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Learning is powerful when it is social—when we learn with and from each other. Social Awareness & Relationship Skills are essential for forming and maintaining positive relationships so that peers and teachers can become learning partners.
Social Awareness is the understanding of social norms for behavior and the ability to recognize and understand the perspectives and feelings of others. Social Awareness allows children to empathize with people from diverse backgrounds and to recognize the Social Supports available from family members, at school, and in the community.
Relationship Skills are the specific interpersonal skills based on Social Awareness that allow students to communicate and get along with others, including cooperation and preventing and resolving interpersonal conflicts.
Strong Social Awareness & Relationship Skills are associated with better social adjustment and academic achievement, as well as lower levels of conduct problems and emotional distress.
Building positive and trusting relationships with learners allows them to feel safe; a sense of belonging; and that their academic, cognitive, and social and emotional needs are supported.
Teaching students how to label, identify, and manage emotions helps them learn self-regulation skills.
Students are more likely to come to school when families feel like a valued part of the community.
Visiting places connected to classroom learning provides opportunities to deepen understanding through firsthand experiences.
Teachers can help students understand that learning involves effort, mistakes, and reflection by teaching them about their malleable brain and modeling their own learning process.
Free play supports learner interests and allows more complex social interactions to develop.
As students walk through stations working in small groups, the social and physical nature of the learning supports deeper understanding.
Having space where students can go supports Self-regulation and individual deliberate practice.
As students work with and process information by discussing, organizing, and sharing it together, they deepen their understanding.
To promote acceptance of learning diversity, students explore learning tools and strategies to see how they work and why they and others might use them.
Literacy centers with reading games, manipulatives, and activities support learner interests and promote the development of more complex reading skills and social interactions.
Multiple tables and chairs on wheels allow for setting up the classroom to support the desired learning outcomes of each classroom activity.
Brain breaks that include movement allow learners to refresh their thinking and focus on learning new information.
Multiple display spaces promote collaboration by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Multiple writing surfaces promote collaboration by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Reading aloud allows students to hear and practice reading and fluency skills.
Research shows physical activity improves focus and creativity.
Maintaining consistent classroom routines and schedules ensures that students are able to trust and predict what will happen next.
Pretending allows students to step back from a problem or task and think about it from multiple angles.
Cards with strategies for managing emotions help students remember how to act when faced with strong feelings.
Reading aloud books about skills children are learning provides another model for their development.
When students explain to others, they deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning.
Multicultural and diverse books are critical for supporting all students.
With rhyming and creative word use, poetry is a genre that supports the development of early literacy skills in particular.
Books with SEL topics, such as developing friendships and identifying emotions, help teach these skills.
Students develop reading skills by listening to and speaking with others in informal ways.
Wait time, or think time, of three or more seconds after posing a question increases how many students volunteer and the length and accuracy of their responses.
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