Nov 16 2022

Consider These Technology Resources for Social-Emotional Learning

Innovation leaders share the applications and websites they’re using for SEL check-ins and activities in their school districts this year.

Staff and students have been through so much over the past few years. Many are hopeful that this year will bring a welcomed sense of renewed energy and change, but by no means does the new year come without challenges.

So, what are we doing to face the discipline issues, emotional heartache and academic challenges, as well as the celebrations and memorable moments? How will we address the needs educators and students face? Similarly, how do we highlight and celebrate the moments of success that should be celebrated, showcased and amplified?

As innovation leaders, Jeni Long and Sallee Clark, known together as Jenallee, are tackling the difficulties in the classroom head on this year in Castleberry Independent School District in Texas.

Click the banner to see who made the 2022 list of K–12 influencers with Jeni Long and Sallee Clark.

SEL Check-In App Encourages Students to Reflect on Their Well-Being

In previous school years, Long and Clark used an app called Reflect in Microsoft Teams to help students recognize their emotions and give them an opportunity to share and be heard. Microsoft Reflect provides a safe space to use emojis and characters to develop a varied vocabulary and deepen empathy for others. Meanwhile, the app provides feedback to educators to help drive instruction and create a healthy classroom environment.

This year, Long and Clark will be introducing Reflect into OneNote Class Notebooks.

Secondary students will use OneNote for online data and writing portfolios. This offers educators a way to touch base with their students using a quick Reflect activity. Students can quickly choose an emotion, feeling or answer to a question, and can even specify the exact term from a list of associated words to choose from.

Learn more about Microsoft Reflect and the feelings monsters with this quick informational video.

Find Curated and Customizable Templates for SEL Activities

Another favorite resource for focusing on the social and emotional well-being of our students is Canva for Education. Canva has thousands of built-in SEL templates that teachers can quickly and easily edit and use with their students. These templates allow teachers to rapidly assess student needs and provide resources to support them and help them self-regulate.

RELATED: Self-regulation spaces support students' social-emotional needs in the classroom.

According to the company’s social and emotional curated content website, “Canva is proud to provide ready-made, customizable, free templates to deliver social-emotional learning activities with students, in partnership with experts from Los Angeles USD. The templated worksheets and posters feature hands-on activities to do mood and emotional temperature checks, and learn how to handle difficult conversations. These help students understand their emotions, identify triggers and build strategies to improve their mood. The templates also include posters, banners, announcements and calendars to check in with students, plan different wellness themes and practice regular mindfulness.”

Educators can insert videos, music, links, gifs and so much more into any Canva design, and they can easily share the design with a link or through their learning management system.

In The Microsoft Teams Playbook: Your Guide to Creating an Empowered Classroom, Long and Clark share a lesson template they created for daily SEL check-ins using Canva. Students can select their emotion for the day and participate in a linked activity, such as meditation, dance, yoga or even watching a video of a book being read aloud. Access the template and customize the emotions and activities in this Canva SEL design to fit your class.

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