SEL Competencies: Self-Awareness, Self- Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, Responsible Decision Making
Frequent Use Strategy
The Literacy strategy focuses on explicitly teaching, modeling, and practicing the cognitive strategies for listening, speaking, reading and writing. Literacy provides students with a foundation for academic achievement, and “becomes the currency of other learning” (Hattie, 2017). Within any content area, Literacy strategies help students grow in their ability to use abstract (linguistic) and concrete (symbolic) representation. The skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are interwoven and reciprocal in nature. Before students can clearly articulate thoughts, students must first understand what they hear. To read proficiently, they must first listen and speak. To develop the ability to write effectively, students must first talk and read about the topic.
When using Literacy strategies, the teacher will identify, model, and provide students with frequent, extended opportunities to listen, speak, read, and write in student centered activities requiring students to actively use specific content language. Within this structure, students will first develop understanding, and then communicate meaning.
Literacy is not assigning independent reading and writing without explicitly modeling the practice of reading and writing. It is not the practice of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, as isolated skills. Literacy is imperative for building deep understanding of any content. Students must learn to understand and use the language of each content area in order to make progress in their learning.
Teacher Behaviors for Promoting SEL Competencies
- Create a literacy-rich environment that promotes appreciation for diversity and reflects the interests, backgrounds, and culture of the students in the classroom, school, and larger community.
- Be intentional in the selection of materials, selecting materials that address the literacy standard and social-emotional learning. Be aware of the social and emotional concerns that literature can elicit.
- Create and foster an environment in which students do not feel embarrassed or ashamed of their literacy skill-levels.
- Develop emotional literacy, teaching students to identify emotions, to understand why they have those emotions, and to understand how to express and regulate those emotions.
- Teach students to think critically and analyze a variety of complex texts.
Student Behaviors for Developing SEL Competencies
- Demonstrate interest in a variety of literacy genres.
- Connect, empathize, or sympathize with characters.
- Evaluate and analyze various perspectives.
- Practice emotional literacy by identifying, understanding, and expressing emotions in a constructive manner.
- Serravallo, J. (2015). The reading strategies book: Your everything guide to developing skilled readers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
- Genishi, C., & Dyson, A. H. (2015). Children, language, and literacy: Diverse learners in diverse times. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
- Zwiers, J. (2013). Building academic language: Essential practices for content classrooms, grades 5-12. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
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