It seems the term Social Emotional Learning or SEL is everywhere these days. For many educators, this is met with a collective sigh of relief. At long last, we are talking about more than just academics and standardized testing when it comes to providing students with a quality education. To others, however, the buzz about SEL may be cause for concern. Is SEL merely a trend? Is it just the flavor of the month that will soon fade away only to be replaced by the next big idea in education?
There is a lot of research available about attributes that positively affect student achievement. Most of the research is centered on educational practices and what works best with our students. But I dare say, students will thrive in an environment that’s positive and uplifting where they feel safe to take risks and voice their opinion.
The summer countdown is on, but the school year is not over yet! So, why not end the year with some great activities to get through those last few days of school? Great end-of-year activities should spice up the schedule, wrap things up, and yet squeeze in a few last moments of student learning and practice before you send students on their ways to summer and the next grade.
In honor of National Poetry Month, here is an excerpt from Kwame Alexander’s popular book The Write Thing, which showcases how to use poetry in Writing Workshop to motivate and engage all students through the writing process. In the book, Kwame stresses the importance of sharing your published work.
Helping our students learn to write across the curriculum and across genres is a powerful way to provide lifelong skills. We want to give them confidence and the desire to write. But making the transformation from idea to composition can be intimidating to many students. So how can we make writing a fun learning experience? Powerful teaching strategies are the answer! Here are three things you can try tomorrow.
There’s a book, isn’t there, that you loved as a child? Just thinking about it brings back a flood of memories. Either the story itself delighted you, or the memory of reading it with someone you love sealed that book in your heart forever. Either way, the book sparked something in you‚ and the fire that was lit is a love of reading that you carry with you to this day. Every child deserves that spark, don’t they? The great news is that there is a book like that for every reader. One that will st