Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
What is Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)?
Social emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Systemic SEL is promoted across multiple contexts every day. SEL is more than just a program or lesson. It is about how teaching and learning happens, as well as what you teach and where you learn.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is recognized as a trusted source for knowledge about evidenced-based SEL. Social and emotional learning enhances students’ capacity to integrate skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively and ethically with daily tasks and challenges. There are five core competencies that can be taught in many ways across many settings. Davis School Districts’ SEL initiative and implementation plan is aligned with the CASEL framework.
What does SEL look like at Sand Springs?
In the classroom, teachers integrate SEL into core subjects and lessons they are already teaching. We help students build the skills listed above through individual assignments, buddy work, and group projects. Classes also hold morning meetings or community circles where teachers facilitate class discussions that enable students to share, think, collaborate, and have fun together. In addition, classroom teachers promote SEL through a daily mindful minute and by providing the class with a calming box with coping tools that students can use if needed.
Our School Counselor teaches classroom lessons that explicitly teach various SEL skills. She mainly uses two curriculums in the classroom: Sanford Harmony and Mindful Schools. Sanford Harmony is designed to build healthy relationships among students by having them engage in activities that promote understanding and respect. Over the course of the five units, students enhance their abilities to learn, work, and spend time together. The five units are Diversity and Inclusion, Critical Thinking, Communication, Problem Solving, and Peer Relationships. Beginning the 2021-2022 school year, parent letters will be sent home periodically with information about what is being covered in class and how you can support skill-building at home. For more information, visit: www.sanfordharmony.org.
This is the fourth year that our Sand Springs students have been learning and practicing mindfulness using the Mindful Schools curriculum in addition to other resources. A simple way to think about mindfulness is that it is a present-moment awareness and acceptance of what is happening in your brain, in your body, and around you. (Simply noticing what is happening right now.) Research shows that mindfulness can help decrease stress and anxiety, and strengthen resilience and emotional regulation. It can also increase attention, improve relationships, and strengthen compassion. For more information, visit: www.mindfulschools.org.
What does SEL look like at home?
We recognize that as a family member, you are our students’ first teacher and we want to partner with you to help our children become tolerant, compassionate, and caring adults. Social-Emotional Learning is something that is integrated throughout our school, and you are most likely doing things to promote SEL within your homes without even realizing it!
Resources to promote SEL at home:
· Other family activities that promote SEL (You’re probably doing many of these already!)
· Free mindfulness course for kids (Mindful Schools)
· The Davis Mindfulness Center offers parent videos and classes for adults and children.
· Harmony at Home is an online toolkit from Sanford Harmony that helps parents, caregivers, and families practice vital social and emotional skills with students in grades pre-K–6. (Sanford Harmony)
· Playworks Play at Home Playbook helps kids stay active and engaged with one another and supports families and teachers. These activities can be used anywhere, anytime.
Apps that can help with mindfulness, emotion regulation, and focus:
· Stop, Breathe, & Think Kids
· Ninja Focus
For more information on Social Emotional Learning visit the Davis School District resource page: https://www.davis.k12.ut.us/departments/student-family-resources/social-emotional-learning