Social-emotional learning was the topic of today’s in-service. I wasn’t looking forward to it, but ended up being completely re-inspired.

I may come back and add more details (have to go eat before a next meeting) but in a nutshell, here are some ideas:

First of all, make sure to greet kids or have a sincere greeter at the door to acknowledge every single student every single day. (We’ve talked several times about how kids need to know that at least three adults in their lives care about them. If we’re doing the daily greeting, they can start to know that.) I just realized…I could have students doing the set-up between classes, and keep the greeter job for myself.

Second, try the Blaine idea, discussed recently on yahoo, of giving the extra-credit point on quizzes that lets kids share something from their lives.

Third, make sure that you’re checking in on the sleepy, grumpy, loud, and quiet kids in case of issues.

Fourth, keep on doing the popsicle-stick rotation, or the reading of the classroom introductions, so that everyone gets a chance to be recognized.


Looking at the self-awareness/self-management/social-awareness/social-management pieces of our school district’s SEL graph, I thought that I could have prompts like these for students to finish (even in target language) and share:

When I’m feeling grumpy/sad/angry, I ____.

When I’m feeling scared/frustrated, the person I talk to is ___.

One way I show honesty is ____.

A good choice I made recently was ____.

I have a good working relationship with ___ because ___.

One of my current goals is ____.

I think that by sharing such ideas, we can help kids with the metacognition piece that will not only let them show what their own strengths and resources are, but get ideas for others to develop.


One response to “SEL

  1. I think that on Ben’s space last year in Sept or Aug. we did a series of discussions regarding adding to the exit quiz some metacognition pieces about how a student was feeling and reflections of their work that day. That was right when we began to really ask ourselves about how we were getting students involved in assessing themselves.

    I went to Blaine Ray’s Atlanta workshop Thurs. and Fri. Tiny room full of folks and we ate subway sandwiches and Pizza Hut for lunches.

    He worked that same piece that he was doing last summer. There were no gestures. No discussion of relationships with students or connections or personalization. Just 10 hrs. of the background info in past, verified with a student actor in the present and then told back to the class in the past.

    After 12 hours I saw the advantage to this “new” process. In 2.5 minutes I wrote 50 words in the timed writing and my sentances were connected and a story line different from the one we had done was developing. We were in German. There was info on the screen but who could look at it from the back of the room? What surprised me that I was moving in a storyline that allowed for past and present simultaneously i.e. She said, “Johnny Depp I want a cow.”

    I am sold on TPRS. I just was glad I’d all the other experiences with TPRS that makes me love it so much. Otherwise I would have freaked. There is this disconnect with believing how much you can actually pick up in such a short time. But this way of learning is so natural.


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