Transforming Social and Emotional Learning Efforts: Embracing the "New Normal"

As part of a whole child model of teaching, learning and caring, ALL4SC – Accelerating Learning & Leadership for South Carolina – sees implementing evidence-based SEL strategies in support of all students, teachers, families and communities as an integral component. In partnership with United Way of the Midlands and National University, we promote using common evidence-based practices - such as Harmony SEL curriculum and Inspire professional development offerings - throughout the school building.
May's SEL newsletter highlights strategies for implementing a key everyday practice, Buddy Up. Also included are tools and resources to help teachers and families overcome pandemic barriers and prioritize a student's mental, social, and emotional well-being. 

An Everyday Practice for Everyone:
Buddy Up and Be Mindful

In addition to Meet Up showcased in our April newsletter, Buddy Up is a useful Everyday Practice that targets inclusivity and peer bonding. This practice brings together students to further support diversity and engage in positive attitudes. Buddy Up gives everyone (i.e., educators, school staff, students) opportunities to interact in a safe social space that allows for a productive educational experience.

Let’s Buddy Up. What is Buddy Up? 

  • What: An interactive experience for students
  • When: 4-5 times per week, between 2 and 45 minutes
  • How: Pairing students together
  • Why: Promoting positive social development and prosocial skills
  • Who: For students with the support of educators and families 

Click here to find the Quick Connction Cards. 

To read more about the value of Buddy Up and how to incorporate this Everyday Practice anywhere, visit the Harmony portal (requires login and includes free to access of all resources and materials).

SEL Lesson Snapshot – Unit 1:
Diversity and Inclusion - Who We Are


Activity Suggestions: Using the worksheet below (click for a downloadable version), encourage students to open up with classmates by sharing items that are of value with each other. Teachers can give students this worksheet virtually or in-person several days before engaging in the lesson to think about what significant items they would like to share. 

Questions to discuss with the group include:

  1. Why did you choose this item to share with the class? 
  2. What was it like sharing your item and learning about your classmates? 
  3. Why do you think it is important for us to spend time getting to know each other? 

To view the full lesson and supplemental materials, visit the Harmony portal (requires login and includes free to access of all resources and materials).

Why Social Emotional Learning –
Family Time is the Best Time 

When supporting students’ social and emotional needs, we must continue to help families develop these skills as they navigate through the pandemic. While the days seem to fly by, parents and children can use brief moments as quality engagement opportunities for positive discussions to help alleviate the stressors of the week. Below, we highlight some key strategies that families can use to support each other and prioritize everyone’s well-being. 

How Parents and Children Can
Support Each Other - 
Stop, Think, and Cool Off

The following strategy serves as a communication and connection activity to help children and their families work together with a mindful lens to steer through problems that arise. Parents can use this form of conflict resolution to demonstrate effective behaviors for children to manage their emotions and offer various coping mechanisms that can help to destress. Parents working together with their children to face challenges that arise, especially with COVID-19, can have lasting benefits for their social and emotional health for years to come. 
To view the full lessons and activities for Harmony at Home, visit the Harmony portal (requires login and includes free to access of all resources and materials).

 Resource Hub

 Thoughts or Questions?

Are there other SEL topics or resources you want to learn more about? Click here to let us know or email Alyssa Raygoza, ALL4SC SEL Graduate Assistant. 

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