your SEL lesson plan activity.
Add in some small group discussions (Zoom breakout rooms work great here!) to have students spend some time thinking, pairing up, then sharing their ideas on what they remembered from Monday.
Wrap up with a quick reflection either through a written journal or as a whole class discussion.
Wednesday - Finish the Lesson Activity
As always, start with a bit of review of the previous days. Then, start back where you left off on Wednesday, either by discussing the story or finishing the activity.
End with a personal reflection in which students can draw about the topic. Students are craving reflection time right now, so let them draw about anything else going on in their life.
Want to make reflection time still engaging through online learning? Try having students leave their cameras on but turn away from the screen. They’ll still feel like they are connected to their classmates and teacher, but they’ll have a bit of “privacy” away from the screen to reflect.
Thursday - Invite the Class to a Group Discussion
Thursdays are when teachers have various options. I like to start with some reflection.
Students will relate to early every one of our SEL lessons. So ask them, either as a whole group or in breakouts, to discuss how the social or emotional skill they’re learning has shown up in their lives.
Either use one of your own activities related to the SEL skill that week or use one of the additional activities provided in each of our lesson plans and academic extension sheets.
Friday is where it all comes together. Fridays are for reflection.
There are lots of options for this. Our program provides ready-to-go journal pages for every lesson. Another option is to have students share out in groups or as a class what they are taking away from the SEL time that week into their homes.
How are they using coping skills? Are they making effective apologies? Are they considering others’ perspectives at home? Reflection is key to SEL development.
Friday is also a good day to have student-led mindfulness and set some intentions or goals for the weekend.
2020 is a difficult year for everyone.
Teachers are juggling everything from learning new online platforms to figuring out what classrooms management looks like online, to endless lesson planning for hybrid learning schedules.
The above 5-day plan is our idea on how to add in that so necessary SEL time each day of the week. Download your own printable plan by joining our mailing list below.
We want to hear your ideas too! How are you incorporating SEL?