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SEL In Action at the Chenery Upper Elementary School

Skill Development and Practice 

There are many layers to a comprehensive Social Emotional Learning Program.  In conjunction, the following layers effectively support students’ social emotional learning:

  • Direct instruction
  • Classroom practices
  • School-wide practices and structures
  • Infusion into the content
  • Events
  • Family engagement

Direct instruction for SEL at Chenery might look like an 8th grade ELA teacher leading kids to understand institutional racism in To Kill a Mockingbird or a 7th grade science teacher coaching students on how to make their science group work effectively. A 5th grade teacher might have a peace-table where students and student-coaches work out differences.  6th grade art teachers lead students in a yearly “Just Because I Am…” project that gets students to write about and create a photo about different stereotypes.

School Wide Practices and Routines 

Wednesday morning extended homeroom is a built-in time for teachers to  host discussions with students (across all the grades) about school-wide activities, events and issues. For instance, in February of this year during extended homeroom, students in all grades learned how to identify and give a real apology.

Climate and Culture 

  • Monthly Team Day. Grade 6 hosts a Monthly Team Day. Students have fun with team building exercises and games, set short and long term goals and engage in lessons about growth mindset and persistence. 
  • School Yearly Musical. The upper school yearly musical brings together over 100 students and builds a sense of community. 
  • Mock Trial and Washington DC Trip. The Grade 8 Mock Trial and Washington DC trip are community-building highlights that give all Chenery students something to look forward to. 

Grade 5 keeps teams smaller (about 50 students) than the other grades to help ease kids into the middle school model.  Teams practice regular team-building routines such as