Coronavirus & Remote Learning
Updated: Free Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources for Schools During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- By Dian Schaffhauser
(Updated May 19) Education technology companies and organizations have stepped forward to help educators bring resources for social and emotional learning and psychological wellbeing to teachers, students and families during the COVID-19 school closures. The following list of free resources will be updated as announcements are made. (If you know of a company that should be included on this list, please send details to [email protected].)
Aperture Education has made a 33-page "Educator Guide to Optimistic Thinking" available as a form of professional development, along with other "take-home" PD activities. The company has also curated a collection of free parent resources to help their kids (and them) develop social and emotional skills. https://info.apertureed.com/archived-resources
Boston Children's Hospital has produced free professional development for educators on social-emotional learning and behavioral health in schools. Each course is self-paced and includes tools and strategies to be used in the classroom and overall school environment (because face-to-face school will be back in session at some point). https://www.childrenshospital.org/taponline
The Character Tree is giving teachers a way to share character education videos and downloadable resources with parents to use at home. Free access will last through Jun. 30, 2020. This program provides videos for first and second graders, with discussions, examples from history and role modeling to teach "character development" and emphasize positive character traits, including kindness, curiosity and integrity. All lessons are standards-aligned and come with printable resources. Parents can also sign up for their own free accounts. https://go.charactertree.com/free_home_access_for_students
The Character Tree is providing free access to 32 videos and related materials to the end of the school year. That covers four hours of educational video content presenting positive character development. https://charactertree.com/sign-up/#join
CharacterStrong is offering free K-12 social-emotional learning resources that can be used for remote instruction, including a virtual toolkit, digital student assemblies, a virtual Whole Child Summit(taking place Apr. 13-24, 2020) and a "30 Days of Kindness Journal." Access to resources requires registration. https://characterstrong.com/
Chicken Soup for the Soul, in partnership with American Humane, is promoting a line of free digital books for students, titled Humane Heroes, that share stories of animal rescue, rehabilitation and humane conservation undertaken at leading zoological institutions, as well as 18 literacy-based social-emotional learning lessons, targeting students in grades 4, 7 and 10. https://www.chickensoup.com/ah
The Children's Psychological Health Center has developed a 102-page guided "first-aid" workbook, "My Pandemic Story," for children and teenagers, to encourage mental health, creative expression, learning and coping. The book includes guidance for families and teachers. It's available in English and six other languages. http://www.childrenspsychologicalhealthcenter.org/resources/guided-activity-workbooks/
Committee for Children's Second Step has free social-emotional learning resources for educators, students ages 5 to 13 and their families. Those include podcasts to help families cope with physical isolation and "Mine Yeti," 15 mindfulness video sessions for families to work through together. https://www.secondstep.org/covid19support
Conscious Discipline has compiled a collection of free online tools for educators and parents on managing stress during the pandemic. "COVID-19: Resources for Families and Educators" includes free membership to SEL lesson libraries with videos, games, and audio downloads, focused on coping strategies and restoring a sense of normalcy. The company has also made weekly videosavailable on social-emotional learning topics and provided access through June to a three-session professional development webinar on working with children in trauma. https://consciousdiscipline.com/product/premium-digital-toolkit-1-year-membership/
Denise Albright Studio has created free digital downloads for families, including a hand-washing checklist for kids and a "gratitude worksheet," to help them remember what's going right in their lives. https://denisealbright.com/collections/free-printables
The Edge Foundation has announced that its life coaches are available on a sliding scale — including free — to work with students virtually on non-academic challenges, including individuals who struggle with executive function challenges. https://edgefoundation.org/coronavirus/
Education Lifeskills is providing free access to "Positive Thinking Pack," its course on social-emotional learning, which students can work on online. Subjects cover leadership, drug use and vaping prevention, positive thinking skills and media awareness, among others. https://www.educationlifeskills.com/athomelearning/
EduGuide’s online social-emotional learning support program for students in grades 4-12 is free through June 30, 2020. (It's possible that the program will cover school usage into the 2020-2021 academic year as well.) Schools embed the program into classes as a 15-minute activity. Each week students learn one skill, then choose someone to mentor with that skill. The program includes online professional development. The organization is organizing virtual tours to make sure the program is a good fit. https://www.eduguide.org/scheduling/
EduMotion is offering movement resources. Weekly SEL Journeys [email protected] lessons, geared to K-5 students, explore SEL themes and guide students on a "global dance journey." The lessons are designed for students to experience on their own, or they can invite family members to learn and move along with them. Each participating school will get a unique login code, which can be shared with students and families. https://edumotion.com/learn-at-home/
Emotional ABCs is currently free for teachers, counselors and families. The "emotional skills" program is designed for children ages 4-11 and gives students practical tools for dealing with impulse control, frustration and acting out. Sign up for free at EmotionalABCs.com. The parent sign-up is here: https://www.emotionalabcs.com/signup/free/ . The teacher sign-up is here: https://www.emotionalabcs.com/signup/teacher/.
