SEL in Schools
At its core, social-emotional learning (SEL) focuses on the skills that people develop to support long-term success in school and life. Therefore, it is increasingly important for schools and staff to incorporate SEL teaching materials. Thankfully, more schools are looking to integrate SEL into their curriculum.
As children progress through early elementary grades, SEL competencies generally include the ability for them to:
- Manage strong feelings
- Cooperate with others
- Feel and show empathy
- Focus their attention
- Work through challenging tasks
- Make responsible decisions
- Set and achieve positive goals
At age-appropriate levels, teachers can work with students to help them develop ways to gain and utilize social and emotional skills.
To begin with, help children to identify the wide variety of feelings they experience. Once feelings are properly identified, they are easier to manage.
It is wonderful when children learn that all feelings are normal! Yoga books like Quick as a Cricket are a great help. They connect emotions with movements, which aids in managing big feelings.
Children have an easier time getting along with others when they have a positive self-image.
For a yoga break, help to enhance self-image with our Warrior Series. You can use our suggested affirmations, or allow children to come up with their own. Participating in this activity encourages children to focus on their personal strengths and share them with each other!
Introduce personal affirmations to students with a new group game!
Have your class sit in a circle, and give one child a soccer ball. The child should put the ball between their feet, then pass it to the feet of the student next to them. As they make the exchange, the first child states an affirmation. Perhaps “I am creative” or “I am a good friend”.
Now have the kids pass the ball in the opposite direction. You can have them say another personal affirmation. Or if students are ready, challenge them to share an affirmation with the person they are passing the ball to! “You are kind” or “you are silly”.
You know your students, so pick the option that works best for them!