Animated videos help teachers build sense of empathy in students | EdSource

By Jane Meredith Adams

A Silicon Valley educational technology company and researchers from Harvard have teamed up to launch a new series of animated videos next month about the importance of empathy, intended for teachers to use in building students’ social and emotional skills.

Developed by Class Dojo’s Big Ideas program and researchers at the Making Caring Common project at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, the series of three short videos, called “Empathy,” are the latest manifestation of a push to move promising ideas about social and emotional skill-building more quickly from research into classroom practice.

The Empathy videos star Mojo, a friendly green animated monster, who became something of an internet star earlier this year in a series of online videos called “Growth Mindset,” created by Class Dojo and researchers at the Stanford-based organization PERTS, or the Project for Education Research that Scales.

Source: Animated videos help teachers build sense of empathy in students | EdSource

Social-Emotional Learning: States Collaborate to Craft Standards, Policies – Education Week

By Evie Blad

Eight states will work collaboratively to create and implement plans to encourage social-emotional learning in their schools, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning announced this month.

The organization, which is also known as CASEL, will assist the states through consultation with its own staff and a panel of experts. The participating states are California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington. And an 11 additional states that originally applied to join the collaborative will have access to the materials it develops.

Each participating state has a unique plan, and many of those plans include creating developmentally sensitive standards that show how social and emotional skills are demonstrated at each grade level, developing materials to infuse traditional classroom concepts with social-emotional learning concepts, building strategies for state-level support, and implementing professional-development plans for schools about the subject.

Source: Social-Emotional Learning: States Collaborate to Craft Standards, Policies – Rules for Engagement – Education Week

Summer and after-school programs can promote social and emotional learning | EdSource

By Jennifer Peck and David Plank

When we think of school we too often picture rows of students sitting quietly at their desks, listening to the teacher or reading a textbook. This familiar image of a quiet classroom and docile students is and should be increasingly outdated. The state’s new Common Core and Next Generation science standards require teachers to teach and students to learn in more dynamic ways. They raise the bar for subject-matter knowledge in English, math and science.

These standards also aim to ensure that students engage in deeper learning by focusing on what are sometimes called “the four C’s:” communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. These are skills that are essential for success in today’s job market that cannot be nurtured if students are sitting quietly in rows in the classroom.

California’s new Common Core standards and a growing body of research are driving increased interest in social-emotional learning as an essential component of student success. Without skills like the ability to manage stress, to empathize with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and to engage successfully in the small-group work required for deeper learning, students cannot be successful. And, unless educators work actively to help students develop these skills, schools will not be able to deliver on the broader set of Local Control Funding Formula priorities that the state has adopted, promoting positive and productive school climates.

Source: Summer and after-school programs can promote social and emotional learning | EdSource

How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships | Edutopia

By Dr. Lori Desautels

We need all of our emotions for thinking, problem solving, and focused attention. We are neurobiologically wired, and to learn anything, our minds must be focused and our emotions need to “feel” in balance. Emotional regulation is necessary so that we can remember, retrieve, transfer, and connect all new information to what we already know. When a continuous stream of negative emotions hijacks our frontal lobes, our brain’s architecture changes, leaving us in a heightened stress-response state where fear, anger, anxiety, frustration, and sadness take over our thinking, logical brains.

Source: How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships | Edutopia

Matching Edtech Products With Neurological Learning Goals | Edutopia

By Judy Willis MD

The word edtech refers to educational technology that includes online learning activities through games, websites, computer-assisted instruction, and other virtual resources. If youre looking for edtech to meet specific goals or carefully evaluating products for use at your school, here are some suggestions to guide your decisions.

This post can help you make a list of what you want from edtech digital tools that will best suit your goals and that are most consistent with neuroscience research correlations about how the brain most successfully processes information.

via Matching Edtech Products With Neurological Learning Goals | Edutopia.

Why Social and Emotional Skills Are Vital to Keep At-Risk Students on Track | MindShift

By Lynne Shallcross

Academic learning is usually in the spotlight at school, but teaching elementary-age students “soft” skills like self-control and social skills might help in keeping at-risk kids out of criminal trouble in the future, a study finds.

Duke University researchers looked at a program called Fast Track, which was started in the early 1990s for children who were identified by their teachers and parents to be at high risk for developing aggressive behavioral problems.

The students were randomized into two groups; half took part in the intervention, which included a teacher-led curriculum, parent training groups, academic tutoring and lessons in self-control and social skills. The program, which lasted from first grade through 10th grade, reduced delinquency, arrests and use of health and mental health services as the students aged through adolescence and young adulthood, as researchers explained in a separate study published earlier this year.

via Why Social and Emotional Skills Are Vital to Keep At-Risk Students on Track | MindShift | KQED News.

Incorporating social-emotional learning into school accountability | EdSource

By Noah Bookman

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults develop the ability to manage their emotions, achieve goals, show empathy, build relationships and make responsible decisions. Many educators, researchers and education policy makers have come to believe that positive social and emotional skills are critical to student success.

At CORE Districts, we agree, and are the first in the nation to include the measurement of social and emotional factors in a system of school improvement and accountability – our new School Quality Improvement Index. We have done so because we believe they offer schools and educators more and better information that furthers understanding of students and what they need to learn and succeed. This information can be used to inform and shape strategies to help students succeed in school and prepare them for success in college, careers and life.

via Incorporating social-emotional learning into school accountability | EdSource.

