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PRACTICAL WAYS TOINTRODUCE AND BROADENTHE USE OF SEL PRACTICESIN CLASSROOMS, SCHOOLS,AND WORKPLACES

Table of ContentsSnapshot of the SEL 3 Signature Practices3About the SEL 3 Signature Practices4Using the Playbook6-Creating and Sustaining Equitable Learning and Working Environments-Getting StartedSEL 3 Signature Practices Examples710-Welcoming/Inclusion Activities10-Engaging Strategies, Brain Breaks, and Transitions19-Optimistic Closures36Adapting the Playbook for Your Work47-Developing Your Own Activities47-Template: Design your own Signature Practices48-Customizing the Playbook51Appendix52CASEL SEL Definition53SEL Competencies and Skills54SEL 3 Signature Practices for Adults55SEL 3 Signature Practices for the Classroom57SEL 3 Signature Micro-Practices59Getting it down PATT61Index of Activities (Alphabetized by Name)62Related Research Links63Acknowledgments and Permissions641SEL 3 SIGNATURE PRACTICES PLAYBOOK 2019

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply theknowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and showempathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.2SEL 3 SIGNATURE PRACTICES PLAYBOOK 2019

SNAPSHOT: The SEL 3 Signature PracticesWELCOMING INCLUSION ACTIVITIESENGAGING STRATEGIESOPTIMISTIC CLOSURE1. Open each class period, meeting, or professional learning experience with a WELCOMING INCLUSIONACTIVITY, ROUTINE, OR RITUAL that builds community and connects to the work ahead.Examples of Welcoming Activities, Routines, and Rituals: Smile warmly and greet each person by their preferred name Whole-group greeting activities Morning circles Interactive “do-nows,” such as peer-to-peer homework help2. Embed ENGAGING STRATEGIES, including brain breaks to anchor thinking and learning, throughoutthe experience. Engaging strategies offers many opportunities that vary in complexity to practice SELskills. Engagement and learning individually (e.g., “turn-to-your-partner”) and collectively (e.g.,“Socratic Seminar” and “Jigsaw”) are supported by intentionally chosen strategies and activities withsequenced steps that suit your group’s current needs. Build in a balance of interactive and reflectiveexperiences to meet the needs of all participants.Examples of Engaging Strategies: Think, Ink, Pair, Share (silent time to reflect; time to write; partner discussions; close witha group share out) Clock Partners (prearrange partners for quickly pairing up for reflection and discussion) Private think-time (facilitator wait-time) Mindful Minute Brain Break (a calming activity, promoting focus and readiness to learn)3. Close each experience in an intentional way. An OPTIMISTIC CLOSURE is not necessarily a “cheeryending,” but rather highlights an individual and shared understanding of the importance of the work, andcan provide a sense of accomplishment and support forward-thinking. The closing activity may bereflective of the learning, help identify next steps, or make connections to one’s own work.Examples of Optimistic Closure: One-Minute Accolade Something I learned today I am curious about I am looking forward to tomorrow because. Suit YourselfSomething I’ll do as a result of this meeting is.Something I still question.Something that still concerns me.3SEL 3 SIGNATURE PRACTICES PLAYBOOK 2019

Establish a shared agreement that it is always okay to pass.Encourage participants to verbally say “Pass” or“Please come back to me” if that is their choice today!About the SEL 3 Signature PracticesThe SEL 3 Signature Practices were developed in response to these commonly heard questions: “But whatdoes SEL LOOK like?” and “How can we start doing SEL right now?” Educators and OST providersunderstood and believed in the power of SEL, but sought clarity about how to demonstrate and observeSEL in action during the school day and beyond.The SEL 3 Signature Practices are one tool for fostering a supportive environment and promote SEL. Theyintentionally and explicitly help build a habit of practices through which students and adults enhance theirSEL skills. While not an SEL curriculum, these practices are one concrete example of a way to help peopleunderstand and practice the goals of an overall systemic SEL implementation plan.Why? We set the tone for our learning and interactions as we launch the school day, run a staff meeting,deliver a lesson or facilitate professional development. Our goal is to purposefully and thoughtfully designeach element to achieve a particular outcome. Adults and students walk into work or school each day asour whole selves. We bring our strengths, challenges, and outside circumstances which contribute to howwe embrace or face the day. We transport our intentional goodwill and our implicit biases. We carry thememory of our last time in this environment, as well as our history of similar situations.What? Intentionally chosen strategies, activities, and protocols foster interactions that model SEL inaction and help create an equitable experience. They establish a safe container for equity of voice, fortruly seeing one another, and celebrating one another as our fullest selves. By integrating moments ofreflection, positive interactions, and appreciations, we craft the climate and culture we’re striving for—one in which everyone in the room feels they belong to a safe and caring community of learners, wherethey are valued and able to learn and work together productively.Who? Everyone! Students and adults alike are a part of the lifelong learning process for developing andusing strong SEL skills. Teachers, leaders, district staff, and out-of-school time agencies use these practicesto great effect, to collaboratively build environments in which the fullness of each person’s identity isacknowledged and elevated.How? This playbook offers examples and resources to draw from as you build your repertoire of SELpractices. It also offers insights about how to make planning and facilitating the Signature Practices a fluid,natural part of your work. You and your colleagues are each other’s richest data sources, so we encourageyou to dialogue regularly about how you consistently build these Signature Practices into your daily work,and to learn from one another!When? Build in these practices throughout the day, every day as a regular part of daily lesson planning,meeting agendas, and professional learning facilitation to create a climate and culture of safety, inclusionand belonging, and to support strong, effective learning environments.4SEL 3 SIGNATURE PRACTICES PLAYBOOK 2019