Family Equality, a nonprofit supporting LGBTQ families, has developed a roster of virtual events for young learners, including movement, dance and music sessions and story hours. https://www.familyequality.org/virtual-events-for-younger-kids/
George's Dragon, better known as an online clothing and home décor retailer, is making a 300-page "child behavioral" guide available free. Parents will get support in dealing with child behavior, setting boundaries, motivating kids, adjusting expectations, improving family dynamics, gaining cooperation and other essentials for getting through the stress of having children at home more than full-time. Use "homehelp" as the promo code during download. https://georgesdragon.com/products/good-puppy-home-super-sidekick-printable-pdf
Mawi Learning and ACT Tessera are providing free social-emotional learning resources from ACT's SEL Curricula and Assessment, including SEL home connections worksheets and skill building activities. Resources include hands-on-tools for stress management, goal setting and relationship building. https://www.mawilearning.com/covid-19-help-resources/
Mazaam is making its classical music app for children ages four to six free until Jun. 30, 2020. The music is intended to promote the development of emotional, cognitive and psychomotor skills. The app is available in English and French. There are versions for iOS and Android.
Open Future Institute has launched the "COVID-19 QUESTion Project," a stand-alone program to support educators as they strengthen the social-emotional wellbeing of their students. The organization said its teacher resources include online lesson plans and activities intended to help students process their changing experience, empower them with the self-reliance and strengthen their sense of purpose in life and their connections with others. https://openfutureinstitute.org/covid-19-question-project/
PATHS Program, publisher of the SEL PATHS Program for grades pre-K-5 and Emozi for middle school, is offering weekly social-emotional lessons for remote learning through its blog. https://blog.pathsprogram.com/blog
Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit led by family members who lost loved ones in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has adapted an action kit to include activities students can participate in virtually for boosting social and emotional skills needed during times of social distancing. https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/promise/pages/3471/attachments/original/1585257898/Youth_and_Educator_Activity_Guide_for_Times_of_Social_Distancing.pdf
SchoolToolsTV.com is posting free minute-long videos daily during school closures for students in pre-K-2 and grades 3-8 to help them keep up with their social-emotional learning. Rusty May, "classroom whisperer," has also offered to do shout-outs for teachers and their classes by request in his videos. https://schooltoolstv.com/
SiLAS has developed free resources for educators, to help students gain social-emotional skills. Freebies include animations, lessons and parent sheets. https://curriculum.silassolutions.com/elearning_resources/
Smekens Education, which in normal times provides professional development, is providing always-free video "mini-lessons" for K-12 students on reading, writing and social-emotional learning. Now the company is ramping up production and releasing new lessons each week. The lessons are divided by grade bands, K-1, 2-3, 4-6 and 7-12. Videos are available on both YouTube and Vimeo. https://www.smekenseducation.com/literacy-lessons.html
Thrively is making its playlist of social-emotional learning content intended to help students boost their resilience free until Jun. 30, 2020. There are separate compilations for students in elementary and secondary grades. To access them, use the order code, "breathe20". Each consists of four to five hours of activities.
Find more resources for schools during the COVID-19 crisis here.