Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Classroom Practice




Getting Curious (Not Furious) With Students

Summary:  This article suggests that when students act out, there are alternatives to the stern discipline approach. One of these alternatives is trauma-sensitive teaching where teachers understand that outbursts can be the result of negative social-emotional factors including neglect, abuse, or even violence.  Creating “Classrooms of Care” should be a goal to help all students achieve.

Source:  Rebecca Alber, Edutopia, June 29, 2016

Categories: Classroom Management, Classroom Practice, Student Behavior




SEL Is Good Teaching

Summary: This article proposes that good teaching – connecting with students, helping students work cooperatively with others, encouraging students to reflect on their work – all promote the acquisition of SEL skills in the classroom.  This doesn’t require a special curriculum or a great expenditure of resources, it is simply good teaching.

Source:  Lorea Martinez, Ph.D., Edutopia, May 5, 2016

Categories: SEL Basics, Classroom Practice



Kindergartners Get Little Time to Play. Why Does it Matter?

Summary:  This article presents some research on how Kindergarten has changed over the years and has become more rigorously focused on academic instruction.  As a result, elements of play and socialization that had traditionally characterized the kindergarten experience have all but disappeared from today’s kindergarten classroom.  The author also provides a rationale for the importance of play in helping children develop academically, socially, and emotionally.

Source:  Christopher Brown, The Conversation, April 27, 2016

Categories:  Classroom Practice, SEL Basics, Creativity, Student Engagement



John King

Education Secretary to Call for Return to a ‘Well-Rounded Education’

Summary: In this interview published in the Washington Post, new Education Secretary, John King Jr. talks about restoring a balance in education beyond the focus on Language Arts and Math.  This shift is made possible by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) where there is a greater chance to more broadly define what is meant by student achievement and success.

Source:  Emma Brown, The Washington Post, April 14, 2016

Categories: Student Achievement, Student Engagement, Classroom Practice



Dispelling Myths About Online Learning

Summary: This article looks at several myths about online learning and provides a counterpoint to the feeling of many academics that online learning experiences are inferior to face-to-face instruction.  The author looks at various platforms – asynchronous and synchronous, group dynamics and connection in online settings, the degree of rigor in online courses, and technology vs. content.

Source: Ellen Murphy, The Huffington Post, March 30. 2016

Categories: Online Learning, Classroom Practice



Does More Time on the Playground Equal Success in the Classroom?

Summary: This article reports on a research study which explores how multiple recess periods may benefit students academically when they return to class.

Source: Marva Hinton, Education Week, March 31, 2016

Categories: Student Achievement, School Health, Classroom Practice



April Fool’s Day in the Classroom

Summary: This article is re-published from an earlier post on Edutopia talking about teacher resources for April Fool’s day pranks in the classroom.  More importantly, it talks about how humor in the classroom sparks student engagement.

Source:  Matt Davis, Edutopia, updated March 11, 2016

Categories:  Classroom Practice, Student Engagement



Poll Examines Engagement, Readiness of US Students

Summary:  A new Gallup poll of American students, “Engaged Today — Ready For Tomorrow,” measures the engagement, hope, entrepreneurial aspiration and career and financial literacy of students in grades 5-12.

Source: Erin McIntyre, EducationDIVE, March 31. 2016

Categories: Student Engagement, Classroom Practice



Classroom Management: Redirecting Misbehavior

Summary: This is a radio interview with Maurice Elias and Nancy Flanagan on the subject of redirecting misbehavior.  They offer some suggested strategies for redirection as opposed to punishment that will help the child function successfully in the classroom environment.

Source:  Rae Pica, Studentcentricity, BAM!radio Network

Categories:  Student Behavior, SEL Basics, Classroom Practice



ESSA, Equity of Opportunity, and Addressing Barriers to Learning

Summary:  This article is an analysis of the ESSA done by the national Center for Mental Health in Schools in the Dept. of Psychology at UCLA. The center is co‑directed by Howard Adelman and Linda Taylor.  Website:   Send comments to  See the analysis of how the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) focuses on addressing barriers to learning and re-engaging disconnected students.

Source:  Howard Adelman and Linda Taylor, Co-Directors, Center for Mental Health in Schools, Dept. of Psychology at UCLA, February 2016.

Categories:  Student Achievement, Classroom Practice, Education Policy