Fairfield-Suisun board looks at tentative priorities for 2015-16 school year – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

Trustees of the Fairfield-Suisun School District hammered out tentative priorities Tuesday night for the upcoming school year.

The action comes on the heels o Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2015-16 budget. Those priorities include:

  • Employee compensation.
  • Extracurricular school activities.
  • Science learning in secondary school settings.
  • Wraparound counseling services to include a variety of aspects such as social, emotional, academic and career.
  • Bilingual outreach and improving communication structure.

via Fairfield-Suisun board looks at tentative priorities for 2015-16 school year Daily Republic.

Why Daydreaming is Critical to Effective Learning | MindShift

By Katrina Schwartz

There’s no doubt there are more distractions bombarding students than there were 50 years ago. Most kids have cellphones, use social media, play games, watch TV and are generally more “plugged in” than ever before. This cultural shift means that in addition to helping students gain the transferable skills and knowledge they’ll need later in life, teachers may have to start helping them tune out the constant buzz in order to get their message across. It’s never too early to learn smart strategies to focus in on priorities and tune out what’s not immediately necessary.

Many people believe they are skilled multitaskers, but they’re wrong. Neuroscience has shown that multitasking — the process of doing more than one thing at the same time — doesn’t exist.

“The brain doesn’t multitask,” said Daniel Levitin, author and professor of psychology, behavioral neuroscience and music at McGill University on KQED’s Forum program. “It engages in sequential tasking or unitasking, where we are shifting rapidly from one thing to another without realizing it.” The brain is actually fracturing time into ever smaller parts and focusing on each thing individually.

via Why Daydreaming is Critical to Effective Learning | MindShift.

Bypassing the Textbook: Video Games Transform Social Studies Curriculcum | MindShift

Katrina Schwartz

Educators typically think of using digital and video games as the actual learning tool, but one teacher is using video games for something else entirely — as a replacement for the textbook.

Jeff Mummert, a social studies teacher and department chair at Hershey High School in Pennsylvania, uses games in his class to get students thinking critically about the subject matter the games address, even if they’re completely imaginary, he said. Game designers put a lot of time and thought into developing aesthetically appealing games that they think will draw players into an imaginary world. Mummert says his interest in games in the classroom focuses entirely on asking students to think critically about the game in the same way they would analyze a text or work of art.

via Bypassing the Textbook: Video Games Transform Social Studies Curriculcum | MindShift.

A Call to All Social-Emotional Learning Leaders | Edutopia

By Maurice Elias

It’s time for the leaders of the social-emotional learning (SEL) and character education fields to jump in the sandbox together and create a set of common guidelines for implementation in schools. This is a variation of the “Manhattan Project” called for years ago by Tim Shriver, a founder of CASEL.

He believed at that time that such a project would involve creating a common curriculum for all to share. Similar concerns about the proliferation of approaches, often competing, were articulated last month at the Character Education Partnership’s annual Forum in Washington, D. C.

via A Call to All Social-Emotional Learning Leaders | Edutopia.

EdSource Today: Social and emotional learning gaining new focus under Common Core

SACRAMENTO – School is nothing if not an intensely social experience, which is why teacher Michelle Flores posed this question to 24 third graders at Aspire Capitol Heights Academy: “When someone makes a mistake, what do we say?”

“That’s cool,” the third graders responded in unison. “We are experts at making mistakes,” said Flores, who incorporates social and emotional instruction, including the idea that making a mistake is not cause for embarrassment, into academics at the charter school using an approach called Responsive Classroom.

via Social and emotional learning gaining new focus under Common Core – by Jane Meredith Adams.

Edutopia: Building Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students: Passion and Strengths

Randy Taran Filmmaker, Project Happiness

In this nine-part series, we will look at important factors that influence the happiness and social and emotional learning of elementary school age children. These are very useful in helping students learn, manage emotions better and increase empathy. Each blog features one letter of the acronym HAPPINESS:

via Building Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students: Passion and Strengths.

SCOE’s Facebook Wall: Dr. Larry Newman presented a workshop on Social and Emotional Learning to local educators (photos)

Dr. Larry Newman presented a workshop on Social and Emotional Learning to local educators at SCOE on October 16. Participants engaged in a variety of hands on activities suitable for classroom use and reviewed current research on incorporating Social and Emotional Learning into the curriculum. For students, Social and Emotional Learning improves attendance, increases motivation to learn, increases mastery of subject material, and reduced suspensions, expulsions, and grade retentions.

via Dr. Larry Newman presented a workshop on Social and Emotional Learning to local….

KQED MindShift: Teaching Social and Emotional Skills in Schools

By Katrina Schwartz

More schools are working to change school culture through programs aimed at improving the social and emotional skills of students. The lessons directly teach young people how to interact with one another in positive ways, deal with anger, and solve problems, and new studies show they improve academic performance, too. As more schools try this approach, researchers have begun paying closer attention to the effects of social and emotional learning on behavior and academic achievement.

That research is showing that social and emotional learning (SEL) is crucial to mitigating the social problems that inherently exist in schools and detract from learning. These programs are much more than an anti-bullying strategy – they teach life skills.

via Teaching Social and Emotional Skills in Schools.