by Kindy Segovia, OTR
Assistive Technology Coordinator at Kent ISD, Grand Rapids, MI
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) has become a part of classroom instruction and school culture in recent years in an effort to improve kids’ academic performance, curtail bullying, reduce dropout rates, and build character. In this time of school closure and distance learning, focus on this critical area is essential. The sudden change in routine, decreased daily structure, loss of personal connections along with the many associated factors that come with sudden remote learning, make Social Emotional Learning a priority.
Many organizations offer free resources to assist educators, parents, and caregivers with their efforts to support social skills, good behavior, and mental health in the home.
Belonging at Home – Teachers, parents or caregivers and student or child listen to songs together that celebrate the experiences and skills of making friends, helping others, healthy communication, expression of feelings and spending quality time together. Also includes short podcasts that focus on listening, meeting a child’s emotional needs, understanding what is meant by SEL, and helping children manage life’s pressures. For children 5-12 years of age.
Parent Teen Connect – Designed as an at-home, family-engagement resource. This online experience is loaded with videos, resources, and useful advice to help teens and the adults in their lives address hot-button topics such as independence, communication, responsibility, and communication.
Flocabulary Social Emotional Skills – Fun hip-hop themed videos that support teaching on a variety of topics including managing frustration, managing worry, perseverance, respect, conflict resolution and many more. Grades K – 12.
Mind Yeti – A YouTube channel that offers a library of research-based guided mindfulness sessions that help kids and their adults calm their minds, focus their attention and connect to the world around them.
Second Step – A list of resources you can use to help young people learn the social-emotional skills they need to get through these challenging events, including on-demand lessons for PreK – grade 5, middle school guidance and lessons for adults.
PBS Learning Media offers digital content for PreK through young adult, on topics such as emotional health, stress, self-image and more, searchable by grade and type of content. Search for videos, interactive activities, websites, lesson plans and more.
Kindy Segovia, OTR, is currently the Assistive Technology Coordinator at Kent Intermediate School District, Grand Rapids, Mich. She has worked as an occupational therapist in both schools and pediatric rehabilitation for over 25 years. She has provided educational training for teachers, parents and administrators over the past 15 years with a focus on adapting curriculum, classroom accommodations, and integrating technology into instruction. She is also an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University. Find out more from Kindy at kindysegovia.com.