SEL Starter Guide and More

New to the world of Social-Emotional Learning? Here are 5 resources to get you started.

By Carri Schneider

Classroom community builders, an SEL quick start guide, a graduation data exploration, leaders to learn from, and fast track college options. Plus: a school stories X-tra from XQ.

1. WATCH: Classroom community builders

Teachers know it and research proves it—classrooms that foster a sense of community lead to better outcomes. Acknowledging this, Edutopia offers this great list of 10 powerful community-building ideasorganized by grade level, complete with video examples. A small investment of just a few minutes can lead to big results. We love the “Appreciation, Apology, Aha” activity for this reason.  “Appreciations and community recognitions can go a long way toward building bonds,” explains Aukeem Ballard, an educator with Summit Public Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.

2. TRY: SEL quick start guide

According to CASEL, a schoolwide approach to social-emotional learning (SEL) “engages the entire school community in creating caring, motivating, and equitable learning environments that promote social, emotional, and academic growth.” But, it can be difficult to know where to start. CASEL’s interactive guide can help! Check out the needs and resources inventory, indicators of school wide SELimplementation rubricwalkthrough protocol, and family/community survey.

3. EXPLORE: Graduation data exploration

What’s the job of high school if not to prepare students for what comes after it? Achieve’s new data explorer invites users to delve into the difference between what students are required to learn to graduate from high school and how this differs from what is needed for admission to higher ed institutions in their state. What are you waiting for? Dive in!

4. GET INSPIRED: Leadership lessons

EdWeek’s annual Leaders to Learn From report features school district leaders who “seized on smart ideas, executed them skillfully, and are seeing promising results for students and schools.” From Angela Ward who confronted and combatted bias to Christie-Jo Adams who elevated the arts to improve student achievement, there’s something to learn from all nine leaders. Meet them all in this video playlist.

5. CONSIDER: Fast track college options

The good news? 1 in 4 high school juniors meet all four ACT college-readiness benchmarks. The bad news? They meet those benchmarks but still have a year left in high school! According to a new report, “all too many of the estimated 850,000+ academically-ready-for-college high school juniors waste much of 12th grade taking courses that fall below their capabilities.” This is often due to outdated “seat time” requirements. Researchers recommend “rethinking and reframing the transition from high school to college around one basic principle: when students demonstrate college readiness, they should have a meaningful option to enroll in full-time, college-level coursework.” Learn more about the two “fast track” pathways they describe here.