How can we bridge the concepts and skills of Math with the soft skills needed to be a successful learner? The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has been a leader in the area of Social and Emotional Learning development of students. Using CASEL’s five SEL competencies, teachers can plan lessons that deepen content understanding and utilize the soft skills needed to become truly accomplished learners. (CASEL, 2017)
In this first of two blog postings, we will explore two of the competencies and how teachers can use CueThink to bring problem-solving to life. In the second blog post, we will explore the competencies of social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.
Competency 1: Self-Awareness
Self-awareness refers to the ability to recognize one’s emotion and accurately gauge one’s own self-perception. Understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses in a situation and the feeling of self-confidence that accompanies this is at the core of this competency. (CASEL, 2017)
How CueThink Helps Build Student Self-Awareness
Students often believe that there is only one way to solve a problem. Becoming aware that there are multiple ways of solving a problem help students develop feelings of self-confidence. Rather than focusing on right or wrong, students can view problem-solving as an activity that expands understanding.
In CueThink, help students use the following self-awareness strategies:
Develop shared expectations and rules around problem-solving and acceptance of multi-responses.
Foster an appreciation of the different rates at which students work.
Use annotations to facilitate the practice of academic feedback between students.
Conduct discussions on what worked and what didn’t work as students solved problems.
Competency 2: Self-Management
Self-management of one’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors is the key to successful learning experiences. The ability to self-regulate and manage stress and impulses allow students to access concepts. Self-management is about goal-setting and organization. It leads to a self-motivated student. (CASEL, 2017)
How CueThink Helps Students to Build Self-Management Skills
The four phases of problem-solving and the design of CueThink provides students with a natural way to organize work. Each of the phases assists students in building a system of organized thinking and goal setting. CueThink leads students to become independent thinkers and problem-solvers.
In CueThink, help students use the following self-management strategies:
Have students create a list of steps on how to solve a problem
Help students identify when they are frustrated and name ways to solve the issue
Use a think-aloud to illustrate your strategies when confronted with a difficult problem (for example, When I have difficulty solving a problem, I …)
Have students use a turn and talk with question prompts: “Last time I had trouble I did________________________. It helped because______________.”
In the next blog post, the 3 other competencies of social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making will be discussed.
CueThink users: Don’t forget to go our Community Forum within the CueThink Platform to add any ideas you might have! Go to Educator Mode>Support>Community Forum to share your questions and activities.
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“Core SEL Competencies.” CASEL, casel.org/core-competencies/.
“SEL in Elementary Math – CASEL District Resource Center.” CASEL District Resource Center, drc.casel.org/resources/sel-in-elementary-math/.