During this period of change and uncertainty, supporting students’ social-emotional learning and development, in addition to their academic learning, is critical. This is especially true for students who already struggle socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. Below are five evidence-based resources that can be used either by caregivers in the home or teachers remotely to promote key social-emotional competencies, such as self-regulation, self-awareness, social skills, and behavior management.
5 evidence-based supports to promote student’s social-emotional learning and development while learning at home
Harmony at Home
Sanford Harmony is a free online social-emotional learning program. The lessons and activities cover a range of social and emotional competencies, from empathy and perspective-taking to conflict resolution and relationship building. The content is differentiated across grade levels, from Pre-K to 6th grade. The new Harmony at Home toolkit provides explicit instructions on how the activities can be adapted for at-home use, both for educators and families. The first set of lessons focus on empathy and critical thinking. Visit https://online.sanfordharmony.org/ to sign up for a free account and access all of the at-home SEL lessons and activities.
CLI Engage: Circle Activity Collection
The Children’s Learning Institute (CLI) provides educators and families with research-based tools to support early childhood development. The activities are recommended for students from Pre-K to first grade and include step-by-step instructions in both English and Spanish. The family collection includes a series of hands-on activities that promote school readiness and social-emotional development and can easily be implemented in the home. Visit https://cliengage.org/SignUp/Parent/Index to sign up for a free account.
Facing History is a social-emotional learning program, for middle and high school students, that uses historical events as a springboard for teaching students about critical social issues, such as bigotry, racism, and discrimination. The program recently released a resource library for how educators can support students during the COVID-19 outbreak. The resources include webinars, tools and strategies for online learning, and readings that have students reflect on the current situation in a supportive and developmentally appropriate way. All of the content can be accessed for free by signing up for an account here.
For children who struggle behaviorally, using a rewards or token system is an effective way to promote positive behaviors in the home. It is especially helpful if this strategy is already being used in the child’s classroom. Different tools and apps can be used to track positive behaviors, such as Thumbsters and Chore, Reward & Sticker Chart. It is also critical to allow children to identify their own rewards/incentives in order to keep them motivated. Although this strategy works best for elementary-aged children, it can be adapted for adolescents by having them be responsible for monitoring and tracking their own behaviors and providing developmentally appropriate incentives.
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