In times of uncertainty like we are experiencing now, it is important to bring social and emotional (SEL) practices to your remote classroom. Some students might be feeling anxious; therefore, we want to create a safe space for learning. When students feel safe, they find it easier to learn. You can help build that safe space for learning by incorporating SEL in your teaching.
Below are a few ways to implement SEL in your remote classroom.
- Have conversations with students. Ask them “What are you excited about today? or “Are you concerned about anything?” Encourage your students to share.
- Give students different scenarios. Then, in pairs or as a whole class, allow students to discuss how a person might feel or act given that scenario.
Teach SEL Vocabulary
- Include vocabulary words associated with SEL in your classroom activities.
- Students could also come up with synonyms for words associated with their feelings.
Incorporate Writing Activities
- Ask students to write about how they are feeling. They can write about how they are feeling about the pandemic or having to physically distance themselves from others.
- Students can write poems or stories. They can be collaborative writing activities and done together as a class or with groups of classmates.
- Writing prompts can also be given to students.
- Games can be used to reinforce or practice SEL skills as well as build community in your classroom. Games such as Kindness Bingo or Emotions Scavenger Hunt can be played.
- Quandry is a free learning game on ethical decision making. The game is designed for flexible use and includes educator resources such as lesson plans and curriculum guides.
- As mentioned in this blog post, there are many benefits to incorporating drawing in your classroom. You students might want to visually express themselves.
- Ask students to draw a picture of something that makes them happy or ask them to draw a self-portrait.
- There are many online drawing tools and apps that students can use to create their drawings.
Regardless of how you have set up your remote classroom, it is important to include weekly or even daily activities that give students an opportunity to talk about how they are feeling. Best practices for remote learning suggest that SEL should be at the forefront of remote learning. If you would like more ideas and grade-level resources, I encourage you to sign up for our self-paced Social and Emotional Learning online course.