5 Easy Ways to Improve SEL for Students

Deni Mazzei
Mar 2, 2020 · 5 min read

Everyone would like to bring more social-emotional learning into their classroom. But it’s always challenging to find time in the school day…or figuring out where to start! So here’s 5 easy ways you can incorporate a daily mindfulness routine for your classroom and meet SEL benchmarks and mandates:

  1. Daily Greeting
  2. Morning Mindfulness
  3. Positive Affirmations
  4. Mid-Day Re-centering
  5. “Brain Breaks” and Physical Activity Bursts
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Use code SEL30

#1. Establish a Daily Morning Greeting

  • A personal greeting is always a positive connection for students to start the day when they come into the classroom. Or make the rounds before you start class
  • Give students the time and space to share how they are feeling. Mix it up with different ways to ask. For example:

Mood Ring Color — What color are you and why?

Weather Reports — Are we rainy or sunny today?

Highs & Lows — Is today a high day, or a low one? Share why?

  • Encourage all students to actively listen, but honor their privacy if they choose not to
  • Periodically check-in throughout the day with students or find another trusting adult that can check-in with students for additional support

#2. Morning Meeting with Mindfulness

  • Teach students breathing techniques to utilize throughout the day to focus, relieve stress or anxiety they may have in class or at home
  • Use music, rhythmic beats, or visual stimulants to build and increase focus.
  • We recommend using these videos by Yo Re Mi, Wuf Shanti, Fitbound and Bari Koral depending on your age range:
Photo credit: Bari Koral

“Let It Go” by Bari Koral — This is a great video that will help students “let go” of the problems or anxieties that they may be bringing into the classroom and get them in a mindset to learn.

Photo credit: Fitbound

“Energize” by Fitbound — Combining breathing techniques yoga movement to awaken both mind and body is a great way to start the day. Students will be ready to tackle any math problem after this!

Photo credit: Yo Re Mi

“Breathing Ball” by Yo Re Mi and “Beautiful Day” by Wuf Shanti. These are fun videos for Pre-K to 2nd grade that offer a mix of music, movement and mindfulness that the young ones will love!

#3. Positive Affirmations

Photo credit: Bari Koral
  • Use “I am” statements….
  • Teach students to “interrupt” their worrying or overthinking with a positive thought
  • Develop a set of classroom affirmations and use them consistently. These affirmations can and will develop over time
  • Teach students to identify their emotions, their trigger, and the “silver lining” to this emotion or experience

#4. Mid-Day Re-centering

For post-lunch, PE or recess, use mindfulness as a re-centering practice to get your students back on track and ready to learn with these:

Photo credit: Bari Koral

“Star Energy” by Bari Koral — This video can help students calm and bring out their positive energy for the rest of the school day

Photo credit: Fitbound

“Focus” by Fitbound — Combining focusing techniques and movement to awaken both mind and body is a great way to calm and be ready for the afternoon lesson.

Photo credit: Yo Re Mi

“Warrior” by Yo Re Mi — Refresh and revive with a mix of music and yoga

#5. Add “Brain Breaks” and Physical Activity Bursts as Needed During the Day

  • Video is a great way to transition between subjects, or when they are returning from a specials class or assembly.
  • Brain Breaks are also a great way to relieve the stress and anxiety around testing time.
  • Or sometimes you just need to break the students out of a rut and “shake it up”. These videos are perfect to use throughout the day…

Here are some of our personal recommendations:

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Photo credit: Adventure to Fitness

“Races, Chases and Medieval Places” from Adventure to Fitness — great video because the entire class can go on the adventure as a team!

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Photo credit: Fitbound

“Vault” from Fitbound — This video uses parkour to get the the brain and body moving and thinking creatively on how to tackle any problem. Kids can get their American Ninja Warrior on with these simple movements using a desk, table or chair.

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Photo credit: Fumpy Facts

“The Wizard of Menlo Park” from Fumpy Facts — Profiles of famous figures from history, this Fumpy Fact episodes features the greatest American inventor of all-time Thomas Edison.

Photo credit: KIDZ BOP

“Make Some Noise” by KIDZ BOP. Fun music video to get the kids out of their seats and moving

Ready to start streaming? Try our SEL and Mindfulness programs with your students today for FREE for 30 days. To redeem, use code SEL30.

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Use code SEL30

Adventure 2 Learning

Take active learning to the next level with Adventure 2…

Deni Mazzei

Written by

Advocate for children’s health, fitness, and well-being through edtech. Content creator and contributor for Adventure 2 Learning.

Adventure 2 Learning

Take active learning to the next level with Adventure 2 Learning’s curated library of engaging, educational videos and wraparound content. With a multimedia-rich and interactive approach, we captivate students’ curiosities and intrinsic motivation to become life learners.

Deni Mazzei

Written by

Advocate for children’s health, fitness, and well-being through edtech. Content creator and contributor for Adventure 2 Learning.

Adventure 2 Learning

Take active learning to the next level with Adventure 2 Learning’s curated library of engaging, educational videos and wraparound content. With a multimedia-rich and interactive approach, we captivate students’ curiosities and intrinsic motivation to become life learners.

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