Five Domains of Social and Emotional Learning
Morning greeting: Greet students as they come in the classroom and ask them how they are feeling. This simple act of acknowledging and allowing children to express their emotions is the first step in helping them learn to manage them. It can also provide insight into specific behaviors children may exhibit throughout the school day.
Morning meeting: Create a short morning meeting for the first 15 minutes of the school day to check in with students and provide them with an opportunity to share how they are feeling and choose a goal they have for the week. Morning meetings are a wonderful opportunity to foster empathy and relationships between students. Allowing an open door for expressing anxiety and stress can help students realize they are not alone in their fears and can also foster empathy for classmates who may be dealing with serious issues at home.
ournal write: Ask students to respond to reflective writing prompts in their journals. Prompts could include:
What is your greatest talent?
Write down five things that define who you are. Write them in “I am_____ ” statements.
Write about a time you did something you were afraid to try. How did you feel afterward?
Write about a person you admire. What qualities do you have in common with this person?
What do you do when you see a classmate struggling with something?
Incorporating a few yoga stretches after a long period of desk sitting provides students with a moment to clear their mind. It can be as simple as reaching for the sky and touching toes. These physical movements are a great addition to help children understand the connection between their bodies and their minds.
Create a calm corner: Create a quite space in your classroom where students can go when they feel angry, anxious, or stressed.
Student sharing: Provide opportunities for students to share their emotions in class. The more students know about each other, the easier it is for them to understand actions and emotions that arise during the school year. One year my daughter came home from school very upset. She had learned during a class sharing that a girl she disliked had a very difficult home life. This simple insight into this student’s struggles helped my daughter develop empathy for this young girl and ultimately led to a lovely friendship.
Responsible Decision Making
Provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice positive decision-making in your classroom. Here are some ways to help your students become thoughtful and engaged decision-makers.
About the Author
is a certified elementary teacher with over 7 years’ experience as an educator and volunteer in the classroom. She enjoys creating lessons that are meaningful and creative for students. She is currently working for Evan-Moor’s marketing and communications team and enjoys building learning opportunities that are both meaningful and creative for students and teachers alike.