Social and Emotional Learning Study Group – Plus (SELSG+)

In Collaboration with the University of Alabama

Description of the Project:

The SELSG project will provide elementary educators (K‑3) with effective social-emotional learning instructional strategies, assessments, and classroom materials for all K‑3 learners, including those with or at risk for Emotional Behavior Disorders (EBD)

Professional development is provided online, providing educators with the opportunity to meet with other educators in online study groups to discuss and practice teaching strategies.

The SELSG+ project involves development of a web portal that provides:

  • Evidence-based Tier 1 SEL instructional materials for all K‑3 students
  • Assessments to identify students needing additional support
  • Advanced Tier 2 support and resources for students at risk
  • Educator professional development training resources and in-person online study groups with personalized coaching

Educators access professional development resources via the project website and learn instructional strategies. They are also provided access to classroom Social Emotional Learning (SEL) resources.  Educators meet online with their colleagues to discuss the professional learning content, practice teaching routines, and review assessment materials to develop appropriate lesson plans for students requiring additional support. Teachers will share the Tier 1 and Tier 2 curriculum materials with their students either in the classroom or via online instruction. 

Program Components:

Tier 1 SEL Instruction for All Students in Grades K‑3

The SELSG+ projects Tier 1 SEL curriculum will be an online adaptation of the We Have Skills! (WHS) curriculum from IRIS Educational Media. WHS is an 8‑week curriculum designed to teach SEL skills to students in K‑3.  WHS is identified as one of the top 25 evidence-based SEL programs by Harvard University’s Ecological Approach to Social Emotional Learning Laboratory.  The WHS curriculum includes eight 30-minute classroom lessons, practice exercises, and take-home materials. The first lesson defines classroom behavioral skills and explains their importance. The remaining lessons teach seven core behavioral skills: 1) Listen, 2) Ask for help, 3) Follow directions, 4) Do the best you can, 5) Follow the rules, 6) Work out strong feelings, and 7) Get along. Classroom instruction includes daily practice through problem-solving discussions, role plays, and games and review of skills during activities like classroom instruction, independent work, and transitions. Educators provide students with independent activities that reinforce the skills and lessons learned in class and send home parent materials that support learning goals.

SEL Assessments and Progress Monitoring

The project will use the SELweb EE tool from XSel Labs, a web-based tool to assess K‑3 student social-emotional comprehension.  SELweb is a student friendly, digitally-delivered 25-minute assessment which is designed for students to complete without the assistance of teaching staff. SELweb measures students on four dimensions essential to social-emotional competence:

Dimension Description
Social awareness Understanding of others’ emotions
Social meaning Interpreting others’ mental states
Social reasoning Reasoning about social problems
Self-control Delaying gratification and controlling emotions toward goal attainment

Students who are struggling with particular skills will be grouped for Tier 2 intervention based upon the results from SELWeb and additional data about individual students from direct observation, skill checklists, and other sources.

Tier 2 Instruction for Identified Students

Students who require tier‑2 support will be provided targeted instruction using Skillstreaming from Research Press. Skillstreaming is a widely-used Tier 2 social skills training program that targets: 1) classroom survival skills, 2) friendship-making skills, 3) skills for dealing with feelings, 4) skill alternatives to aggression, and 5) skills for dealing with stress. Students learn these skills through evidence-based learning processes including modeling, role playing, performance feedback, and generalization.

Skillstreaming is the ideal tier‑2 intervention, it is flexible and is designed to be differentiated and individualized. Only skills (out of 60 available) where students are deficient need be taught and speed of progress through the curriculum can be adjusted to meet individual needs. The program has been flexibly adapted for a range of students with and without disabilities, including those who may be at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders.


Educator Professional Development with Study Groups and Personalized Coaching

The SELSG+ professional development course will guide educators through twelve modules which will help them learn, reflect, and implement the featured SEL content and conduct assessments and progress monitoring

The professional learning curriculum is structured to be sequential, active, focused, and explicit with teachers learning and practicing new skills as they proceed through the modules. They will practice with fellow teachers and work towards mastery prior to implementing the Tier 1 and Tier 2 curriculum.

SELSG+ will provide educators an opportunity to participate in teacher study groups, which are an approach for building teacher capacity to implement and sustain effective classroom practices. Educators collaborate with existing grade level teams of teachers, or in smaller schools, multi-grade teams to discuss the content, practice implementation, review assessment data, group students for Tier 2 intervention, and develop lesson plans. A majority of schools currently provide grade level teams with common weekly planning time to participate in professional learning communities, and the collaborative aspect of the study groups will fit seamlessly into this existing framework to provide maximum efficiency and benefit toward both teachers’ professional learning and implementation with students.

For more information, visit SELSG+ — Home (