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5 Methods to Support SEL in Online Learning

5 Methods to Support SEL in Online Learning

Implement Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in your virtual and hybrid classrooms with these 5 Tips & Tricks

This week’s blog post is brought to you by a very special elevatEd Teacher-in-Training, Taylor Fussner. Taylor is currently completing her coursework in a Teacher Credential program, which includes various forms of observation and field experience, in addition to contributing to elevatEd Classrooms. We are honored to share her Tips and Tricks to Support SEL Online with you!

Author Taylor Fussner: Taylor is a Pre-Service Teacher specializing in Science and Social Studies Education. She currently studies at Stockton University with an expected graduation date of Fall 2021.
Special guest author, Taylor Fussner. Taylor is a Pre-Service Teacher specializing in Science and Social Studies Education. She currently studies at Stockton University with an expected graduation date of Fall 2021.

SEL 1) Check Ins

Check Ins are an important way to gauge how your students are feeling each day. In the physical classroom, you would be able to assess students’ moods when they walk in (body language) or when talking to them during homeroom time. Online, this looks a little different. Here are a few online Check In tools that I lean toward using. You can create a short Google Forms or Poll Everywhere survey for students to respond in real time. If you are using a Pear Deck, you can also add a mood survey (shown through emojis) at the beginning when students join the session. These virtual Check Ins are private and keep how students are feeling between you and them.

SEL 2) Morning Meetings 

The one main aspect of in-person learning that I feel many students are missing online- interaction with peers. Humans are social creatures and school is traditionally the main way that young students interact with people in their own age groups. Yes, we do have social media, but it is not the same as being able to have a full conversation and it is harder for students to create new friendships. To remedy this problem, have students sign on to Zoom a little early and allow them time to talk to each other before getting started for the day. This will also help with virtual classroom management as students have time to get out what they want to say before beginning the lesson. 

SEL 3) Brain Breaks (especially off the computer)

Brain Breaks are not a new idea, but they become increasingly important the longer students are learning online. To begin with, young learners are processing so much information throughout the day. Learning is not easy work! Plus, after sitting at the computer for long periods of time, students can become fidgety. I know that I do even as an adult! Whenever you can, it can be great to give students brain breaks in between lessons, especially the kind of breaks that get students away from the computer. You can have students participate in a quick scavenger hunt or ask them to do ten jumping jacks before returning to the computer. Anything that gets them up and moving!

SEL 4) Flexibility 

Flexibility is an essential trait to be a teacher – even more so now with virtual and hybrid students. When you are noticing misbehavior or missing work, do not forget to take into account that this is a difficult time for students as well. Just because we are not in lockdown does not mean the pandemic and the stresses accompanied by it have disappeared. Flexibility is the foundation of empathy, and flexible teaching should continue beyond COVID.

SEL 5) Mindfulness

Mindfulness is increasingly important in face-to-face, hybrid, and online school. Students have big emotions that they may not know how to identify and address. If you have time midday or at the end of the day, see if you can incorporate a quick focus on mindfulness. Teachers can help students practice mindfulness techniques such as Reflection, Active Engagement, and guided breathing. There are many great mindfulness videos for students on YouTube, my favorite of which are the ones created by ClassDojo. These are geared toward younger learners, so make sure to pick an activity that will fit your unique class best! Regardless, teaching mindfulness will help your students to deal with any adversities that they may face now and in the future. 

*Bonus SEL* Communication

Communication is also increasingly important as we Reimagine School. Allow students and parents ways to contact you through email and phone. I like Google Voice because it provides you with a free separate number that students and parents can call and text. This allows you a separate line from your personal number while still providing students and parents with a quick way to contact you.

It is important to support your own boundaries too while you support your educational community!

Interested in bringing elevatEd Classrooms to your Whole Educational Community?

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Paula Blanco, MAT

Paula Blanco is currently a bilingual  kindergarten teacher at a dual-immersion school. Paula first received a bachelor’s degree in foreign language teaching and in infant education. Paula found her passion teaching and went back for a MAT Spanish (teaching Spanish as a second language).  After her education, Paula moved from Spain to the United States. Ms. Blanco is an experienced teacher with 9+ years of classroom experience.

Amiee Masters Altman, MsEd

Aimee Masters Altman is currently a middle school language arts teacher in southern New Jersey.  As a teacher with over 13 years experience, she has worked as a Kindergarten-6th grade Library-Media Specialist, a 3rd grade inclusion teacher, as well as a middle school language arts teacher.  Mrs. Altman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Sociology with a concentration in health and medicine and a minor in Women’s Studies.  During her time at UPenn, she found her passion for teaching while working the Extended School Year program for students with special needs.  She then went on to earn her Master’s degree in Education in Reading/Writing/Literacy with a certification as a Reading Specialist from the University of Pennsylvania School of Education.  She continued her education for a Library-Media Specialist certification at Rutgers University.  Mrs. Altman has sat on many committees to analyze, select, and write curriculum.

Korey Sewell, PhD

Dr. Korey Sewell , founder of Hands-On Technology Education, is a professional engineer and educator specializing in Computer Science & Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan (2012) and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Riverside (2004). His professional background consists of work at places such as Intel, Apple, Qualcomm and MIPS Technologies with interests in Microprocessors, CPU Workloads, and Simulation Methodology. As an educator, Dr. Sewell aspires for Hands-On Technology to continue to fulfill its mission of empowering the K-12 demographic with innovative, practical, and affordable technology-based activities (summer camps, workshops, and after-school programs).

Jacqueline Masters, EDS, MA

Jacqueline received her Ed.S and M.A. degree in School Psychology from Rowan University and her B.S. degree in Psychology from Drexel University. She is currently certified in New Jersey and practices full time in the public school system. She has been working with the elementary and middle school students for 6+ years. She works to consult and collaborate with teachers, parents, and students to maximize their education and social experience. Additionally she completes cognitive and behavioral assessments as part of the Special Education process. She specializes in educating students, teachers, and parents on a variety of disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, Autism, Specific Learning Disabilities, as well mood disorders and various developmental disorders.