Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools


Tips for Managing Virtual Instruction During the COVID-19 Crisis

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Summary:  This article provides some support for teachers who are now conducting classes using online virtual instruction during the COVID-19 outbreak.  the article offers some online teaching strategies as well as positive advice and support as teachers take on this new challenge.

Source:  Maurice Elias, New Jersey Education Association, March 20, 2020

Prioritizing Human Connection When Social Distancing Is the New Norm

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Summary:  This article addresses the question of how we can maintain connections between teachers and students and between students and their peers as schools close to flatten the spread of COVID19.  The author makes some suggestions to make online learning more personal for everyone involved.

Source: Beth Rabbitt, EdSurge, March 16. 2020

Guidelines for Improving School Culture and Climate and Increasing Staff Understanding of and Buy-In for SEL/SECD

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Summary:  This is a revision and expansion on an article that previously appeared in Edutopia.  The article suggests ways to engage staff starting with “Strategic Informal SECD Discussions” to help build courage and commitment to the SECD effort.  Strategies are suggested for building on these discussions and starting points for doing this work are identified.  Resources are provided from a number of different sources to help build motivation for this work with your colleagues.

Source:  Maurice Elias, Rutgers SECD Lab, March 2020

All You Need to Know About SEL

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Summary:  This is a collection of articles published by eSchool News about Social-Emotional Learning (SEL).  The focus is on the implementation of SEL skills in the classroom and the authors of the individual articles present various views of SEL from different perspectives.  

Source:  eSchool News Special Report

Here’s Why This Principal Started a School Turnaround with SEL

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Summary:  This article talks about how a principal started a turnaround initiative at his school and realized that the academic issues were not the only issues of importance in making improvements in the school.  Building relationships and developing other Social-Emotional skills helped that improvement effort.  The integrations of SEL skills permeated not only the school but also the community.

Source:  Belinda Vasquez, eSchool News, February 7, 2020  

Schools Are Embracing Mindfulness, But Practice Doesn’t Always Make Perfect

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Summary:  This article reports on schools’ effort to use mindfulness to help student cope and maximize their learning in school.  The authors give examples where schools have implemented mindfulness programs but they also warn about the importance of using quality approaches and provide examples of research on the effectiveness of these practices.

Source:  Anya Kamanetz, Meribah Knight, NPR, February 27, 2020

The Starts and Stumbles of Restorative Justice in Education: Where Do We Go from Here?

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Summary:  This policy brief reviews the current state of implementation of Restorative Justice In Education (RJE) and makes several recommendations for schools, researchers, and policy makers.  The authors focus on the importance of a principle-based, comprehensive, and equity-based approach, consideration for the development of contextually sensitive, strategic, and long-term implementation plans and practices, and that follow-up research examines change as a result of the program over a three to five year period of time.

Source:  Gregory, A., & Evans, K.R. (2020). The Starts and Stumbles of Restorative Justice in Education: Where Do We Go from Here? Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center.

Promoting Prosocial Behaviors in the Classroom

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Summary: This article reports on the importance of  developing prosocial behaviors in reinforcing academic performance.  The author focuses on gratitude, kindness, and empathy as three prosocial behaviors that you can implement in your classroom right away.

Source:  Catherine Beachboard, Edutopia, December 11, 2019

Book Review: Nurturing Students’ Character

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Summary:  This new book by Maurice Elias and Jeffrey Kress offers ideas and strategies that teachers can use to manage their classrooms and increase their students’ learning.  Drawn from practical experience, these techniques are time-proven and classroom-tested.

Source:  Kress, Jeffery S, and Elias, Maurice J., “Nurturing Student Character:  Everyday Teaching Activities for Social Emotional Learning”  Published by Routledge.

Building School Community Through Physical Activity

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Summary:  This article talks about how physical education and recess can build a sense of community in a school while reinforcing SEL skills.  While learning these SEL skills, students also build relationships with each other and with their teacher.

Source: Eric Nelson, Edutopia, November 19, 2020