Building Trusting Relationships

Learning to Counter Hate Speech. Cyberbullying can range from viral videos to direct text messages and has become a popular and necessary discussion point in classrooms nationwide. Author Devorah Heitner provides some guidance for teachers looking to respond to hate speech and bullying, particularly in the wake of a difficult election cycle. She says school leaders, including teachers, need to promote discussion, remain compassionate toward those creating the hate speech without condoning it, and remain cautious about our own participation in the online dialogue (Heitner, Education Week).

Home Visits in Pre-K May Keep Kids in School: Some schools are using home visits at the beginning of the year, before kids start missing and before parents feel skeptical, as a way to boost attendance and interest in school. The visits are a way to establish a relationship and a chance for families to feel connected to school.

21 simple ways you can support social-emotional learning for your students every day, from

40+ Calm Down Tools for Older Children (Free Printable)


The purpose of this Special Interest Group (SIG) is to examine relationships among social-emotional competencies and academic, health, and citizenship outcomes; and the impact of SEL interventions on the adjustment, behavior, and academic performance of students; and factors that influence the effectiveness of SEL intervention including the role of educators and families.

Here’s incredible Facebook page for where Educators, Admin, and school staff can find articles, info graphics, blogs and tips- “Social Emotional Learning” on Facebook:


Here is a video library of Teachers in Oakland Unified School District discussing SEL in their schools:

Here is a powerful video highlighting the way kids’ interactions with adults may affect their education. “Eye-Opening Video Will Make Adults Reconsider The Way They Talk To Children.”

Just A Little Nicer: Compassion is a universal virtue, but is it innate or taught? Have we lost touch with it? Can we be better at it? In this hour, TED speakers explore compassion: its roots, its meaning and its future. (Original broadcast date: December 19, 2014).

Lesson Planning|Activities|Ideas:

Here are 14+ Free Social and Emotional Learning Activities from Topics include: Communication, Cooperation, Emotion Regulation, Empathy, Impulse Control, Social Initiation.

At Playworks, we create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. Here are some of the games and activities our coaches use to make recess fun for all students. Twelve Games to Teach Students Social-Emotional Learning:

Creating Safe Spaces: Lesson Plans for Social-Emotional Learning– Bullying continues to be an important topic in today’s schools, especially surrounding conversations of student mental health. USC Rossier School of Education has created a lesson plan guide to act as a mental health resource for teachers and classrooms, as well as students in our online teaching degree programs. “Creating Safe Spaces” offers activities that strengthen students’ social-emotional skills, while focusing on social-emotional wellness as a tool for combating bullying in and outside of the classroom.

GREAT Pinterest page with pins such as: Anchor Charts for Reading Comprehension, Phonics & Blends, Multiplication; 13 Things All Teachers Should Know About Type 1 Diabetes; 50 Fabulous Ideas, Finds, and Tips for 4th grade; Surviving your first year of teaching; 10 Ways to Foster Generosity in Your Students; 6 Ways to teach gratitude in the classroom; 6 Tips for Fostering Student-Centered Discussion; 5 Peer Conferencing Strategies That Actually Work;  7 Ways to Help Students Who Struggle with Anxiety…and more!

Here’s a Pinterest Board full of creative, DIY Activities geared for SEL Learning!

Move This World’s evidence-based, PreK-12 digital tools are used twice daily to transition in and out of your instructional day. Our tools are developmentally aligned, mapped to CASELA’s competency clusters and are scaffolded within the platform to provide a guided coursework for educators to introduce SEL concepts that build upon one another throughout the school year. Each tool is no longer than 5 minutes, requires no lesson prep, and can be followed alongside your students… It’s as easy as pressing “play.”

Supplies|Book Lists:

Elementary school is a time for tremendous academic, as well as, personal growth. And we care about reading, writing, math, and the sciences.  We really do! But, for some of us, we care more about helping our little people become caring, considerate, confident citizens of the world. Here are fifteen books that you can share with your students that will help them develop the skills as a human being that will enrich their foundation for all other growth.

We can talk to students about respecting each other’s differences until we’re blue in the face, but sometimes, it takes a good story for them to truly get the message. “I’m looking for children’s books about celebrating differences, accepting others, being friendly to those who are different, and focusing on good things like that,” a 4th grade teacher writes. Check out the top titles as suggested by our helpliners!

With ever-increasing numbers of multiracial families (growing three times as fast as the US population as a whole!), these picture books are relevant at any time of the year.

Celebrating Diversity- 50+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families

 Online Games|Other Tools for Your Students:
(See also- Students Tab)

In Hall of Heroes, students navigate the transition to a superhero middle school, including making new friends, dealing with peer pressure, and discovering their strengths. Students will also practice middle school readiness skills, such as locker combinations and getting to class on time. This simulated school environment is a safe space for students to acquire and practice skills before trying them in real-world situations. Find it here:

Online learning has become a normal part of many classrooms, but the ways teachers utilize this platform varies greatly. Jason Lineberger claims the best online learning helps students connect to each other, the teacher, and the instructional materials. Avoid some of the common pitfalls by taking a few tips from Lineberger (Lineberger,

The Youth & Opportunity United, Inc. (Y.O.U.) is a youth development agency that provides services and leadership to meet the emerging needs of young people and their families in our community. Here’s a Social Emotional Activities Workbook they’ve created: