Capstone Project Title
During the course of my project, I explored social and emotional learning strategies that can be easily implemented into the elementary classroom, specifically my fourth grade classroom. These students attend an elementary school in a first ring suburb of a large metropolitan area in the upper midwest. My intention was to develop strategies that were easy to implement and promoted a positive learning environment that allowed students to increase their academic success. The successful implementation of these strategies helped students develop and use conflict resolution skills and therefore promoted a positive classroom climate. This project was the first step in helping me reach this goal by identifying the strategies to implement. The following research questions guided my project: What are the most effective social and emotional learning strategies to improve student engagement in the elementary classroom and how will the creation of a binder of daily implemented social emotional learning strategies improve the climate in the elementary classroom? The collection of resources was intended to be used by elementary school teachers, specifically teachers in grades three through five. Each resource included student objectives, a list of needed materials, procedures, closing activities and follow-up suggestions. Activities were chosen because of their ease of implementation and their relevance to social and emotional learning for students in grades three through five. The collection of resources was shared with other fourth grade colleagues at my school as well as third and fifth grade teachers. After successful implementation of the resources at my school, my project was shared with other teachers in the district. This project is intended to guide teachers in helping their students develop social and emotional skills at a young age. The resources are intended to provide students with an
opportunity to practice communicating with their peers, solving problems peacefully, managing their own emotions, recognizing the emotions of others and working collaboratively with others. The resources are divided into sections including: “Staple Activities in the Daily Routine”, “Working in Partnerships”, “Working in Groups”, “Nurturing a Culture of Kindness”, “Resources Around the Room”, “Organizing Physical Space”, “Managing Conflict”, “Developing Classroom Community”, “Developing Leadership Skills”, and “Developing Self-Regulation and Self-Advocacy Skills”. Teachers can access the resources electronically or print the resources to be placed in a binder for easy access. The process of compiling resources to complete a binder of SEL strategies followed the steps of Understanding by Design (UbD), separated into three phases. Wiggins and McTighe (2012) suggested that the first phase of UbD should identify the intended outcomes of the lesson or activity. I did this by asking myself what I wanted students to know and be able to do when completing the activities. During this stage, I set long-term performance goals for students in order to guide the types of activities I chose to include in the collection of resources. During the second phase, I researched formative and summative assessments to be used in conjunction with the activities. In order to choose the assessments I would use, I identified how I would know if students were obtaining and effectively using social and emotional learning strategies. Also, I determined what evidence to collect in order to decide whether or not students were meeting the assessment criteria. These included performance tasks as well as other evidence. The evidence was determined during this stage of the project. In the final stage of development, I planned the learning experiences and instruction that occurred. This included the specific tasks and activities that students completed in order to develop their social and emotional learning skills. In order to develop these activities, I used the research and knowledge I gained during the literature review portion of the project. Once this was complete and I revised the lessons and activities, I compiled the strategies and activities into an online Google form and created a printed binder of the resources.
Collection of Resources
Achievement, Classroom Management, Community Building, Social and Emotional Learning
Williams, Megan, "Social And Emotional Learning Strategies In The Elementary Classroom And Their Impact On Student Success" (2018). School of Education Student Capstone Projects. 232.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects