SEL, Self-Regulation and School Readiness
All of us have moments in our childhood where
we come alive for the first time. And we go
back to those moments and think, 'This is when I
became myself.'
- Rita Dove
Committee for Children
• Non-profit organization
• 35 years
• 70 countries
• 9 million children reached
Presentation Overview
What’s important for school
readiness?
What are self-regulation skills
and social emotional learning?
What strategies can help
children to develop these skills?
How can developing these
skills in children positively
impact your classroom?
Early learning is Critical
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Longitudinal studies show long-term positive benefits
for kids and families.
The brain “grows” (maturates) the most --92 percent of
brain development -- in the first five years of life.
There are 2,000 days between birth and kindergarten.
Every day counts!
What do children need
to be able to do most to
be ready for school?
Your thoughts
What do
children need
Say the
alphabet
Follow
directions
to be able to
do in order to
be most ready
for school?
Control
their
behavior
Listen
attentively
in a large
group
Kindergarten Teachers Agree
Aspects of selfregulation are
more important
than letter
knowledge
But over half of
students start
kindergarten
lacking selfregulation skills
Good News!
Self-regulation skills &
Social Skills can be taught.
Preschoolers with these skills
will have a more successful
transition to kindergarten.
Self-Regulation Skills
What are self-regulation skills?
Why are they important for kindergarten
readiness and school and life success?
Self-Regulation Skills
Children with self-regulation skills have the ability to
monitor and manage:
Emotions
Thoughts
Behaviors
They can direct, sustain, and shift their attention.
Ponder this…
What does a
child with good
self-regulation
skills look like in
your classroom?
Self-Regulation & Learning-Related Skills

Having self-regulation
skills supports children
in developing skills
positively related to
learning, such as:

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
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Listening
Staying on task
Ignoring distractions
Waiting for a turn
Following through on a
plan
Importance for School Readiness
Selfregulation
skills
Learningrelated
skills
Success in
the
classroom
What the Research Says
Self-regulation and learning-related skills are:
Related to academic
success from
preschool to college
Predictive of schooling
decisions, college
completion, wages,
and employment
Ponder this…
What happens in
your classroom
when children don’t
have good selfregulation skills?
Impact of Skill Deficit

Children lacking good
self-regulation skills are
at greater risk for many
negative outcomes:

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High rates of expulsion,
especially from preschool
Low academic achievement
School dropout
Peer rejection
Emotional and behavioral
problems
Self-Regulation Skills Protect
When children
have the same
number of risk
factors…
those with stronger
self-regulation
skills do better
academically
than children with
weaker selfregulation skills.
Social Emotional Learning Skills
What are social emotional competencies?
Why are they important for kindergarten
readiness and school and life success?
Social Emotional Learning Research

CASEL is the Collaborative for Academic Social and
Emotional Learning

National collaborative that focuses on advancing the
science of social emotional learning, advocating for SEL
standards, supporting effective SEL teaching practices.

www.casel.org
CASEL
SELFMANAGEMENT
SELFAWARENESS
Managing emotions
and behaviors to
achieve one’s goals
RELATIONSHIP
SKILLS
Forming positive
relationships, working in
teams, dealing effectively
with conflict
Recognizing one’s
emotions and values as
well as one’s strengths
and limitations
SOCIAL
AWARENESS
Showing understanding
and empathy for others
RESPONSIBLE
DECISION-MAKING
Making ethical
constructive choices
about personal and social
behavior
Activity



Pick one competency from the 5
Think of a time you used that skill JUST TODAY
Share with your partner/table
Group Discussion to follow
Social-Emotional Competence

Children who are
socially competent
can:

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Identify own and other’s
feelings
Have empathy
Manage strong emotions
Solve interpersonal problems
Make friends and get along
with others
Perform better academically
Self-Awareness





CASEL 2012
Identifying emotions
Accurate self-perception
Recognizing strengths
Sense of self-confidence
Self-efficacy
Identifying Feelings
Self-Management

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CASEL 2012
Impulse control
Stress management
Self-discipline
Self-motivation
Goal setting
Organizational skills
Managing emotions
Coaching to
Calm Down
Relationship Skills

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CASEL 2012
Communication
Social engagement
Building relationships
Working cooperatively
Resolving conflict
Helping/Seeking help
Responsible Decision Making

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Problem identification
Situation analysis
Problem solving
Evaluation
Reflection
Ethical Responsibility
CASEL 2012
Problem solving Steps
Children are taught to calm down first then:
Say the Problem
Use words to describe the problem
Think of solutions
Think of safe things to do to solve the problem
These skills can be taught, but how?
Classroom Strategies to Develop Social Skills
Games
Visual Aids
Puppets
Songs
Story and
Discussion
Second Step for Early Learning
Designed to promote young
children’s readiness skills
for school and life
Designed for typically
developing four-year-olds
Also works with multi-age
classrooms and three-year-olds
Set up for success
Weekly Theme Activities
•
•
•
•
•
•
Brain Builder games
Puppet Script
Story and Discussion
Skill Practices
Song
Recommended books
Reinforcing Activities
•
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•
Using Skills Every Day
Home Links
Practice Opportunities
Curriculum Connections
Playing Games, Building Brains
Games can help
children develop
behavioral aspects of
self-regulation known
as executive function
skills.
Executive Function Skills
 Working memory
 Flexible attention
 Inhibitory control
Brain Builder Games
About the games:
 Have specific rules and steps
 Include ways to increase the challenge
 Played several times per week
 Develop executive function skills
Overall message for children:
Your brain can get stronger and
smarter with practice and effort
Using Games to Develop Skills
Sink or Swim
Head Start
classroom in
WA state
Visual Aids: Listening Rules
The simple
actions
help
children
remember
the rules.
And the visual aids help
reinforce children’s learning.
Listening Rules Song
Eyes are watching
Ears are listening
Voices quiet
Bodies calm
This is how we listen
This is how we listen
At group time
At group time
Using Puppets to Develop Skills
“Asking for
What You
Want or
Need”
Story and Discussion
Color photo of real
children
Story that teaches
more about the
skills
Followed by a
brief discussion
Lasts about five to
seven minutes
Can be done at a
group time during
the day
Using Story and Discussion to Develop Skills
“Asking for
What You
Want or
Need”
Self-Regulation, SEL & Kindergarten
How might teaching self-regulation and
social skills affect your classrooms?
Key Points to Remember
Self-regulation and social
skills are important for
kindergarten readiness.
Self-regulation and social
skills can be taught.
Fun, engaging strategies
can help children develop
these important skills.
Developing these skills
can positively impact
your classroom.
Foundations of School Readiness
Early
learning
professionals
talk about
foundations
of school
readiness
Questions?
Thank you!
Jennifer Balogh
1-800-634-4449 ext 6522
[email protected]
www.cfchildren.org
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