Social Emotional Learning » Step 2: SELWELL Frameworks

Step 2: SELWELL Frameworks

Often, the quickest and most impactful thing that you can do to support SEL-Well is to embed it in the things you are already teaching.  Try the following instructional practices to increase your impact: To be successful, these activities must be carefully chosen, connected to the learning of the day and engagingly facilitated.

Routines and ritual openings establish safety and predictability, support contribution by all voices, set norms for respectful listening, allow students to connect with one another and create a sense of belonging. 

Clip art, a chalkboard and a schoolhouse

ENGAGING PEDAGOGY: Sense Making, Transitions, Brain Breaks
Engaging practices are learning strategies that  foster relationships, cultural humility and responsiveness, empowerment, and collaboration. They intentionally build student SEL skills.

Engaging instruction also gives opportunity for Brain Breaks during work periods that provide a space for integrating information into long-term memory.

Limiting staff-led instruction to 10 minutes of class time will help you plan and implement engaging work periods.


  • Visual prompts, posters, and graphical artifacts for classroom expectations and routines.
  • Turn To Your Partner/partner work, group work, and instructional stations.
  • Brain Break activities or task-switching every 20mins.
  • "3 B4 Me" student question protocol.
  • Opportunities for students to move around classroom (number lines, scaling responses, stations, etc).

OPTIMISTIC CLOSURE: Reflections and Looking Forward

End the class period or day by having students reflect on, and then name something that helps them leave on an optimistic note. This provides closure, reinforces learning, can connect school to home, and create a moment of looking forward to returning tomorrow.


  • Think of something I learned today.
  • Think of someone I was able to help.
  • Think of something I want to share about my day with my grown-up.
  • Think of something I’m looking forward to doing tomorrow.
  • Think of something I enjoyed about the day.
  • Think of someone who was kind/helpful to me.

Focus on Strong Classroom Structures and Routines

Respond to the Ways Your Students' Brains Work

K-5 Relationship Skills

If your student likes to share a lot of extra information throughout a class lesson, give them a special journal. They can write down all of their questions, thoughts, and connections in the journal. Once or twice a day, make sure to sit down with the student to review the journal and hear what they wanted to tell you. This can be done through drawings for younger students.

  • "Life's Little Lessons" is a collection of fun and flexible resources designed for early childhood care providers, based on the hit PBS kids show, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Using Fred Rogers' landmark social-emotional learning curriculum and a series of catchy "strategy songs," the show – and this digital resource – helps young children manage emotions and develop key social and emotional skills while exploring, growing, singing and creating with Daniel Tiger and his pre-school friends.

6-8 Relationships Skills

9-12 Relationships Skills

Relationship Strategies

Relationship-building Resources (videos, websites, lesson-plans, etc)

  • Introductory contact with students and families sharing course syllabus’ and contact information during first 10-days of instruction.
  • Co-creating classroom norms/expectations with students in each class section and posting visually (in-person/remote/etc.). 
  • Adopt a giving/receiving feedback process with class sections. 
  • Teach the routines of your classroom, department and school. 
  • A get-to-know you survey google-form.
  • Emphasis on group work, collaborative assessments, and problem-based learning with explicit instruction in effective collaboration. 
  • Use of reflections about group work/process as embedded components of work assignments. 
  • Individual check-in with students after a specific number of missed classes/assignments. 
  • Post teacher contact info, including availability for extra student support.
  • Rubric and explicit instruction for students on how to request additional academic support (sample email, practice requesting help via email, etc). 
  • Explicit feedback on student’s cooperation/working together as part of grading/assessment rubrics. 
  • Adopt a consistent approach to responding to classroom conflict. 
  • Give authentic feedback to students about their communication, listening, conflict resolution, helping others, being a supportive group member.

Repeat Until 85 Percent of Your Students Demonstrate Mastery
and Continually Assess Progress

Universal teaching practices and continuous assessment: The Pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to our learning environments and have seriously impacted students’ progress in learning. As students’ return to our classrooms, we must remember to start where they are at, teach universally, and use continuous formative assessments to determine when mastery has been achieved. 

Start where they are at: As we meet with teaching teams around the district, it is commonly reported that students are exhibiting significantly greater difficulties with routines in the classroom and transitions between activities. Many teachers reported that this is having an impact on student learning, as they are having to spend time re-teaching foundational student skills. 

“Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast”

  • If your students are regulated, they will be able to transition faster, and your productive work periods will increase. 
  • If you know your students, understand their strengths, growth needs and interests, you will differentiate your instruction better. 

Teach Universally: If 30% of your students are struggling with regulation skills, it is a sign of a common student problem; start there!! Continuously embed SEL skills in your practice until 85% of your students demonstrate Mastery in the content or skill; use this as a measure of success and then move on. 

A very basic chart, all text, with triangle text blocks

Continuous Formative Assessments:  Continuous formative progress monitoring will help you keep track of your student’s individual growth, strengths and lagging skills. Our District Instructional Leadership Team has developed a bank of formative progress measures that you can use to conduct continuous assessments.