Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)


Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a process for helping children and adults develop fundamental skills for life effectiveness. SEL teaches the skills we all need to handle ourselves, our relationships, and our work effectively and ethically. These skills include recognizing and managing our emotions, developing caring and concern for others, establishing positive relationships, making responsible decisions, and handling challenging situations constructively and ethically. (AISD website)

District SEL website:




MONDAYS - SEL Homeroom Lessons  

THURSDAYS - Student conferences (teachers meet individually with students to check in about stress, grades, how to get help at school, etc.)



HOMEROOM LESSON DESCRIPTIONS for MONDAY SEL homeroom lessons (most recent at the top):


May 21st - Homeroom Celebration
Students had the opportunity to celebrate a year together as a homeroom community.  
May 14th - Yearlong Reflection
Students will reflect as a group about their progress over the course of the school year.  Using a community-building circle or discussion format they will reflect about whether or not they've reached their goals, how their goals have changed over the past year, what they are proud of accomplishing this year, as well as what goals they have over the summer (even if it's just mindful relaxation).  Circle directions to the right on this web page.
Mon, April 30th - Autism Awareness
Teachers will share, via powerpoint, information about the autism spectrum with their homeroom in order to increase awareness in honor of April being Autism Awareness month.  We want to increase empathy and understanding in students of people who may be different from them.  Students also had the opportunity to watch a video to hear from two Anderson students who were brave enough to talk about their experience having autism in a world with mostly "neurotypical" individuals.  This was a student-made lesson!
Thu, April 26th - Day of Silence Video & Discussion
Students from the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club put together a video of actual Anderson students talking about their experiences at the school, their preferred labels, and what day of silence means to them.  The video helped spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students.  Teachers had guiding questions to discuss the video afterwards.  
Mon, April 23rd - Stress Relief and Managing Time Refresh
Homerooms had options including a stress management lesson, rainbow walk mindfulness activity, or to watch videos by WellCast to have a refresh of topics we've already discussed this year. 
April 16th - Vaping Awareness and Responsible Decision-making
Students discussed the recent increase in vaping among teens, including the health and disciplinary consequences.  Students considered how to make responsible decisions when faced with peer pressure to use.  Homerooms had the option to use a commmunity-building circle format or go through a "Vaping Awareness and Responsible Decision-making" PowerPoint (to the right on this website).  
Parents should be aware of school policy: possessing, smoking, or using tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes (e-cigs), electronic vaping devcies, personal vaporizers (PV), or electronic nicotine delivery systems is a violation of the AISD Student Code of Conduct (p. 13).  Students found in violation will be home-suspended for 3 days.
April 9th - 9th/10th gr Reducing Test Anxiety/Stress Management, 11th - Choosing Wisely, 12th - Staying Safe on Prom Night
9th/10th grade:  
Students will discuss and practice test anxiety reducing strategies.  Options include:
1. Positive self talk community-building circle (instructions attached)
2. Mindful breathing exercises
4.  Review the "top ten test taking strategy" list and make goals for how to apply this to their own life
11th gradeTeachers will use the School-Connect Module 4 Preparing for College and the Workforce (Lesson 4.20 Choosing Wisely).  Students will discuss healthy and responsible decision making, including the difference between proactive and reactive decision-making.  
12th grade:   Students will have the opportunity to participate in a class discussion about how to stay safe on prom night and make sure their friends are staying safe.  Powerpoint uploaded to the right on this screen.
April 2nd - 9th/10th gr Drug/Alcohol Awareness Circle, 11th - Developing a Work Ethic, 12th - Living with Roommates
9th/10th gradeStudents will participate in a circle discussion by reading some stories from actual student's lives related to drug/alcohol and discuss their reactions.  They will discuss why people might choose to use and how to keep friends safe if they ever observe this behavior in others. This was a student-created lesson; circle lesson uploaded on the right hand side of this screen.
11th gradeTeachers will use the School-Connect Module 4 Preparing for College and the Workforce (Lesson 4.11 - Developing a Work Ethic).  Students will discuss what it means to have  work ethic and how to develop healthy habits.
12th grade:   Students will have the opportunity to participate in a community building circle discussion about things they're looking forward to about living with a roommate and challenges they may face.  
Alternate option - University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address - Admiral William H. McRaven:
March 26th - 9th/10th gr Current Event Circle, 11th gr - Resume writing, 12th gr - Building a Budget
9th/10th grade:  Students will participate in a community-building circle to discuss their feelings about the recent current events that have happened in the U.S. and Austin.  Students will discuss what they can control and ways to support each other to stay safe.  This is a student-created lesson; circle lesson uploaded on the right hand side of this screen.
11th gradeTeachers will use the School-Connect Module 4 Preparing for College and the Workforce (Lesson 4.9 - Writing a Resume).  Students will discuss what employers look for in a candidate for a job.  They will look at and discuss resume-writing strategies.   
12th grade:  Teachers will utilize information from the School-Connect Module 4 Preparing for College and the Workforce. Students will discuss how to build a budget by looking at sample scenarios and having the opportunity to build a draft budget for themselves (if time allows).  


