Social Emotional Learning Resources

“When you listen with empathy to another person, you give that person psychological air.” by Stephen R. Covey

Developing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills within students is not only one of the most important ways that classrooms and schools can raise student achievement scores but the skills also prepare students for life. Here are my favorite ways to integrate social emotional learning into the classroom at any grade level:

  1. Morning Check In: Greeting students at the door and gauging how they are entering can help reshape a students day. When you see a students demeanor different, you can have them step aside to find out whats wrong and how you can help turn their day around. This not only shows you care but also can allow for less disruptions in the classroom. For younger grades you can make a chart and have them tap the feeling that they are having. such as happy, sad, etc with pictures to help them recognize their feelings.
  2. Read Alouds: Reading aloud stories that have social-emotional themes help student understand situations. Read aloud for the younger grades can be pictures books and for older grades can be chapter books.
  3. Morning Meeting/Advisory Time: Holding morning meeting is a great way to start off the day and build classroom culture. Having SEL activities as part of morning meeting makes them even better. For older students, I usually call it advisor time. This time set aside empower all of your students with a voice and allows ownership of their learning environment.

Other great resources:

ASCD: Whole Child Initiative 


Character Lab

What’s New with Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in 2018

13 Powerful SEL Activities

8 Apps for SEL

Common Sense: SEL Resources

Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms

“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” By Gandhi


Last week #21stedchat on Twitter was about creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms. Throughout the chat I could see many educators ‘favoriting’ a lot of the tweets/resources but were not participating with their own teacher voice. I soon realized it was because educators are still not comfortable talking about culture diversity in the classroom. In response to this I want to share all the resources from the chat to help educators start feeling more knowledgable around this topic because the more we discuss and share, the better we will get as an education system to become more culturally responsive.

What is a culturally responsive classroom? It is a classroom that purposefully acknowledges the presence of culturally diverse students and the need for relevant connections among them and the content being taught.


Five-Minute Film Festival: Culturally Responsive Teaching

Creating Culturally Responsive, Inclusive Classrooms

A Framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching from ASCD

Teaching Tolerance Website 

The Best Sites for Learning About the World’s Different Cultures by Larry Ferlazzo

Relationship Building Through Culturally Responsive Classroom Management

Uncomfortable Conversations: Talking about Race in the Classroom

How Cultural Differences May Affect Student Performance

Culturally Relevant Teaching Resources

Cybrary Man’s Culture Resource Page

Culturally Responsive Lesson Plans


Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders

Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race by Tatum

Please share any resources you have in the comments to help educators have a more culturally responsive classroom.

BYOT and Balancing Equity

“I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.” By Bill Gates


Our Bring Your Own Technology implementation is going strong. (See Rolling Out BYOT Post)  We are averaging about 10-12 devices per classroom ranging from iPod Touches, to Samsung Galaxies to iPads. One of our School Leadership Team (SLT) projects this year with the BYOT implementation was to come up with a way to help balance the equity among students. We knew this wasn’t a reason not to implement BYOT but we also wanted a plan.

We decide to have a donation drive. We created a ‘Wanted’ Poster (Click to view) that we are sending home to all the families in our school and giving to local business. We are hoping that with the holiday season approaching and all the new gadgets, people will donate their old gadgets to us. We are running the drive from Nov. 26th- January 25th but we will also always continue to collect. Our SLT will then take the devices and wipe the devices if they aren’t already, inventory them and donate a few devices to each room. We are hoping that between the computers the school already offers and these extra devices it will help balance the equity issue better.

Here are some more articles/blogs about Equity and BYOT:

Issues of Equity in BYOT by Tim Clark

The Importance of Equity in BYOT Implementation by Chris Hubbard

I would love to hear how your school or district is trying to do to help balance equity with your BYOT implementation.