Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Classroom Practice



Harvard Ed Soft Skills

There’s Nothing Soft About These Skills

Summary:  This article talks about the importance of social emotional learning and other “soft skills” in helping students manage their emotions and understand relationships providing examples of how this has helped students in a variety of schools.

Source: Jeff Wagenheim, Harvard Ed. Magazine, January 10, 2016

Categories:  SEL Basics, SEL Research, Classroom Practice, Character Education



Student Voice

Be Quiet and Listen: 3 Ways for Students to Talk More and Teachers to Talk Less

Summary: Students’ abilities to produce and understand spoken language is often overlooked in the American classroom, says Joshua Benjamin, ELL Coordinator at Community Day Arlington Elementary School in Lawrence, MA. He shares three ways to get students talking more in the classroom—and educators talking less.

Source: Joshua Benjamin, Guest Blogger, Education Week, February 23. 2017

Categories:  Student Engagement, Classroom Practice, Student Voice



Making Sure Students Feel Safe in Uncertain Times

Summary:  By all measures, Safety is one of the most, if not THE most important dimension of school climate and culture.  While there are many issues that are school-wide, the classroom is the place where safety – both physical and emotional – is required if learning is to occur.  This article underscores the importance of the teacher’s role in providing that safe environment in troubling times.

Source:  Julie Jee, Education Week, February 8, 2017

Categories:  Classroom Practice, Core Values, School Culture/Climate, Student Safety




If Teachers Think Like Managers, They Could Make Happier Classrooms

Summary:  Three educator-researchers analyzed the strategies of managers in the nation’s best-run organizations to bring back strategies for creating positive cultures and productive environments to classrooms.

Source:  Tara Garcia Matthewson, Education Dive, February 9, 2017

Categories:  Classroom Practice, School Culture/Climate



How to Embrace the Student Engagement Challenge

Summary:  This article describes a high school that claims “100% Student Engagement, 100% of the time.”  This is a lofty claim and it took tremendous effort to get there.  Read about how this school placed a laser focus on student engagement.

Source:  Ben Owens, Education Week, January 24, 2017

Categories:  Student Engagement, Student Voice, Classroom Practice, School Culture/Climate



SEL Part of NYC Charter’s Foundation

Summary:  The Renaissance Charter School in New York City has incorporated a focus on social-emotional learning as a founding premise of the school since its opening in 1993.  The school provides for morning meetings at the elementary level and advisory periods in middle and high school to address the social and emotional needs of students.

Source:  Tara Garcia Mathewson, Education Dive, January 24, 2017

Categories:  SEL Basics, School Culture and Climate, Classroom Practice



5 Ways to Use Student Choice to Improve Learning

Summary:  This article presents five strategies that encourage student voice and choice as they are forming a sense of self.  These range from having students choose their own reading books, using student polls, asking students to weigh in on school policies and other issues, and having students select their own academic program including electives and independent study.

Source:  Thomas Armstrong, Education Week, January 17, 2017

Categories:  Student Voice and Choice, Student Engagement, CLassroom Practice




Language, Behavior, Moral Standards, and Leadership

Summary:  This article speaks to the importance of creating and maintaining a climate of respect and positive core values.  The authors use the example of the locker room mentality which is often used to excuse inappropriate comments or bad behavior.  Clearly, our schools need to meet a higher standard.

Source:  Jill Berkowiwicz and Ann Meyers, Education Week, January 12, 2017

Categories:  Core Values, Codes of Conduct, Student Behavior, Classroom Practice, School Culture and Climate



Free Play

How Finland’s Youngest Learners Obey the Rules — By Fooling Around in School

Summary:  This article shares the importance of play in helping young students to success in school.  This is central to the success of Finland’s educational system according to author William Doyle, a Fulbright Scholar who now teaches at a university in Finland.

Source:  William Doyle, The Hechinger Report, January 8, 2017

Categories:  School Culture/Climate, Classroom Practice, Student Achievement



4 Proven Strategies for Teaching Empathy

Summary:  This article suggests four strategies that can be used to teach empathy.  They are Modeling, Teaching Points of View, Using Literature to Teach Different Perspectives, and Listening Actively to Others.

Source:  Dr. Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers, Edutopia, January 4, 2017

Categories:  Empathy, Emotional Intelligence, Classroom Practice, Character Education