March 19th - 9th/10th gr Growth Mindset, 11th/12th gr What Does Success Mean?


9th/10th grade:   Students will discuss the concept of growth mindset.  There is a community-building circle option which will help students develop more self awareness as they think about this and share with others.  The non-circle option includes a few videos to choose from with discussion questions.  Lesson resources uploaded on the right hand side of this screen.
11th/12th gr:  Students will explore the idea of what success means through a community-building circle.  Students will realize that there is no one exact definition of "success" for everyone; it's individualized!  They will discuss what "success" means and looks like to them.   


March 5th & March 8th - all grade levels - Suicide Awareness and Prevention

On Monday and Thursday of this week, students will watch a video about suicide awareness, reflect about the video, and learn resources and actions they can take to prevent suicide.  Students can go to the counseling office at any time during the day if they need further support with this issue.  The counseling office will also be open during homeroom for students who need to a place to go instead of partaking in the lesson.
Video is The Erika's Lighthouse Curriculum: Depression and Suicide Awareness for High School Students:



February 12th - Mindful Communication

Students explored how to use the "DEAR MAN" strategy to communicate their needs with others. They had the opportunity to practice using this strategy with scenarios that come up in daily life. 

Describe the situation. Stick to the facts. What happened?

Express your FEELings and OPINIONS. Don’t assume the other person knows how you feel.

Assert yourself. Ask for what you want. Or say NO clearly. Remember that others cannot read your mind.

Reinforce or reward the other person. Be sure they understand exactly why they should respond to your request.  Remind them of whatever positive outcomes would come from this request (that you’re willing to give and stick to!).  

Stay Mindful: Keep your focus on your goals. Don’t get distracted. Don’t get off topic.

Appear confident: Use a confident voice. Use a confident tone and physical manner, eye contact, body language.

Negotiate. Be willing to give to get. Offer and ask for other solutions. Reduce your request. Say no, but offer to do something else that could help.

(From DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition, by Marsha M. Linehan. Copyright 2015 by Marsha M. Linehan)



February 5th 


9th grade:    Course Selection      
Students reviewed the powerpoint the counselors had previously gone over with them but this time after course fair and with their course sheets in hand.  Freshmen then had the chance to talk with their homeroom teacher and homeroom leaders to ask questions about course selection.  
10th/11th/12th grade:    Mindfulness Strategies Part 1  
Students had the opportunity to practice some mindfulness strategies.  Homerooms could discuss the "ABCs" of emotional regulation (from Marsha Linehan's DBT work).  A stands for "Accumulate positive emotions," B stands for "Build mastery," and C stands for "Cope ahead if you need to prepare for hard times."  Homerooms could also choose some of the mindfulness videos by James Butler of AISD:



January 29th - 9th/10th gr - Motivation, 11th/12th gr - Life After High School Part 2

9th/10th grade - students will have a discussion about motivation and how we get ourselves to do the things that we don't want to but need to do.


11th/12th grade - students will continue discussing what they are thinking about doing after high school.  The powerpoint option outlines examples of route to pursue (such as bachelor's degree, associates, on-the-job training, etc) - see powerpoint uploaded in the materials to the right of this screen.  Teacher also have a circle option to have students draw a picture of their future and then discuss their drawings. 


Alternate option: follow up on last week's time management lesson with Ted Talk about procrastination (see document to the right).




