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Classroom Strategies for Social Emotional Learning

©CASEL 2017


Strategies for Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is rightfully at the top of most districts’ agendas these days. After all, “Emotions are everywhere. There is never an instant of waking life when they are not present and influencing the energy level we bring to tasks, the level of focus, the amount of investment.” (The Skillful Teacher, p. 313)

This is not a new area for us at RBT. One fourth of The Skillful Teacher has always been devoted to essential components of Social Emotional Learning. Specifically, the chapters on:

  • Personal Relationship Building
  • Classroom Climate - how to build community, support risk-taking, teach responsibility, goal setting and decision-making by giving students choice and voice
  • Expectations - how to convince low-confidence, low-performing students they can grow their ability and show them how
  • Discipline - eliminating disruptions and off-task behavior with calm, clear supportive responses
  • Cooperative Learning focus on the direct teaching of social skills

Teachers learn how to build a learning environment conducive to helping students acquire specific SEL skills, including specific strategies to try out in their classrooms.

SEL provides teachers with strategies to handle situations from trauma-induced explosive behavior, to direct teaching of social skills, to giving students the tools for conflict resolution amongst themselves.


Teachers learn more about: 

  • Why and how SEL can improve academic achievement
  • Strategies and approaches for developing students’ SEL
  • Where to start using SEL in their classroom or school
  • How to implement new strategies for growing their students’ SEL
  • Creating a plan for SEL

Resources available to support SEL


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*not all courses are available in all states or with partners

Making Student Thinking Visible

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In this course you will learn skills used to Make Students Thinking Visible (MSTV). You will explore these principles in depth and practice building a robust talk environment that builds student confidence...

Data Sheet

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Course Presenter

Jonathon Saphier

Jonathon Saphier is founder and president of Research for Better Teaching, Inc. (RBT), an educational consulting organization dedicated in 1979 to improving classroom teaching and school leadership throughout the United States and internationally. The Ministry of Education of Singapore uses Dr. Saphier’s induction program for all newly hired teachers.

Partner Profile

Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) is a leading public sector solutions implementation and operations improvement firm that partners with health, education, and human services agencies to improve lives. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, PCG has nearly 2,000 professionals in more than 50 offices around the US, in Canada and in Europe. PCG’s Education practice offers consulting services and technology solutions that help schools, school districts, and state education agencies/ministries of education to promote student success, improve programs and processes, and optimize financial resources.

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