SEL Explained

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SEL = Social Emotional Learning

What SEL is.

  • Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
  • Managing strong emotions
  • Having empathy for others
  • Controlling impulses
  • Communicating clearly and assertively
  • Maintaining cooperative relationships
  • Making responsible decisions
  • Solving problems effectively

What SEL Isn’t

  • Kids sitting around in circles singing songs
  • Parenting your kids for you
  • Suggesting you’re not doing a good enough job as a parent
  • Suggesting that today’s generation of kids is somehow broken
  • Psychotherapy
  • Taught at the expense of core academic subjects such as math, science, and literacy

How SEL Is Taught in Classrooms

Children learn SEL in a variety of ways, including the behavior they see modeled by the adults in their lives. But SEL can also be taught explicitly in the classroom, in much the same way math or reading is taught:

  • The teacher explains a concept with words, pictures, video, and/or audio
  • Students practice the concept with skill practice, group discussion, individual writing, or partner work
  • The teacher continues reinforcing the concept throughout the week
  • The teacher sends information home for students to work on with parents
  • The teacher checks for understanding
  • The teacher re-teaches where necessary

(source: http://www.cfchildren.org)

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