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Gwinnett County Public Schools


SEL Competencies: Self-Awareness, Relationship Skills, Responsible Decision-Making

Frequent Use Strategy

This Quality-Plus Teaching Strategy focuses explicitly on teaching the key words/phrases and skills that students must understand in order to effectively use rich, discipline-specific content language.

When using the Vocabulary strategy, the teacher will purposefully identify and model (verbally and in writing) the essential vocabulary and language that are characteristic of the content area.

Students will:

  • Learn and practice using vocabulary within context and through reference resources.
  • Actively use digital and physical reference resources to independently learn new content vocabulary.
  • Demonstrate effective vocabulary use through speaking, reading, and writing.

Vocabulary is not teaching isolated words out of context (e.g., vocabulary lists). It is a critical component of Literacy in all classrooms and subject areas, and at all grade levels (PK-12).

Look Fors

Teacher Behaviors for Promoting SEL Competencies

  • Equip students with the appropriate language for communicating their thoughts and feelings and further developing their communication skills.
  • Build upon student-driven dialogue. Have students extend their own thinking and expand on the thinking of their classmates.
  • Encourage (and model for students) how to use formal academic language.

Student Behaviors for Developing SEL Competencies

  • Use academic and content-related vocabulary.
  • Engage in dialogue with peers and teachers.
  • Express feelings, thoughts, and concerns using appropriate vocabulary.


Model Lessons

Physical and Chemical Changes

Students will annotate an article, identifying what they think are chemical and physical changes; collaboratively discuss visuals related to chemical and physical changes to determine which does not belong and why then transfer their clarified thinking to a written response.

Shifting Sounds - Doppler Effect

Students will identify vocabulary from a text and develop visuals that represent the meaning of the terms which will be used by collaborative groups to review and help them form a definition. Students will complete a PEOE protocol and self-evaluation of their learning.



Math ES 1195-1

In this video, the teacher models how to analyze a pattern to extend. The teacher provides the opportunity to share their thinking on patterns.

Math ES 1196-2

In this video, the teacher explicitly models the math concept through a think aloud using manipulatives. The students are then provided time in the teacher-led small group to apply their skills. Additionally, the teacher embeds an opportunity for students to assess their learning.

Math ES 1199-1

In this video, the teacher and students engaged in discussion to make meaning of key vocabulary.

Math MS 1219-2

In this video, the teacher purposefully selects key vocabulary in context and makes connections to students’ background prior to breaking out into small group tasks.

Math MS 1219-4

In this video, the teacher and students are engage in instructional discussion on vocabulary to make connections to students’ background knowledge.


All QPTS Tools

For any questions with this guide or its content, please call Instructional Support at (678) 301-6804.