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SEL Calendar Resource Roundup

Tom Thibodeau
Tom Thibodeau
May 23, 2022

SEL Calendars to Use in Your School or Classroom

The importance of Social Emotional Learning(SEL) isn’t up for debate any longer. It is important.  It is needed. And everyone - teachers, students, administrators, and parents - can benefit from developing or improving their social emotional knowledge and skills.  CASEL, states that “Integrating and aligning SEL with academics is important to optimally support social and emotional development throughout the school day. For this reason, social and emotional goals and academic goals should be integrated and aligned to support healthy development in a young person’s life.”

Research shows that SEL not only improves achievement by an average of 11 percentile points, but it also increases prosocial behaviors(such as kindness, sharing, and empathy), improves students attitudes toward school, and reduces depression and stress among students (Durlak et al., 2011). Implementation is a big project as SEL isn’t about a single lesson in a day but how it is integrated throughout the day, every day.  Britannica Digital Learning notes that “Integrating SEL into all areas of the curriculum allows for continued practice, as well as opportunities to make connections and apply the skills in everyday experiences.” 

However, communicating information about SEL to students, parents, and the community can be hard to do successfully because of a general lack of awareness about SEL. CASEL has created a communication resource to help support this effort. But that resource serves a large effort on the state or district level. So what can you do? One way to prioritize the task is to use an SEL Calendar to set up an SEL process and remind you and your students of what you can do on a daily basis to integrate more SEL into everyone’s lives. 

Q: What can you do on the school or classroom level that will help you fit SEL into your classroom and make it a priority?

A: Use an SEL Calendar to set up an SEL process that reminds you and your students of what you can do on a daily basis to integrate more SEL into everyone’s lives. 

An SEL Calendar is a daily suggestion of a SEL activity that you can create to guide SEL development in your classroom.  The calendar can be something that the whole school uses or something that just one class uses. Below are a sample of SEL calendars that we recommend as options to consider adapting for your environment. 

  • The Baltimore County Public Schools’ division of Schools Climate and Safety has created a great example of a monthly SEL calendar for use with different grade levels and educators and staff.  BCPS has posted a resource page that contains three calendars (Primary, Secondary, Educator and Adult) along with other helpful information.

  • The Elementary Grades Calendar for April is a wealth of knowledge for learning about SEL as well as Mindfulness, Expert Learning, Movement and Mental Health. The calendar is meant for teachers to use to guide their students throughout the month. The calendar is visual and designed with UDL in mind as it suggests you choose three out of the fifteen SEL activities to practice each week. The activities range from a very quick 5-5-10 breathing exercise or “share a smile” to a more in-depth “what do you want to accomplish this Spring” question/reflection.

  • The Secondary (Ed) Calendar is very similar to the Elementary Calendar but has activities more aligned to the secondary school age group. This calendar suggests 20 activities grouped by CASEL Competencies of decision making, self-awareness, thoughtfulness, connectedness and feelings.  It offers activities like “Complete a random act of kindness for someone.” or “Share a funny joke to make others laugh out loud.”
  • Case for Kids offers a day to day calendar and starts with a “Commit to being more active this month, starting today” and adds “Make sleep a priority and go to bed at a good time” for the 13th in a calendar titled “Active April.”
  • Zliker Elementary School posts their SEL “Active Coping Skills” Calendar on their Facebook page and suggests you “Make a plan to keep calm and stay in contact” on the first day and reminds us all that “...that all feelings and situations pass in time” on the 30th.  (Searchers note: I found this link by searching for SEL Calendars in images!)

  • The Free Technology for Teachers website by Richard Byrne offers a monthly SEL Calendar with clickable links to activities. The April calendar from Kikori has an Earth Day theme for the month and each day is connected to a daily theme, a National Day and a National Day Activity. Lots of fun and interesting things to do that can also build SEL competencies. Kikori offers a free membership.

  • The calendar “Educator Self-Care Activities” suggests you choose three out of twenty activities per week “to help with teacher self-care as well as ideas to keep your staff connected and engaged.” The activities range from “Rest your elbows on a window ledge and take 5 minutes to watch the world go by” to “Try volunteering. The most generous thing you can give is your time. It will connect you with kind people, too”.  The calendar also suggests that you share what you do “creatively” on social media; Padlet; School Facebook or Instagram page, Dotstorming, etc.” to build support, encourage others and spread the word.

  • Multiple other websites offer free or low cost SEL calendars too, such as:

All in all, as these resources show, an SEL Calendar is a relatively easy way to spread the word about SEL and to integrate SEL activities into the daily lives of students, teachers and staff. Get your team together and customize your own!

Did we miss any resources that you have found helpful? Let us know! Contact us.

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Get the tools and know how to implement the best practices of SEL and UDL in your learning environment. Explore the self-paced course How SEL and UDL Intersect (Micro Course) (Full Course).

How SEL and UDL intersect

 

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