Links to Useful Sites, Ideas, and Materials

In 2009 Congressman Tim Ryan secured over two million federal dollars as part of his ongoing efforts to give children in Northeast Ohio the tools they need to succeed in the future. One program specifically targets teaching social and emotional learning in schools. Youngstown State University was awarded $200,000 to create a pilot project to infuse Social-Emotional Learning Theory into its teacher education curriculum.

Below are links for YSU teacher candidates to explore as they seek to incorporate SEL concepts into their classroom teaching.

It is anticipated practicing teachers will find these links useful as well.

1. Core Competencies and Standards
CASEL Core Competencies - the five core groups of competencies CASEL identifies as encompassing the specific skills students should demonstrate at different ages.
Competencies Venn Diagram - power point illustration of CASEL's five core interlocking competencies constructed for faculty retreat by CASEL consultant Pat Horsch.
Ohio SEL Aligned with CASEL Competencies - Draft alignment created by Dr. Regina Rees.

2. Organizations
CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) - guidance, resources, and practical examples to and from schools and districts that are actively implementing social and emotional learning programming.

MindUP - The Hawn Foundation - Goldie Hawn is the founder of this public charity with a mission to equip children with the social and emotional skills they need to lead smarter, healthier, and happier lives.
AERA-SIG Social and Emotional Learning - the American Educational Research Association (AERA) has a Special Interest Group (SIG) dedicated to advance research on the science and practice of SEL and to provide SEL researchers opportunities to network and collaborate.
Emotions Anonymous - the purpose of Emotions Anonymous is to help people who are suffering from emotional difficulties recover through the help of group therapy and support (similar to AA in that it is a 12-step organization).
National School Climate Center - multimedia presentations, especially on cooperative arithmetic and conflict resolution.
REDI Austrialian Department of Education - lesson plans and activities related to what they term "Resilience Education."

3. Building Inner Strength
A Piece of My Heart - Visual - In my heart I want to be a teacher and I have an inner strength desire to achieve that goal.
A Piece of My Heart - Comments - Comments made my people around me chip away at my inner strength motivation to pursue my goal.
60 Strengths Teaching Tips by Idahlynn Karre - 60 tips that take as little as 60 seconds (or as long as 60 minutes) to incorporate in your classrooom.

Treasure Chest - help students identify, collect and store their strengths when it comes to learning.
Treasure Chest Construction - build a "real" treasure chest to hold those strengths; found at

4. Teaching Self Management
Keeping Cool Under Pressure - a set of Q&A flash cards developed by MD James S. Wells to reflect on ways to achieve effective communication and diffuse anger.

Modeling Self Management - in seems clear that we learn our ways of behaving based on models we see around us. Teaching others to self-management begins with improving ones own self-management skills.
Stepping Stones for Vets - life skills management ideas from an organization dedicated to helping returning veterans reject unhealthy methods for handling life and become self-sufficient.

5. Teaching Relationship Skills
Do2learn - uses technology and the web to provide special learning resources for individuals with disabilities and the professionals and caregivers who serve them.

"How to Save a Life" by The Fray - lead singer Isaac Slade has said the song was composed and influenced by his experience while working as a mentor at a camp for troubled teens: "Here I was, a protected suburbanite, paired with a youngster of 17 who had all these problems. And no one could write a manual on how to save him."

6. Exploring Empathy
Cipher in the snow (1 of 2) - Empathizing/taking another's perspective: putting oneself in another's shoes, seeing things from their point of view; identifying and understanding the thoughts and feelings of others.

Cipher in the snow (2 of 2) - Empathizing/taking another's perspective: interpreting situational cues that indicate how others feel, perceiving their viewpoints, understanding why they think or feel as they do.
Teaching Empathy: Evidenced Based Tips - Dr. Gwen Dewar does not think of empathy as an inborn trait. With practice and an understanding of psychology, she feels one can develop stronger empathic skills. She offers her top 10 tips in teaching empathy, all based on research.
Facial Expressions - free program offered by Do2learn through the generosity of Ken Perlin of New York University Media Research Lab. As mentioned by Dewar (see above), practice in changing facial expression connects to increased empathy.

7. Envisioning Success
"When I Close My Eyes" - students need to be taught to celebrate their dreams and take steps toward them. (Trail of Stones lead singer Kristina Rocco is a tenured high school teacher from Long Island, NY and holds a Master of Arts degree.)

Famous Failures - effective teachers choose to view their students as learners progressing normally to a positive future in spite of failure events.