January 22nd - 9th/10th gr - Time Management, 11th/12th gr - Life After High School

9th/10th grade - students will discuss time management struggles they have as well as help each other think of ways to better manage their time.  

11th/12th grade - students will discuss their plan for life after high school and how they are currently feeling about planning for the future.  

Homeroom classes have the option to have these discussions in a community-building circle format or by using a powerpoint (see files to the right).


January 8th – Revisit group agreements & create SMART goals

Students will revisit their group agreements as a homeroom community and reconnect after the break.  In addition, students will learn about S.M.A.R.T. goals and create one SMART goal for themselves this semester.  If they run out of time to make SMART goals on Monday they will have a chance to do so in homeroom on Thursday.


S.M.A.R.T. stands for:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant, Rigorous, Realistic, and Results Focused
T = Timely and Trackable


Example:  I will practice my vocabulary flashcards for 10 minutes every day in order to earn an 80% on my German vocabulary test next Wednesday.


Edutopia website explaining SMART goals:


December 12th - Mindfulness Intro

Students discussed mindfulness by watching a TED talk video "All It Takes Is 10 Mindful Minutes" by Andy Puddicombe.  They then engaged in a mindfulness activity: think of 5 things you can currently see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste (or take 1 deep breath).  Students can utilize this activity to ground themselves if they feel anxious during finals.


December 4th - Relaxation Activities

Students participated in relaxation activities in order to increase mindfulness and help their focus as they prepare in the coming weeks for finals.  Examples of activities available to try included a "rainbow walk", visualization activity, or Go Noodle videos.  


November 27th - NPFH Allies, Advocates, and Activists

Students explored the different ways to be an ally, advocate and activist and what roles different people can play in making a difference.  Students watched a video about subway goers in New York scrubbing inflammatory graffiti off the train walls and discussed what it means to be an ally, advocate, or activist.


November 13th - NPFH Grateful Gobbler

Students had the opportunity to explore what "gratitude" is ( extend gratitude toward someone else by writing a "grateful gobbler" note to them.


November 6th - NPFH No Hate November/Keep It Kind List

Students participated in a discussion with the goal to increase positivity overall at Anderson and introduce the No Place for Hate's No Hate November activity for students to do as many items as possible for the "Keep It Kind" list distributed in homeroom.


October 30th - Emotions and Empathy

Students participated in a community building circle that allowed them to explore the non-verbal associations with emotions as well as to internally identify the feelings/associations of focused emotions.  

Three goals today:

1.  Share (without language) physical manifestations of emotions and gauge ability to not only identify emotions in self but also to recognize them in others.

2.  Understand the purpose of identifying and recognizing emotions.

3.  Empathize when others express their feelings.


October 16th - No Place for Hate (NPFH) Nice Notes

Students discussed the power of positive messages and participated in writing nice notes to pass out to friends, teachers, etc.


October 2nd - David's Law and Bullying

Students discussed what it means to witness cyberbullying (or just negative messages on social media) and to have the choice to be a bystander or an upstander.  Students learned about David's Law and explored the following sites/videos:


September 25th - What's Facing Anderson Teenagers?

Students discussed issues they thought teenagers in general face and then issues they think teenagers at Anderson are facing.  Homeroom leaders and/or teachers shared their top issues with the SEL team via a google survey to use in planning future homeroom lessons.  


September 18th - Obstacles and How to Overcome Them

Students developed self-awareness as they shared current obstacles in their lives then discussed strategies they use to overcome them.


September 11th - Group Agreements

Students worked together to come up with group values and agreements during homeroom time in order to build community and have agreements for how to talk with each other when we cover more sensitive topics later in the school year.


August 28th - SEL Homeroom Lesson - College Readiness Checklists

Students reviewed "College Readiness Checklists" available from the district (see files below) in order to be mindful about their choices this school year as they continually prepare for college.


August 25th - SEL Homeroom Lesson - Get-to-know-you Activities

Students participated in get-to-know-you and team-building activities in order to build community within their homeroom.


August 23rd - SEL Homeroom Lesson - Get-to-know-you Activities

Students participated in get-to-know-you activities in order to start building community within their homeroom.  Students are in homeroom by grade level and the plan is to be with this same group until they graduate high school.