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SEL Curriculum

Social Emotional Learning Curriculum: How to Get Students in the “Green Zone”

It’s second hour in Mr. K’s class. The bell has just rung.  Mr. K is ready to get started with his lesson. But, here’s what Mr. K doesn’t know is lurking under the surface: Susie was just dumped by her boyfriend because of an untrue rumor posted on social media last night. Jimmy’s coach stopped him…
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motivation and mindset

2 Questions to Unlock Motivation & Change Mindsets

It was my last semester of college. “Senioritis” had fully kicked-in.  I was ready to graduate. It was also the first day of EAD 315, “Student Leadership Training.” Waiting for class to start, I was focused on the friends I was meeting after class. The instructor began. He asked us to move our desks into…
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Mindfulness: Resetting Your Brain

Mindfullness is a simple, yet powerful way to reset your brain.  So, what is mindfulness exactly? Think about a time you’ve been working on a computer.  Have you ever reached a point where the computer seemed to be lagging, moving slowly, or simply not working properly?  You might find that rebooting the computer makes a…
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Naming Feelings: Feeling Better by Making the “Invisible, Visible”

Naming feelings is a simple, yet powerful, mind-hack that can relieve stress and leave you feeling better quickly (not to mention dramatically improving your interaction with others).   The process of naming feelings is actually quite easy, (click here to learn why it works) but having the awareness to name your feelings is the challenge.  That’s…
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Processing Feelings: Why Facing Tough Stuff Hurts and Helps

Several recent situations keep bringing the topic of processing feelings to my attention. One of them was an exchange of FB messages I recently had with Liam (name changed to protect his privacy). Liam is the son of long-time family friends. He’s in his late 20s. I’ve known him since the day he was born; he’s practically…
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Why Does Naming Feelings Work?

Naming feelings is tricky! There are hundreds of feelings and every minute of the day you can be feeling a variety of them. Sometimes, it’s hard to pinpoint what you’re feeling. Take your average “bad day,” for example. Nearly everyone has experienced a “bad day”. Some days, you are just in a bad mood. Maybe…
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My Mom’s Advice: “Get Some Dumb Friends!”

Last week, I received an email from a 30-in-30 subscriber: Her son is a junior in high school who struggles academically. He refuses extra help from a tutor or teacher, insisting he can do it on his own. He has an older brother who does well in school with relatively little effort, so the young…
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MUST SEE: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

If you don’t yet know what all of the fuss is over, stop what you are doing right now and go see the movie, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? The film is not riveting. Yet, it is COMPLETELY riveting. Whether you were a fan of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as a child or not, Fred Rogers…
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Motivation & Multiple Intelligences

Emotional Intelligence: Identify Your Multiple Intelligence

Are you smart? You just started judging yourself. Maybe you answered “yes.”  Or, “no.”  Or, maybe you waffled with indecision. As a society, we make this judgement of others all the time.  Even the best teachers in education find themselves with thoughts like, “Kyle is a bright kid, he’ll learn this quickly.  But Laura will…
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School Frustration and Managing Anxiety

School Frustration and Managing Anxiety: if you’ve ever felt totally lost and hopeless in school, there are some things you can you do to flip that feeling around… “It’s Like I’m Back in 4th Grade, Learning Long Division” I recently had an experience (in fact, I’m still floundering my way through it) that took me right…
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stressed out student

The Pursuit of Perfection Creates Anxiety & Stress for Students

I am typically not one to watch intellectual competitions in my spare time, especially anything more intense than Family Feud. However, one caught my attention as I flipped through channels. The show was called Child Genius. Young children answering questions about crazy subjects and spelling words that I didn’t even know existed. I was hooked.…
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grit and growth mindsets

How to Grow Grit and Growth Mindsets

In her landmark book, Mindset, Carol Dweck, Ph.D., shares her scientific research on motivation and growth mindsets. She concluded that teaching students how to learn, in conjunction with brain biology, is the best way to boost motivation and develop a “growth mindset.” In two scientific studies, she confirmed that this combination works; motivation and grades…
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Managing Anxiety

How to Help Students Manage Anxiety

The key to helping students manage anxiety is to understand what’s happening in their brain. “Emotions are the on/off switch to learning,” says Priscilla Vail, author of Smart Kids with School Problems. You and I both know this is true. We know from our own experience that it’s pretty hard to learn geometry theorems when…
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How to Build an Anxiety-Free Environment in Your Classroom

How to Build an “Anxiety-Free” Environment in Your Classroom

Previously, I wrote about How to Help Your Students Manage Anxiety. If you haven’t read that article yet, I suggest you start with it, here. It explains what causes anxiety, which is key to understanding how to manage it. Today, I want to share some strategies for building an “anxiety-free” environment in your classroom. Obviously,…
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soft skills

SEL Skills May Have Prevented The Rise Of Darth Vader…

When our team realized this week’s newsletter would go out on Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you!) we got a little punchy! Then we discovered a very powerful insight… “You underestimate the power of the Dark Side!” – Darth Vader Darth Vader is one of the most well-recognized villains in movie history.…
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Writing vs Thinking About Your Goals… Which Makes You More Successful?

