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Social Emotional Learning

HomeSEL StandardsPK-12 SEL CommitteeBBSS

Think of: 

  • Something I learned today
  • Someone I was able to help
  • Something I want to share with an adult 
  • Something I am looking forward to doing tomorrow
  • Something I enjoyed about the day
  • Someone who was kind/helpful to me

Source: SEL Playbook OUSD 

One Word Whip Around

Prepare a statement or question prompt that is aligned to the content of the class. For example, “Think of one word about how you are feeling now that you have participated in this engagement,” or “Share one word that sums up your learning for today.”

2. Invite participants to stand in a circle.

3. State the prompt, explain that everyone should prepare a one-word response, and allow a minute of think time.

4. Ask for a volunteer to start off by sharing their word. The volunteer then chooses a direction to go in (left or right), and participants continue to respond in turn around the circle. As always, it’s okay to pass by saying, “Pass.”

5. If time allows, debrief the activity by asking participants if they noticed any themes or similar responses and ask what that might that tell us about the engagement or participants.

Source: SEL Playbook OUSD 

Suit Yourself

Pass out a playing card to each participant. The suit the participant gets describes the category of their response as follows:

Hearts: generate conversations about something from the heart—how you felt, what it meant to you, etc.

Clubs: describe things that grow—new ideas, new thoughts, a new point of view.  Diamonds: are gems that last forever. What are some of the gems of wisdom gathered from people or content?

Spades: used to dig in the garden, so generate conversation about planting new ideas or things participants dug up during class.

2. Provide 1-2 minutes of quiet time for each participant to jot down (or think about) their answer, then use one of the following three options:

Ask for one volunteer from each ‘suit’ to stand and share their response. Do not comment between sharing.  

Ask participants to turn to a neighbor and share their response. 

 Invite each participant to answer aloud to you as they walk out door, or hand in their written response as an exit ticket.

Source: SEL Playbook OUSD 

My Next Step

 Ask students to think of their first next step based on what they learned during class. It might be a conversation, gathering additional resources, or thinking more about the topic.

2. After giving participants a minute to think about what that step would be, ask them to share their next step with a partner or at their table.

3. Ask participants to write their “next step” on a stickynote and post the note somewhere where they will be reminded of their task, such as on their desk, inside the cover of their related text, etc.

Source: SEL Playbook OUSD 

I Am Curious

At the end of class, ask participants to complete this sentence, "I am curious to learn more

about..." or, "I am curious about..."

2. Give participants a minute to think and write a "note to self."

3. At the end of the minute ask participants to share their “curiousity” with a partner or their table group.

4. After 1-3 minutes of partner talk, ask for for 2-3 people to share what they are curious about with the whole group.

5. Collect the “notes to self” if you are using this as a formative assessment for future planning.

Source: SEL Playbook OUSD 


Waterfall Body Scan

Teacher: Start by taking a comfortable position, hold your back nice and tall, rest your hands gently and when you’re ready, close your eyes.  Feel the gentle pull of gravity as your body relaxes letting go of the day, letting go of everything on your to do list, just relaxing into the here and now.


Now lead your attention to the flow of your breath, letting the breath ease you into a gentle state of awareness – PAUSE

Try to stay connected to your breath in each moment, experiencing it just as it is PAUSE

“Now imagine that a beautiful waterfall of white light is entering the top of your head.  You feel its gentle healing energy throughout your brain and pouring over your face, your chin and your neck.  The waterfall of white light now continues to move into your chest and shoulders and back.  It moves down your arms and hands and out through your fingertips, taking with it any stress that you have held in your body.   The white light continues to flow into your abdomen and solar plexus, your pelvis and buttocks.  Feel the light moving down into your thighs, knees, calves.  now it enters your ankles and feet and goes out through your toes, again taking with it any stress or discomfort you have stored in your body.  Now you are in a continuous waterfall of white light.  Every part of your being is filled with white light.  Allow this energy to wash over you and enjoy the gentle calm it brings to you.”


Now slowly bring yourself back to full waking conscious.  Wiggle your fingers and toes and when you are ready, slowly open your eyes.  Notice how you feel and take this calm with you. 

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