Social-Emotional Learning 

(SEL & States of Mind)

“You have to Maslow before you can Bloom"

What Is Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success and is an integral part of education and human development. 

SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

Well-implemented SEL programs positively affect students’ success in school. Studies show that social-emotional skills—such as problem-solving, self-regulation, impulse control, and empathy—help improve academics, reduce negative social behaviors like bullying, and create positive classroom climates.

Social-emotional skills also help children successfully manage everyday life. They help students focus, make good decisions, and become supportive members of their community well beyond school.

**SEL Research: List of Articles; How SEL Helps Children Succeed; The Case for a Holistic Approach to SEL; What Does Social Emotional Learning Really Mean?

Sources: Committee For Children;  CASEL Website; UNESCO MGIEP

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Five SEL Competencies

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has identified five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies (see more about CASEL below). The definitions of the five competency clusters for students are:




Relationship Skills 

Social Awareness

Source: Empowering Education Website

What Is SEL and Why SEL Matters

Run Time: 2:53 - Dec 20, 2021

What Is Social-Emotional Learning

Run Time: 3:22 - Jun 23, 2021

What is SEL

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What is Social & Emotional Learning


In this podcast from the National PTA Website Karen Van Ausdal talks about Social and Emotional Learning. She discusses what life skills do children need to thrive? There’s a lot of learning happening in schools that goes beyond academics. Karen shares what Social and Emotional Learning looks like, why it’s important and how families can support.


(Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning)

The CASEL website is full of SEL fundamentals, implementation strategies and resources.

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The CASEL Framework (Wheel)

The CASEL Framework (Wheel)Source: CASEL Website
Also read: What Is the CASEL Framework?

Social Emotional Learning Video Series

Click/Tap image to view SEL Videos  - Source: PBS WebsiteThe following videos provide an introduction to the core competencies of SEL as well as indicators of high-quality SEL achieved through a school-wide approach.SEL Video Sections:

SEL is Essential to Success in PBL

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  • All teachers, but PBL practitioners in particular, should take notice of a published paper by Lucas Educational Research. This white paper affirms that SEL is essential to success not just in school, but in PBL specifically for a number of reasons. 
  • A comprehensive review of hundreds of studies confirmed that SEL raises academic performance, improves classroom behavior, and bolsters the ability of students to resist stress, depression, and other emotional challenges that, due in part to the ongoing pandemic, continue to persist at high levels.   

The Five SEL Competencies

Run Time: 9:26 - Feb 26, 2015

Five Myths About SEL

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Cultivating a Climate of Wellness

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Alexis Shepard writes about the practice of using wellness checks as a social emotional learning tool. “You have to Maslow before you can Bloom,” the saying goes. 

One of the most important things teachers can do to support students’ social emotional health is cultivate a climate of wellness within the classroom. A climate of wellness is an environment in which students feel that their presence, voices, and opinions matter.

If you’re an educator, especially in the K12 setting, then you likely understand and believe in the significance of social emotional learning (SEL). Social emotional learning informs students’ self-esteem, their interactions with their peers, and relationships with their teachers. Students come to school from diverse backgrounds with their own individual traumas. It’s important to ensure that they feel safe and valued within the classroom. 

Connecting Emotional and Social Well-Being with an Academic Mindset

Source: Chapters International
This podcast with Dr. Dr. Bena Kallick and Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacob helps to answer how can we help our students with social and emotional learning as we concurrently build their academic mindset? Based on decades of implementation throughout the world, the Habits of Mind, a set of 16 dispositions for efficacious thinking, lift the lives of learners as it shifts a school’s culture. The Habits, when started in the early years, grow and become a compass for everyone in the school community to be thoughtful-full of thought and sensitive and caring. 

Learning to Measure the Size of a Problem to Foster Self-Regulation

Source: Edutopia
When elementary students compare the relative importance of a range of problems, they learn to take charge of their reactions. Teachers at Lister Elementary School, in Tacoma, Washington, help students compare and contrast the sizes of problems by having them fill out a Big vs. Little Problems worksheet with actual examples which in turn helps students better understand self-regulation and emotional control.
Also check out the book: The Zones of Regulation and this explanatory webinar about the book.

Learn About Open Dialogue

What happens when everyone involved in a child or young person’s life assembles around them to hear them speak, with no adult agenda? Human connection.

This is the first principle of Open Dialogue, a beautiful initiative at Korowal School in the Blue Mountains of Australia.

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When there is an issue, a network meeting is called where everyone (including family, teachers, mental health practitioners and friends) sit together and listen to the young person. They talk through what is happening and together form a plan which the young person is in agreement with.

This process has been transformational for the school, and also economical in terms of reducing complex communications between parties. Everyone brings their energy to the room in that moment, for that young person who feels heard and cared for.

This introduction to Open Dialogue is revolutionary for not only schools but for all of us in our complex web of relationships.

Children As Leaders

"Children are Leaders", developed by CASEL and supported by The Allstate Foundation, provides SEL conversation guidance to help children build on their interests and strengths. This guidance is organized by grade bands with the hope that it will inspire rich discussions to help children to see how they can lead. Also check out SEL Guidance: Leading Today for Tomorrow

SEL Videos for Children


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The following are lists of SEL videos for elementary students. 

SEL Resources


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Back to School SEL Activities

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Source: TechNotes Blog
Texas Computer Education Association (tcea) has shared a plethora of SEL related activities/ideas that you could use at the beginning or throughout the school year. You will find activities for Icebreakers, Bellringers, Leadership, Library, STEM, SEL, Templates, Tools, Ideas to Try, Coaching and much more. 

The Grow Kinder SEL Podcast

Notes From the Backpack Podcast

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