Creating a classroom environment that develops students’ social- and emotional-learning skills.

by Leigh VandenAkker

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

In the first set of videos, I lead students through a trust exercise, then use what they’ve learned to spark conversations about asking good questions, academic resiliency, and how they apply social and emotional learning to a range of situations both inside and out of school.

In the second set of videos, I ask students to explore rules – who should make them, what purpose they should serve, and how taking ownership over establishing rules impacts academic performance and conduct in and out of school.

Exercise One, Part One: Trust Exercise

In this video, students participate in a trust exercise, then reflect.

Exercise One, Part Two: Trust, Relationships, and Academic Resilience

In this video, students discuss how trust leads to good question-asking and academic resilience.

Exercise One, Part Three: Applying Trust in the Real World

In this video, students discuss how they might apply social and emotional learning skills to their lives outside the classroom.

Exercise Two, Part One: Profit Sharing

In this video, I lead students in an exercise where they are asked to evenly and fairly disperse candy between two or three people.

Exercise Two, Part Two: Who Rules?

In this video, students use the initial exercise as the starting point for discussing rules, who makes them, and why who makes them is important.

Exercise Two, Part Three: Applying to Life

In this video, students discuss how what they’ve recognized about rules applies to academic growth, resiliency, and life itself.