Social Emotional Learning


Are you worried about how students are going to be returning to in-person learning this school year after the pandemic?  Ever wonder about Social Emotional Learning? Are you thinking that students are not used to a structured routine? Are they going to be starting off the school year already behind in academics?  However, have you thought about their mental health?  

A common theme I keep hearing from educators and administrators regarding this upcoming school year is the importance of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). School districts across the country are looking towards SEL curriculum, resources, and activities to address what students and families may be walking through the door with.  Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) may be the answer to all of those questions in regards to academics, mental health, and well-being!  

Education to the Core

Once again, Education to the Core has you covered!  With our Social Emotional Learning K-2 resource, you will have the tools and activities necessary to ensure you are covering all aspects of SEL.  We have you covered within your daily routines and schedules.  Check out the following chat between ETTC’s own Emily Garcia and Christopher Olson to gain an understanding of SEL. We cover how it looks in the classroom and what SEL K-2 has to offer you!

What is SEL?

According to CASEL, SEL is the “process through which all young people and adults gain and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities. SEL manages emotions and achieves personal and collective goals. An individual feels and shows empathy for others, begins and maintains supportive relationships, and makes responsible and caring decisions.”  

SEL fits in so well with the current educational views of the term why.  The curriculum is pushing us to allow students to understand the why of academics.  It is no different when it comes to our social-emotional learning.  SEL helps ideas that can be taught, modeled, and practiced.  These skills focus on equity within the classroom as well as the community.  

While in the classroom, when SEL is carried out, it naturally creates a caring and positive environment.  These skills nurture caring and appropriate relationships among students and adults. When educators incorporate students’ experiences, strengths, and supports, they create an inclusive and equitable classroom.  Strong relationships promote student growth, collaboration, and becoming an overall better human being.  

What is Covered in ETTC’s SEL K-2 Resource

Each of the following main SEL pillars is covered in our year-long SEL K-2 resource.  

  • Self-Awareness:  the ability to understand one’s own emotions. This includes not only how to identify your own emotions but also recognizing strengths, weaknesses, and one’s confidence.  
  • Self-Management: the ability to manage your emotions.  Impulsivity automatically comes to mind when I hear management of emotions.  Physical and Mental Impulse Control is covered in this pillar. Self-discipline and Motivation are both covered as well.  It is taking these strategies and applying them during stressful situations. These strategies are also used for goal setting as well as organizational skills.  
  • Social Awareness: the ability to understand a perspective and empathize with others.  This includes equitable practices, respect, and diversity.  
  • Relationships Skills: the ability to establish and maintain appropriate and supporting relationships.  Students and individuals can work in teams while actively listening to their peers.  
  • Responsible Decision Making: the ability to make appropriate choices and interactions across various situations.  This includes the capacity to identify problems, appropriately problem-solve and reflect.  
  • Growth Mindset: an approach to individuals’ beliefs that their talents and abilities can be developed further.  This includes individuals seeking opportunities to learn, gain new skills, and enhance existing skills.  

SEL is a process across a scope of areas.  That means SEL is not just about a specific skill but an understanding of why.  It regards your attitude, your perspective, and how you contribute to society.  

What is an SEL Resource Guide? 

A resource guide is your one-stop-shop for everything in each pillar and sub-pillar.  A basic overview is provided within each sub-pillar.  Discussion questions and an example are included.  There are also student activities and cross-curricular activities to bring into your daily routines.  One of my personal favorite sections of the resource guides is mindful moments and reflection.  Both of these areas incorporate breathing and movement breaks.  

We cannot forget, each sub-pillar comes with a recommended book list as well as short educational videos to tie in with discussions.  Last, but not least are student conversation cards to utilize within the whole group, small group, or even centers-based dialogue.  

What is Covered on SEL Student Slides?

Daily student slides offer a check-in with your students.  Each and every day you can begin by identifying how they are feeling walking through your classroom door.  The student slides also offer students space to write/draw their reactions to daily events. And what each mindful moment and reflection activity looks like for them.  

I love that there is an area just for students to share something on each student slide.  It can be about themselves or about their day.  This area allows for students to also write/draw how they dealt with a situation.  Students have the freedom to focus on something positive during their day. They also may require some problem-solving.  

How could you use this resource in your classroom?  What are you most excited to try? Mindful moments? Student-slides with daily check-ins? Read Alouds? Conversation Cards?   Let us know in the comments below! 

We want to make sure you practice some self-care.  In order to do that you need some time.  Let Education to the Core plan your first few weeks!  Here is a free SEL sub-pillar on Impulse Control!  Be kind, be strong, be you!

Written by – Christopher Olson

At Education to the Core, we exist to help our teachers build a stronger classroom as they connect with our community to find trusted, state-of-the-art resources designed by teachers for teachers. We aspire to be the world’s leading & most trusted community for educational resources for teachers. We improve the lives of every teacher and learner with the most comprehensive, reliable, and inclusive educational resources.

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Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.