What’s Been Shared from Schools and Districts Using the SEL 3 Signature Practices When a team, a school, or an entire district commits to using the SEL 3 Signature Practices in anauthentic way, they are better able to meet their own learning goals and those of their studentswhile building everyone’s SEL skills to create a positive learning and work environment. One personcan begin to use these practices and influence others, but it is only when they are used by the entireteam or organization that they will achieve their full impact. When people are intentional about the purpose, frequency, and facilitation of the SEL 3 SignaturePractices, they can build routines that become a solid foundation for strengthening a learningcommunity. If used without planning and intentionality, or only for compliance’s sake, they will nothave the desired results. When used consistently and thoughtfully, the Signature Practices help to create productive habitsthat shape an organizational culture. If used randomly or without authenticity, they are unlikely tomake a positive, systemic impact.“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe5SEL 3 SIGNATURE PRACTICES PLAYBOOK 2019

Using the PlaybookThe SEL 3 Signature Practices Playbook provides practical ways to introduce and broaden the use ofSEL practices in classrooms, schools, and workplaces. We have learned that doing these practicessuperficially or just for compliance’s sake will be of limited benefit. They are effective whenthoughtfully selected to meet the needs of a particular context, facilitated skillfully, and understood tobe part of a systemic plan to implement SEL. The Playbook introduces a variety of examples of the SEL3 Signature Practices that, when used authentically and intentionally, can help users create safe,equity-centered, productive learning and working spaces for students and adults.The Playbook aims to: Respect the judgment, experience, and context of the users.Offer a structure to support thoughtfully selecting and facilitating these practices.Provide samples of SEL Signature Practices for specific contexts and purposes.(You are encouraged to add and/or modify activities to meet your community’s needs.)Identify key SEL competencies and skills for each activity, while noting that these competenciesare interconnected and that an activity may support more than one.Share the research base that is the foundation of these practices.Begin by reading Creating and Sustaining Equitable Learning and Working Environments. Withoutknowing why and how these practices work in academic and professional settings, it will be achallenge to implement them as a lever for sustained, meaningful change. These practices build onand are aligned with the principles of culturally responsive teaching, Restorative Justice, SEL-relatedneuroscience, and trauma-informed practices.The Getting Started section of the playbook will help you begin to integrate the SEL 3 SignaturePractices into your learning or work space. It provides a simple structure you can use to select theright practices for your purpose and context. There is also a section on adapting the playbook foryour work and a design template to support your planning process.Next, scan through the examples of Welcoming Activities, Engaging Strategies, and OptimisticClosings and notice which ones look familiar. Find a few that are new to you and read through them.Mark ones that you might like to try in your classroom, group activity, or at an upcoming meeting.6SEL 3 SIGNATURE PRACTICES PLAYBOOK 2019

Creating and Sustaining Equitable Learning and Working EnvironmentsSEL in Service of Equitable OutcomesEquitable learning and working environments are shaped by policies, practices, and personalinteractions that are explicitly designed to create the equitable experiences that are essential to doingour best work. This is too important to leave to chance. Intentionally attending to SEL in the design andfacilitation of lessons, meetings, and gatherings will help create equity-centered environments in whichto work, teach and learn.There are persistent and growing inequities in education, health, and economic opportunities andoutcomes that reduce the quality of life for a substantial portion of the U.S. population. Theseinequities may be rooted in race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, home language,one’s region of the country, etc. They undermine opportunities to learn in deep and meaningful waysand the chance for every person to achieve excellence in school, career, and other life pursuits. CASELbelieves SEL instruction and opportunities are essential to an effective and sound education for all.When the SEL 3 Signature Practices are effectively implemented as part of a comprehensive SEL plan,they promote these essential elements of an equitable learning and working environment: Equity of voice: All participants are encouraged to speak and are respectfully heard.Inclusion: All degrees of participation are welcomed and acknowledged.Collectivism: All engage in and contribute to a “for the good of the group” experience.Equitable PracticesThe synergy of intentionally practicing SEL skills within academic and social situations providesopportunities to develop them as well-ingrained habits that are transferable to situations within andbeyond the classroom walls. The SEL 3 Signature Practices support the ABCs of an effective learningenvironment (Richard M. Ryan and Edward L. Deci):A—Autonomy: The need to be in control of oneself and empowered to make decisions. Participantsmake personal choices about what they say and do in each of the activities.B—Belonging: The need to be accepted and valued by others. The activities are designed so that everyperson can be heard and seen without judgment, and to help build relationships with others and withcontent.C—Competence: The need to be effective or to accomplish things. The SEL 3 Signature Practices giveparticipants opportunities to be effective across a variety of contexts and to strengthen intra- andinter-personal skills during the school day, in out-of-school-time experiences, or at work.The Neuroscience of SELDr. Richie Davidson, University of Wisconsin, speaks about “every behavioral intervention being abiological intervention”—and that a young person’s repeated experiences in school have theopportunity to be a powerful influence for the re-wiring of neural pathways that is necessary for habitsto be built and sustained. Creating and sustaining consistent practices helps create the climate andculture that’s vital for optimal learning and working conditions.7SEL 3 SIGNATURE PRACTICES PLAYBOOK 2019

Getting StartedWhen using the SEL 3 Signature Practices Playbook, keep in mind that: The Playbook is designed to respect the judgment, experience, and language of the facilitator.Be sure to adjust activities to suit your context and needs as you work with youth and adults.The Playbook provides only a sampling of activities within each category. The options arelimitless and grow most authentically from the work you’re doing and the group with whomyou’re working.Using the Playbook requires thoughtful selection and preparation. (See “Getting It DownPATT!”— Purpose, Alignment, Transparency, Target