8. Goal Setting
The Last Lecture - "we can't control the cards we are dealt, only how we play the hands" . . . Dr. Randy Pausch talks about his dreams and goals on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

The Race - this story by Dee Groberg reminds us that effective teachers help their students define winning in productive ways for both the individual and society.
Helping Students Set Goals - the National Association of Secondary School Principals sees student goal setting leading to improved academic performance. This article of tips is sponsored by them and suggests ideas about how you might go about helping your students develop this important skill.

9. Teaching Perspective Taking
Seeing Differently - activities developed by the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management provides some fun and interactive ways to look at perception and perspective taking.

"The Same" - official music video for Michael and Marisa's song "The Same" an anti-bullying anthem for kids everywhere who want to help make a difference in the lives of others.

10. Giving and Receiving Compliments
A Token of My Esteem - giving a great compliment is a skill; like any skill, good compliment giving takes practice; this activity provides a structured way to provide practice in a classroom setting.

Poor Compliments - poor compliments come across as creepy or patronizing; overdone compliments are flattery; flattery causes most receivers to be distrustful.
Backhanded Compliments - while a backhanded compliment may be inadvertent, more often it is an insult, intended to belittle or condescend, DISGUISED as a compliment.
Johnny Lingo Pt1 Johnny Lingo Pt2 Johnny Lingo Pt3 - this short film was produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1969. Here the "token of esteem" was represented by eight cows. What do you think of its message?

11. Self-Efficacy
Learned Helplessness - initial failures can affect our confidence and we decided to close down rather than risk the feelings of failure; occurs both with academic tasks and in social settings.

Learned Optimism - don't curse the load; build broad shoulders - from "Adventures Of An Incurable Optimist" by Michael J Fox as he reflects on living with Parkinson's disease."
Helping Students Believe in Themselves - Karin Kirk of the Science Education Research Center (SERC) has prepared this excellent overview of the principles of self-efficacy. Included are recommended teaching strategies that foster self-efficacy in the classroom.

12. Resolving Conflict
The Maxwell Edison Story - do we live in a real or imagined culture of random violence, consider this cartoon presentation based on the Beatles song written by Paul McCartney. The name "Maxwell Edison" comes from combining the name of two scientists: Thomas Edison and James Clerk Maxwell.

Lesson Plan for Teaching Skills in Conflict Resolution - the Discovery Channel created the Discovery Education website containing lots of teaching materials exploring interesting topics at all grade levels. This Social/Emotional Health lesson targets students in 6-8 grade.
Poor Teaching Techniques Create Conflict - a classroom scene from "The Waterboy." Teacher sarcasm and ridicule attain high art form.
You Don't Eliminate Hate with Hate - words spoken to us by The Scary Guy (his real name). In school he had an undiagnosed reading and writing disorder related extended material which continues to the present.
The Scary Guy Talks to Students PT1 - from his presentation at St. Joseph's High School in Rochdale, England.
The Scary Guy Talks to Students PT2 - from his presentation at St. Joseph's High School in Rochdale, England.

13. Impulse Control - Decision Making
Impulse Buying - impulse control refers to a person's ability to wait and defer a near-term reward in order to obtain a future reward of more value. This ability might also be called deferred gratification, will power, or self control. Psychologist Daniel Goleman has indicated impulse control as an important component emotional intelligence.

The Marshmellow Test - The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment (1972) indicates that good impulse control is likely to be important for academic achievement and for later success in adult life. (It should be noted that research suggests that animals do NOT defer gratification; impulse control is thus philosophically fundamental to human nature.) In this short talk, Joachim de Posada shares his own work in this area.

14. Situation Analysis - Decision Making
With A Little Help from My Friends - how does ones friends impact ones decision-making in social situations?

Casey Abrams on American Idol - Casey performing the famous song . . . at the time of his audition Abrams was a music major proficient on guitar, sitar and electric bass. Singing wasn't part of his repertoire. Abrams' parents found him a vocal coach who focused on technique, stage presence and performance tips . . . "He got what he thought he needed to perform for the judges." said mom. Any message here for aspiring classroom teachers with regard to decision-making?

15. Value Diversity
Disney Princesses - Tiana is a fictional character in Disney's 2009 film The Princess and the Frog. She is voiced by Anika Noni Rose and is the ninth Disney Princess. "Tiana" is the Turkish word for "princess." So what's the controversy?

Household Structure in the United States - Americans increasingly live in a wide range of family and household environments . . . how do you think this impacts your classroom?
The Job Interview - What sort of job are you seeking? Have you considered that on any job you will be part of a team. Would the team be better if all the team members were more like you or would it be better if the team members were more diverse? Would you be happier or less happier in a diverse setting? Does ones attitudes about diversity change over time? If so, how?