You can guarantee that your students will become more successful than ever before, with a 10-minute activity… Make goals and put them in writing. Yes, the old fashioned way. Get out a pen and a piece of paper and have your students get all their dreams out. They can be short-term or long-term. They can…
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how to set goals

How Students Should Set Goals

There are three steps to setting goals: deciding, believing, and focusing. Decide. Will you decide to sit down with your class and set goals together? Will you decide to get a pen and a piece of paper and dream? If you don’t decide to fit it in your schedule, think of the repercussions. Think of that…
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emotional intelligence

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence

Tears. Shouting. Pouting. Kicking. Screaming. More tears.  This perfectly describes the temper-tantrums I see in my 5-year old daughter, Madison. I know my child isn’t the only who has temper-tantrums.  But, I still wonder, “What is going on with you, child?!” I would patiently try to get to the root of the problems. I would…
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Stories & News

We Are In Oxford Schools

NOTE: The following is a first-hand story about my family’s experience regarding last week’s tragedy at Oxford High School; my two children are enrolled in the district.  I am the co-director of a small group of secondary students (approx 100 6th-12th-graders) who are enrolled through Oxford’s Virtual Academy, but meet for in-person instruction two days/week.…
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Homeschooling Insights from a Refugee of War

Hi Friends, I’m sharing a post from a mother at my children’s school; she posted this on Day 1.25 of our sudden transition to “homeschooling.” I was already overwhelmed, going a little loco… and her words were a breath of fresh air! She instantly snapped me into proper perspective.  Her message comes from a very…
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“Extreme Self-Care” for Parents and Teachers

Whenever life threw an exceptional curve-ball my way -one slathered in fear or grief- my late, great life-coach, Rob Berkley, would always advocate for… E X T R E M E  S E L F – C A R E ! If he were still with us today, I’m sure he’d be shouting this message…
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When Addiction Changes Your Life Story

As the holidays approach, this time of year often amplifies grief. Loss of loved ones, or even loss of “what used to be” becomes more… well, MORE. I doubt anyone reading this has not been impacted by addiction… in some way, shape, or form. Today, I want to share a very important, powerful, and raw…
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The Answer to World Tragedies…

Today, I want to honor the events of the past ten days. We were already in a period of extreme uncertainty, but that has grown deeper and far more poignant. I think we all feel “it” in our bones: The justice that has not been met. The wrongs that must be made right. It’s overwhelming…
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Spring 2020: ADDitude Magazine

Susan Kruger wrote this article for the Spring 2020 edition of ADDitude Magazine. See the article at ADDitude Magazine under the title, “If He Looses His Joy, Nothing Else Will Matter.”
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World Economic Forum: The Future of Jobs Report

The Top 10 skills identified by the World Economic Forum all involve social and emotional competence. And research shows that social and emotional skills and attitudes also contribute to the other skills such as critical thinking. To read the full report, click here.
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Social-Emotional Learning Has Long-Lasting Positive Effects on Student

Students who completed social-emotional learning interventions fared better than their peers who didn’t participate on a variety of indicators—including academic performance, social skills, and avoiding negative behaviors like drug use, finds the analysis, which examined follow-up data from dozens of published studies on specific interventions. To read the report, click here.
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SEL Leads to Improved Academic Performance & Behavior

SEL interventions increased students’ academic performance by 11 percentile points, compared to students who did not participate in such SEL programs. Students participating in SEL programs also showed improved classroom behavior, an increased ability to manage stress and depression, and better attitudes about themselves, others, and school. To read the meta-analysis of 213 studies involving…
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Economic Value of SEL: $11-1 ROI

The average return on investment for six evidence-based programs is 11 to 1, meaning for every dollar invested there is an $11 return. Read the 2015 review from Columbia University.
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The Impact of Social Emotional Learning

More than two decades of research demonstrates that education promoting social and emotional learning (SEL) gets results. The findings come from multiple fields and sources, including student achievement, neuroscience, health, employment, psychology, classroom management, learning theory, economics, and the prevention of youth problem behaviors.
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The Most Prevalent Problem in Our Schools… That Is Totally Ignored!

My mother is a family physician with a specialty in substance abuse (certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine). Over the years, we have many relatives who have battled addictions in one way, shape, or form, and Mom specifically pursued the additional certification to help them. Her interest in the issue is truly a…
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