Author // Emily Rozmus Tuesday, 01 October 2019
In June 2019, the Ohio Board of Education adopted the Social and Emotional Learning Standards which were developed by Ohio teachers, school counselors, and educational personnel. The standards cover grades K-12 with Ohio's Early Learning and Development Standards already providing social and emotional learning guidelines for children ages birth to five. (See the INFOhio Early Learning Portal for resources to support these standards). The standards cover five competency areas important in developing social and emotional skills. These competencies are:
The Ohio Department of Education encourages the integration of these standards into regular classroom activities. They will not be assessed, and schools are able to choose the best approaches for teaching and monitoring for mastery. Implementing these standards in schools supports the development of skills such as identifying and managing emotions, setting goals, understanding and practicing empathy, and establishing positive relationships. These standards are a critical part of the Ohio Department of Education's Each Child, Our Future strategic plan which outlines four domains necessary for preparing Ohio's students for their postsecondary lives.
INFOhio partnered with Ohio Department of Education through the advisory and development process of the Social and Emotional Learning Standards. We believe that our resources and digital content can support the growth of Ohio students not only academically, but also mentally and emotionally. Using a variety of content, approaches, and media to teach social-emotional competencies will strengthen schools as they work to create the whole child. This blog series will highlight the resources available from INFOhio which can be used to support the Ohio Social & Emotional Learning Standards for Ohio schools.
In middle school students struggle with many changes, both physically and emotionally. This can be a difficult period for some children and connecting with others may be challenging and frightening. A strong school and community connection fostered by social-emotional learning can reduce a child's feelings of being left out or alienated. This can contribute to lower dropout rates and instances of truancy (Smith & Low, 2013). In addition, having social-emotional skills correlates to the likelihood of completing high school and college (Gabriel, Ansel, & Krachman, 2015).
INFOhio's digital resources can support the development of social emotional skills in students in grades 6-8. Using the resources with groups of learners creates a sense of community and empathy. When used jointly, the media from INFOhio will enhance learning and support social emotional well-being.
This database presents multiple points of view on current issues. There are several ways to use this resource. First, browsing by topic allows students to find an issue they would like to learn more about. When they choose the issue, they will be presented with an overview of the topic, a point, and a counterpoint. It also provides a Guide to Critical Analysis that helps the student break down and evaluate what is being presented. Competency D: Relationship Skills asks middle grade students to "actively listen and understand multiple perspectives" (D1) and "recognize and acknowledge different perspectives of others to prevent conflict" (D3). Using Points of View Reference Center is a good way to start discussions in class or help students resolve conflicts that may arise from diverse viewpoints.
Searching for topics in Points of View also yields valuable content to help support the social emotional standards. Use key words from the standards to find articles and eBooks that provide information. Here are a few examples:
Competency A - Self-Awareness - A1: Demonstrate an awareness of personal emotions
Competency B- Self-Management - B1: Regulate emotions and behaviors by using thinking strategies that are consistent with brain development
Surviving the Roller Coaster: A Teen's Guide to Coping with Moods - the first chapter of this eBook will help middle schoolers recognize and name complex emotions and safely process them. Search "emotions" and narrow the results to eBooks using the limiters on the side.
Competency C - Social Awareness - C3: Demonstrate an awareness and respect for human dignity, including the similarities and differences of all people, groups, and cultures - Face to Face: the Changing State of Racism Across America - The chapter on racial reconciliation in this eBook will help students understand how to solve the problem of racism in positive ways. Search "respect and human dignity" and limit your results to eBooks.
This tool developed by INFOhio provides a framework for problem-based learning and research projects. It is based on the INFOhio Dimensions of Inquiry and can be used to help students solve problems and think critically. There are three sections Ask, Act, and Achieve, and each section contains modules that answer questions students may have as they work through a problem or complete a project. Using Go! Ask Act Achieve supports Competency E: Responsible Decision-Making. For example, in Act, students gather evidence to solve challenges (E1 2.c), identify reliable sources of adult help (E2 2.c), and apply honesty and respect to decision-making (E3 1.c).
Competency D: Relationship Skills is also supported by Go! Ask Act Achieve. In Act, How do I work with others in a group? students are given tools and strategies to help them develop and maintain positive relationships(D2) and prevent, manage and resolve conflicts(D3).
Using Go! Ask Act Achieve is an excellent way to integrate the Social & Emotional Learning Standards into the regular curriculum and can help build both academic and social and emotional strength.
IWonder is an INFOhio-curated collection of websites that support Ohio's Learning Standards and promote inquiry, curiosity, and problem-solving. There are several categories that support the Social & Emotional Learning Standards.
Competency A - Self Awareness - A2: Demonstrate awareness of personal interests and qualities, including strengths and challenges
Students can browse over 15 sites that will help them "investigate a potential career path."
Exploring their creative side can help middle school students understand how their personal interests can help them make decisions and accoplish goals.
Educator Tools is a repository for INFOhio's licensed and purchased content as well as training and support materials for that content. Educators can find eBooks and videos to support social and emotional learning. Using the Student Wellness & Success limiter under Content Area on the left, find specific titles to use with students in the classroom or on their own. Applying the grade level limiter will help narrow results to the content best for student.
INFOhio's discovery layer tool makes it possible to search almost all of our digital content from one search box. If schools are automated with INFOhio's Library Services Platform, the contents of the school library will be searched as well. Type in keywords from the standards to find resources that will support the Social Emotional Learning Standards from EBSCO's databases as well as from World Book, and the Digital Video Collection.
Helping students in middle school be respectful of others whether virtually or in person is very important. (C3 3.c) It often starts with a basic understanding of what makes us feel safe, including online. In the Basic Sources tab, search for key words "safe digital space." This article from tech guru Catlin Tucker gives lots of tips and strategies to get your students thinking about how they can be safe and respectful online (Competency D: Relationship Skills, D1 3.c)
Scholastic Choices is a publication that focuses on the health and well-being of teens. You can access the full text articles from Scholastic's publication by typing in the word "scholastic" in the search. Here is an example of a search for emotions and scholastic with the Content Provider limited to Scholastic Choice.
To learn more about how to find Scholastic Choice articles and teachers guides, read this Teach With INFOhio blog post.
INFOhio's collection of streaming videos also has content to support the Social and Emotional Learning Standards. Using key words to search for videos yields many results. There are also playlists curated by themes. Use the Careers playlist to support Competency A - Self Awareness - A2: Demonstrate awareness of personal interests and qualities, including strengths and challenges.
Many of the DVC streaming videos have teachers guide and other instructional supports.
Using the resources from INFOhio will definitely boost the social and emotional well-being of the students in your class. But connecting with these kids and maintaining relationships will boost not only the five areas of competency, it will also lead to more engagement, deeper learning, and increased skills in all academic areas.
Share how #INFOhioWorks for you when using our free, digital content to support building resilient and empathetic citizens.