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March Madness: Prioritizing Social-Emotional Learning for Classroom Success

by | Mar 13, 2024 | News | 0 comments

As we head into March, a month historically known for its challenges in student behavior, we at Thriving YOUniversity want to extend a gentle reminder: your dedication to social-emotional learning (SEL) matters now more than ever. 

Getting caught up in academic pressures and curriculum demands is normal, but nurturing our students’ emotional well-being supports their mental health and cultivates resilience, and enhances students’ academic performance in the long run.

If you have been regularly incorporating SEL strategies into your classrooms, we want to encourage you to keep doing it. Your commitment to creating a supportive and emotionally healthy learning environment is so valuable, especially during this potentially turbulent time in the school year.

For those who started the academic year strong with SEL practices but have since veered off course, don’t worry! It’s never too late to rekindle those practices. Reflect on the positive impact of those practices at the beginning of the year and consider how reintegrating them can positively influence your classroom dynamics.

And for those who haven’t explored incorporating SEL into their academic content, we encourage you to consider weaving these practices into your daily routines. Integrating SEL into academic learning fosters emotional intelligence and enhances overall student engagement and achievement.

Incorporating SEL into the Classroom

Here are some tips on how to seamlessly incorporate SEL into your classroom:

  • Morning Check-Ins: Start each day with a brief check-in where students can share their feelings. This simple practice helps build trust and creates a supportive classroom community. Check-ins to Build Belonging | Elementary Check-ins | Secondary Check-ins | Jamboard Check-in
  • Mindfulness Moments: Integrate short mindfulness exercises into transitions or breaks throughout the day. Encourage students to take a moment to breathe deeply and center themselves, promoting self-awareness and stress reduction. Take a Mindful Minute | 8 Mindfulness Activities
  • Collaborative Learning Activities: Foster collaboration and empathy by incorporating group projects or discussions that require students to work together and consider each other’s perspectives. Flip Frame Conversations 
  • Reflection Journals: Allocate time for students to reflect on their emotions and experiences. Providing a space for self-reflection encourages self-awareness and helps students develop healthy coping mechanisms.  Virtual Circle/Journals | All About Me Journal

Remember, integrating SEL into your classroom doesn’t have to be a daunting task that takes away from academics. Small, consistent efforts can make a world of difference in the emotional well-being of your students and the overall classroom atmosphere.

As we navigate the ups and downs of March, let’s prioritize our students’ social-emotional needs and continue cultivating learning environments where every child feels seen, heard, and valued.

Wishing you all a month filled with growth, connection, and resilience.

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