Social Emotional Learning-Promising Programming Efforts

Created by Diana Lachance

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Current CASEL Researchcurrent research tells us that The best way to promote students’ social and emotional learning is through comprehensive, systemic, schoolwide approaches.


Responsive ClassroomShared Practices (K–8)
Interactive Modeling—An explicit practice for teaching procedures and routines (such as those for entering and exiting the room) as well as academic and social skills (such as engaging with the text or giving and accepting feedback).
Teacher Language—The intentional use of language to enable students to engage in their learning and develop the academic, social, and emotional skills they need to be successful in and out of school.
Logical Consequences—A non-punitive response to misbehavior that allows teachers to set clear limits and students to fix and learn from their mistakes while maintaining their dignity.
Interactive Learning Structures— Purposeful activities that give students opportunities to engage with content in active (hands-on) and interactive (social) ways.
Elementary Practices (K–6)
Morning Meeting—Everyone in the classroom gathers in a circle for twenty to thirty minutes at the beginning of each school day and proceeds through four sequential components: greeting, sharing, group activity, and morning message.
Establishing Rules—Teacher and students work together to name individual goals for the year and establish rules that will help everyone reach those goals.
Energizers—Short, playful, whole-group activities that are used as breaks in lessons.
Quiet Time—A brief, purposeful and relaxed time of transition that takes place after lunch and recess, before the rest of the school day continues.
Closing Circle—A five- to ten-minute gathering at the end of the day that promotes reflection and celebration through participation in a brief activity or two.


PATHSThe PATHS® program is designed to be taught two or more times per week for a minimum of 20-30 minutes per day. Systematic, developmentally-based lessons, materials, and instructions are provided to facilitate emotional literacy, self-control, social competence, positive peer relations, and interpersonal problem-solving skills. Key objectives in promoting these developmental skills are to prevent and to reduce behavioral and emotional problems.


RULER- researchers at YALERULER is an acronym that stands for Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating emotions.
Phase 1 (1 year)* – The Anchors of Emotional Intelligence
This first phase grounds teachers, staff, students, and families in the Anchors of Emotional Intelligence. These fundamental RULER tools enhance individuals’ ability to understand and regulate their own emotions and to consider and empathize with how others are feeling. The Anchors also foster the kind of healthy emotional climate essential to personal growth.
Phase 2 (1 year)* – The Feeling Words Curriculum
The second phase enables teachers to integrate RULER into a wide range of subject areas, ensuring that emotional intelligence is woven into the content of every class and throughout each student’s school day. The Feeling Words Curriculum that teachers learn to use is tailored to specific grade levels and aligned with the Common Core.


Open CircleClassroom teachers implement the grade-differentiated Open Circle Curriculum during 15-minute Open Circle Meetings twice per week. Students form a circle of chairs, including an empty seat to symbolize that there is always room for another person, voice or opinion.


Positive ActionPositive Action is a recognized leader in teaching social and emotional skills. Its approach is comprehensive and systematic: These skills are taught, practiced, and reinforced all day, every day. It begins with the Positive Action philosophy that “We feel good about ourselves when we do Positive Actions,” which is the social and emotional basis of feeling healthy and happy.

The unit concepts articulate what social and emotional skills are. Students learn how to solve problems, make positive choices and decisions, set goals, and resolve conflict in positive ways. Social and emotional learning encompasses the whole person, so both intellectual and physical positive actions are presented and practiced. Positive Action also includes communities and families where parents teach and reinforce social and emotional skills as positive actions.

Four of the seven units in the curriculum focus on emotional and social learning:

Unit 3 “Managing Yourself Responsibly”

Unit 4 “Treating Others the Way You Like to Be Treated”

Unit 5 “Telling Yourself the Truth”

Unit 6 “Improving Yourself Continually”
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