In a safe, student-centered classroom, students can find their voices and develop a sense of self-awareness and belonging. You can promote this supportive environment by having students reflect on their experiences, relationships, and classroom community. Try this:
Have your students reflect on their identities, emotions, and relationships using one of NoRedInk’s featuredAcademic and Personal Reflection Quick Write prompts. Each prompt is labeled with one of CASEL’s five competencies (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). The prompts are also aligned to several strategies teachers can use to support SEL in the classroom:
Creating emotional safety
Fostering academic mindsets
Promoting academic reflection
Keep an eye out for other assignments to build community and encourage student reflection scattered throughout NoRedInk. Many of these prompts can be found in the Fluency and Fun and the Bell-Ringers and Exit Tickets Quick Writes sections.
2. Integrating SEL with instruction
Part of effective SEL instruction is integrating social and emotional skills and mindsets into the work that you’re already doing in the classroom. For example, many ELA standards (e.g., analyzing character interactions) support SEL skill development, and students can also develop self-management skills (e.g., planning, goal-setting, and reflection) in their approach to normal work.
Here are some specific suggestions for integrating SEL into academics:
Invite students to reflect on their academic goals, strengths, and challenges. You can find prompts with an academic focus in the Academic and Personal Reflection Quick Write section on NoRedInk. These prompts help students build confidence and develop useful habits through metacognitive reflection on the writing and learning they're doing. More can be found in the Bell-Ringers and Exit Tickets Quick Writes section.
Have students analyze characters’ emotions, choices, and relationships to develop empathy and decision-making skills. Use a NoRedInk text-based prompt that asks students to interpret how characters in the texts they read deal with challenges and make connections to their own lives. Find text-based Quick Writes here.
Have students read texts that invite them to engage with experiences both similar to and different from their own. NoRedInk’s text-based writing prompts feature a diverse range of voices and topics to help you both honor students’ experiences and identities and build empathy across differences. If you’re assigning texts on topics that may be sensitive for students, check out this article for tips.
Make space for students to reflect on their own past experiences using aNarrative Guided Draft. Choose a NoRedInk prompt or create your own prompt to allow students to write about their identities, past decisions, or relationships as they develop narrative writing skills.
3. Delivering explicit SEL instruction
A final way for teachers to support SEL is to directly teach social and emotional skills. CASEL recommends selecting an evidence-based program that meets specific criteria.Once you’ve selected a program, NoRedInk can make it easier for you to collect and share any writing the program requires. Try this:
Use the “Create Your Own” option for Quick Writes to add any prompts or texts from curricula you’re already using. Take advantage of focus points and the word minimum to support students in writing substantive reflections to the concepts they’ve learned.