SEL Program Lesson Integration #9

This “lesson integration” is a framework for integrating a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) concept into one of your tutoring sessions. It describes the concept you will be integrating into your lesson and gives you a loose structure to follow. Make sure to read through the entire lesson integration prior to your session so you are familiar with the SEL concept you will be focusing on.

Don’t forget to use the D.N.A. method whenever you want to address your student’s behavior!

Download the below lesson integration as a printable PDF. Please note, if you choose to do the optional activity there may additional PDFs you will need to print and download.

During this session and all future sessions, continue to remind your student(s) that they are safe, and that they are the only ones in control of their emotions.

Use the DNA Method and
focus on the positive when addressing misbehavior.

DESCRIBE behavior calmly and without judgment.

For younger students: “your face looks like this (mirror expression).” For older students: “you pulled your hoodie over your face.”

Wait for eye contact. Take deep breaths together (if you start, hopefully they’ll join).

NOTICE and model empathy.

“You seem ________.”

ACKNOWLEDGE and problem solve.

“You wanted _____.” or “You were hoping _____.” Followed by “your choices are _____ or _____.” Both choices should be ones you can live with.

LESSON INTEGRATION #9: A Growth Mindset Part 2

Students with a growth mindset understand that they can get smarter through hard work, the use of effective strategies, and help from others when needed. This contrasts with a fixed mindset: the belief that intelligence is a fixed trait that is set in stone at birth.

Always check in with your student(s) at the beginning of each session. Remind them that tutoring sessions are safe spaces and take some deep breaths if necessary. Ask your student(s) if they would be willing to share some things that they were grateful for during the past week. Share some things that you are grateful for.

Beginning SEL Activity

Read this quote with your student(s):

“I always say the minute I stop making mistakes is the minute I stop learning and I’ve definitely learned a lot.” – Miley Cyrus

Discuss what the quote means and why making mistakes is an essential part of learning and having a growth mindset. If working with a group of students, facilitate a discussion.

During Your Session

Do any pre-prepared activity while reinforcing the ideas about growth mindset you’ve been discussing, if possible. Continue practicing the breathing and self-regulation techniques learned in the first integration when opportunities arise. Alternatively, below is a fun lesson about the importance of making mistakes. Do the activity along side your student to show that you too make mistakes and learn from them.

  1. Ask your student(s) to write or talk about a mistake they made this week and how it made them feel.
  2. Give your student(s) a fresh piece of paper, and ask them to crumple it up and throw it in the trash or on the floor, along with any negative feelings they have when they make a mistake.
  3. Ask them to retrieve the paper, un-crumple it, and color each line or crease with different colors.
  4. Ask your student(s) what they think the colored paper looks like. Explain that the paper could represent their brain, and the lines represent the new connections (synaptic activity) in the brain that grow when a mistake is made.
  5. Repeat steps 1 to 3 (thinking of a different mistake). This is meant to demonstrate to your student(s) that with every mistake, more connections are made in your brain (creases in the paper).
  6. Tell your student(s) that if they want, they can keep the paper and stick it into a notebook or folder to look at when they make a mistake. Tell them that it can be a helpful reminder to use mistakes to learn and strengthen their brain.

At The End of Your Session

Review everything you talked about and did during the session. Encourage your student(s) to practice breathing, gratitude, and empathy in their daily lives. Confirm the day and time of the next session and wish your student(s) well.