Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

SEL Basics



Bite-Size SEL Lessons

Summary:  Snack time can be an opportunity for social and emotional learning instead of simply a pit stop for hungry kids.  Snack time can offer opportunities for building community and sharing responsibilities in the early elementary classroom.

Source:  Kerry Elson, Edutopia, August 14, 2017

Categories:  SEL Basics, Classroom Practice, Student Engagement, Core Values



Social Justice Reading List as a Resource for Teachers

Summary:  The National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) has created a list of resources called the “Social Justice Book List.”  This list is available to teachers as a aide to starting conversations and search for solutions in response to the recent social unrest in our country.

Source:  Laura Beth Ellis, NNSTOY, August 17, 2017

Categories:  Educational Equity, Social Justice, Core Values, SEL Basics, School Culture/Climate




State Board Issues Guidelines for Social and Emotional Education …

Summary:  This article reports on the NJ State Board adopting guidelines for Social and Emotional Learning and includes an interview with Maurice Elias who made a presentation in support of SEL and the new guidelines.

Source:  John Mooney, NJSpotlight, August 14, 2017

Categories:  SEL Basics, School Culture/Climate, Core Values, Codes of Conduct



Circle up: Teaching Social-Emotional Skills Year Round

Summary:  This article tells the story of “Aim High,” a summer program in California for disadvantaged middle school students.  Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) has a central role in these programs and also in the accountability measures of the CORE districts in California as well as the California State Department of Education. 

Source: Jane Meredith Adams, EdSource, August 8, 2017

Categories:  SEL Basics, SEL Research, Positive Relationships, Educational Equity




The Fascinating Link Between Minecraft and SEL

Summary:  This article explores how Minecraft can support social-emotional learning.  A new report, How Minecraft Supports Social and Emotional Learning in K–12 Education, published by Getting Smart, investigates the connection between classroom use of Minecraft and the SEL outcomes of K– 12 students.

Source:  Laura Ascione, eSchool News, August 11, 2017

Categories:  SEL Basics, SEL Research, Student Engagement, Student-Centered Learning




Building a Modern Marshmallow Test: New Ways to Measure Social-Emotional Learning

Summary:  This article reports on a contest to develop a new “Marshmellow Test” – ideas for innovative ways to measure social-emotional learning.  While most of the suggestions were for performance-based tests, concerns were noted about the objectivity of these tests since other factors may influence performance.

Source:  Evie Blad, Education Week, August 10, 2017

Categories:  SEL Basics, SEL Research, Assessment Tools




Minnesota Issues Best Practice Guide for Serving Transgender Students in Public Schools

Summary:  Minnesota’s School Safety Technical Assistance Council’s “Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students” is not intended to be a mandate, but is more of a guide for educators in issues related to transgender students.

Source:  Linda Jacobsen, Education DIVE, August 10, 2017

Categories:  LGBTQ Issues, Educational Equity, School Culture/Climate, SEL Basics




What a Photograph of a Tree Can Teach Leaders About Change

Summary:  This article uses a tree metaphor to address the change process in education.  Change is almost always a difficult proposition that is often associated with loss.  The  authors show that when leaders are sensitive to various factions affected by the potential change, they can address those concerns and alleviate some of the fear and hesitation that goes along with any change process.

Source:  Jill Berkowitz and Ann Myers, Education Week, August 1, 2017

Categories:  Leadership Qualities, School Culture/Climate, SEL Basics



Getting to Know Students Deeply

Summary: Teachers can improve outcomes and build equity in the classroom by listening closely to their students. This article suggests six ways to do that.

Source:  Shane Safir, Edutopia, August 1, 2017

Categories:  SEL Basics, Positive Relationships, Educational Equity



Character Day

Participate in “Character Day 2017”

Summary:  Character Day is an annual event that focuses on the importance of character in our society – schools, homes, workplaces. The event is planned for September 13, 2017 and materials are provided to help you celebrate Character Day in your classroom or business. There is a very robust resource hub with supplemental materials about various core values and other aspects of good character.

Source:  Let it Ripple Film Studio (

Categories: Character Education, Core Values, SEL Basics, Emotional Intelligence