The challenging part about being a teacher is often mistaken for piles of paperwork and crazy late hours. Don’t get me wrong, that part is EXHAUSTING! However, the real challenge is wanting to have a positive impact on each student in the little amount of time you have with them.
Teachers know it best, that if you take all the excelling grades, future scholarships, and academic success away, what you have left is what’s really important. Their character!
This is something I struggled with when I was an active teacher. I’m not in my own classroom now, but I spent YEARS in classrooms trying to figure out the best way to send my kids to the next grade knowing they have grown as a person AND have learned things they can apply to their life for years to come.
So, I created social-emotional learning lessons that seriously improved our classroom community, gave students confidence in themselves, taught them how to work through new situations and how to improve their character.
Now, I continue to share these lessons with teachers like YOU! Teachers looking to better their student’s character, relationships, and futures. So, here is one of the bundles I created with 45+ days of detailed lesson plans and resources all included!
Now, enough about me! Let’s dive into these lessons and how you can apply them to your classroom!
About the Lessons
There are 8 individual units in this bundle (we’ll get to the units in a second). The lesson plans are designed to be completely flexible to YOUR schedule! I personally enjoyed doing these lessons in the morning before we started the day. It took 15 minutes of our morning routine and then we could practice what we discussed throughout the day. Every week there is a new topic, so for five days, we would follow the lesson plan accordingly and then go into the next unit! Easy peasy!
The lessons are planned out in such detail that it makes them super easy to implement and stick to!
A mentor text (by the wonderful Julia Cook BTW) is the foundational material for the week’s topic. The students will watch an included video and complete other activities. One of these activities, which was my favorite part, was open class discussions. Opening the floor daily to discuss these topics strengthened our classroom community like crazy! It was such an amazing moment to experience when suddenly the shy student is speaking freely in front of the class and rocking it! All while their peers are cheering them on.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, you NEVER know what will come out of a student’s mouth when given the opportunity to say whatever is on their mind… but that’s the point. Character building requires talking about and experiencing things to better understand them.
Also included in the lessons are multiple digital resources, classroom visuals, activities, weekly journals, and a home connection page.
The home connection page is to send to parents to get them involved and active in continuing what you teach in the classroom at home. It tells them about the SEL topic their child is learning that week and how they can help to keep building those character skills at home too! Parents have even thanked me for providing them with simple solutions from this page to problems they were trying to address at home!
The 8 SEL Topics in this Resource
As mentioned earlier, there are EIGHT units in this bundle! That’s 8 weeks of SEL lessons and each one is unique. Here is an overview of each one:
Personal Space– This lesson is about respecting the boundaries of other people and controlling our bodies. For students who have no sense of physical boundaries, they can go to Personal Space Camp!
Taking Responsibility– This lesson helps students see they can choose how they react in situations and how to take responsibility for their actions no matter what someone else does or doesn’t do. This ultimately leads to learning how to be better problem solvers, how to think before doing, and how to evaluate the consequences of their actions before they make them.
Interrupting– In this lesson, students learn what is appropriate to share and when. They practice how to share their thoughts in different situations and when it is okay to interrupt.
Hearing vs Listening– This lesson teaches that hearing and listening are two different things. For students who have a hard time listening to directions, they can practice how to effectively listen.
Asking for Help– Two main points are discussed in this lesson. First, students learn how to recognize when their way is not working and that it’s okay to ask for help. Secondly, the best way to ask for help.
Voice Levels– This unit teaches students how to recognize what voice level is appropriate for a given situation. Students discuss the five voice levels and when to use them.
Positive Attitude– In this lesson, students learn how their attitudes are contagious and can affect their mood, their day, and the people around them. They discuss how to look at their day through positive lenses.
Digital Citizenship– In this technologically advanced and dependent world, this lesson is super important. It teaches students what is okay to post or share online and what should always be kept private. Students learn about keyboard courage and how what they say online still has consequences.
These SEL lessons can leave such an imprint on your students. I have experienced years where my whole class unified together in building relationships and learning how to not only improve their own self-reflections but also how to help their peers to cope through their emotions as well. These short 15-minutes-a-day talks led to using real, matured coping mechanisms and decision-making processes that made “bad behavior” a rare occasion.
Teaching your students these character skills launches them to success in an entirely different way than just teaching standards and using a behavior chart. After the personal success I saw in my own classroom and the feedback I’ve heard from several teachers, I am beyond excited to share these lessons with you.
You are encouraging bright futures and impacting amazing students by caring for their character. You go, Teacher!! You’re amazing!