Take an in-depth look into the mind+heart Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum available for K-2 and Grades 3-5. Learn about the teacher-tested and research-based curriculum, what it includes, and how it can help you support your students and effectively teach social and emotional skills each day. There are free sample resources to download to help you get started today.
How to Find the Right Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum
What’s the most important piece of a child’s educational experience? You may think it is math, reading, or science, but you are overlooking an incredibly important component: A child’s social and emotional development.
In today’s classrooms, there is a growing need to teach social-emotional skills. We have a duty to spend time developing the social and emotional skills that our students need to succeed in school and the rest of their lives.
Making a decision to make social-emotional learning a priority is the first step in making a difference. The next step is selecting which curriculum to use and developing best practices.
This post will outline why social-emotional learning is important to explicitly teach in the classroom and will provide details about the teacher-created and tested, kid-approved social-emotional learning curriculum for the K-2 and grades 3-5 classroom, called mind+heart.
You will gain insight into what this easy-to-use program includes, how it is effective, and learn tips for implementation and integration. Find answers to commonly asked questions, as well as reasons why this program is right for teachers and counselors looking for a comprehensive program that is effective at reaching our goals of a positive and more productive classroom.
Why Do I Need to Teach SEL?
Social-emotional learning is the lessons we teach our students that help them develop skills to be successful in school and in life.
There are many benefits to developing social-emotional skills in the classroom. Many of which can be seen in how our classroom community is formed, how our students behave, and how they perform on tasks.
Yet, the benefits go far beyond what we can see immediately, into the future and beyond. These skills are what will help our students live a productive lifestyle, with healthy relationships and the skills to succeed.
Teaching Social-Emotional skills promotes mental health and academic success.
Especially now, educators are looking for ways to support children and their learning in new ways. Taking care of a child’s emotional well-being and finding ways for them to have healthy social interactions has become increasingly important.
Imagine any of these scenarios:
- A math assignment frustrates a student. Yet, through SEL lessons his teacher has taught, he has learned coping and calm-down strategies. He can take a moment to breathe and re-center himself, ask for help, & get back to work
- A group of children are playing on the playground, and a disagreement occurs. Thanks to the classroom meetings and role-play activities in class, the kids have learned conflict resolution strategies and can work through the situation cooperatively and calmly.
- A new student joins the class. The child feels nervous and unsure, yet because of the discussions and stories the class has read together, they are eager to make the new student feel welcomed and included.
These are only a few possible scenarios that occur in the school setting, but they happen daily in some form or another. We need to equip our students with healthy ways of handling life’s situations, in and out of the classroom.
By explicitly teaching them social skills and self-management strategies, children can grow and relationships can form.
Mind+Heart Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum
The mind+heart social-emotional learning curriculum is a complete program created for elementary teachers. It provides teachers with valuable lessons and activities to teach crucial social and emotional skills for the entire school year.
mind+heart helps teachers instruct and support children to develop important social and emotional skills in the classroom. It provides educators with the tools to easily implement and weave social-emotional learning into their schedules each week.
Mind+Heart is research-based, as it was designed and founded on the facts and data available about the effectiveness of social-emotional learning. This curriculum aligns with the CASEL framework of the 5 core competencies for SEL. It has been used in more than twenty thousand classrooms worldwide.
The ultimate goal of the mind+heart social-emotional learning curriculum is for elementary children to develop a healthy sense of self and positive peer relations that will continue throughout their lives. Children will learn to express their emotions appropriately, solve problems, develop a “growth mindset,” build relationships and be thoughtful citizens who take responsibility and show respect.
What does this Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum cover?
The mind+heart social-emotional learning curriculum includes a variety of thought-provoking lessons and discussions, community-building ideas, and engaging activities to help build important social and emotional skills. Children will have many opportunities to learn, practice, and develop SEL through various lessons and activities.
This comprehensive curriculum covers the five core areas of social-emotional learning with units on self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships, and responsible decision-making. It also includes units on kindness and growth mindset.
The skills within each unit are broken down into lessons and activities that are simple to teach yet effective, meaningful, and fun for all learners.
The units and topics covered in the K-2 Mind+Heart Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum:
Children will learn to identify and label their own and others’ emotions. They will learn to express their feelings appropriately using “I feel…” statements. They will also learn about the brain and how it controls emotions.
Self-Management & Regulation
Children will learn how to self-regulate and handle big emotions. They learn various ways to calm down and develop mindfulness. They will also learn about and develop self-control and self-esteem.
Children will learn about their elastic brain and how their brain changes. They will learn that mistakes and challenges help them learn and grow. They will also learn the power of YET and perseverance.
Relationships & Friendship
Children will learn how to communicate, listen, and speak effectively. They will learn what a friend is and how to be a good friend. They will also learn to make new friends and work cooperatively as a team.
Kindness & Bucket Filling
Children will learn what kindness is and demonstrate ways of being kind to others. They will learn the meaning of generosity and ways to give to others. They will also learn about being a bucket filler and how they can help fill other people’s buckets.
Social Awareness & Empathy
Children will learn what empathy means and learn to identify the needs of others. They will practice being compassionate and accepting of others. They will also work together to develop an inclusive classroom community.
Respect, Honesty, & Gratitude
Children will understand respect and demonstrate respect in different places and ways. They will describe what honesty and telling the truth means and demonstrate ways of being honest. They will also describe what gratitude means and the importance of giving thanks.
Children will understand what responsibility means and demonstrate taking on responsibilities in the classroom. They will set a goal, create a strategy, and stick to a plan. They will also describe and demonstrate ways to solve a problem peacefully.
What’s Included in Every SEL Unit
Three Types of Discussion Cards
Discussions are a great warm-up to your SEL block or morning meeting. The included discussion cards provide a valuable way to engage kids and have them reflect. Discussion starters include questions, scenarios, and pictures to encourage a group discussion. No more coming up with engaging prompts; these are done for you!
Anchor Charts & Posters
Anchor chart materials are included for every lesson in this unit. The lesson plan clearly explains how to use it to support the main lesson. They help organize your lesson and as a visual for students. Simply print the anchor chart pieces and attach them to your poster to get started!
Support materials, such as bulletin boards and student tools, are included in this unit. They help children grasp the lesson and build important social-emotional skills. Create and use the tools as needed during your lessons and after to support your students.
Writing & Book Activities
Writing activities are included throughout the unit to emphasize the lesson topics. Kids will enjoy reflecting on books read and writing about the fun topics and prompts. You will have differentiated writing templates to use and meet your student’s needs. Just print and go to implement the writing activities quickly and easily!
Activities & Games
There are a variety of follow-up activities included in every lesson. These fun and engaging activities encourage students to build the important social-emotional skills taught in the lesson. There are independent, small group, and partner activities, such as games, sorting activities, and booklets.
Family Partnerhip Guide
Connect with and encourage families to take part in the social-emotional learning development of their child and the concepts you are teaching at school. This unit includes a printable guide with a letter to families, strategies and activities they can try at home, and a book guide with video links. Send it home before your unit begins. They will thank you!
Why Choose the Mind+Heart Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum for Your Classroom
This powerful SEL curriculum will help you achieve a more positive and productive classroom by equipping you with the tools to support your students better. You will get to know your students more deeply and build a happier classroom.
This curriculum gives you everything you need to teach SEL all year:
- age-appropriate topics kids will enjoy and benefit from
- thorough classroom lesson plans that are concise and easy to follow
- all lesson materials and instructions are provided in a layout that is simple and easy to implement
- promotes classroom community and relationship building with group discussion ideas
- engaging and fun independent and group activities
- practical techniques that can be easily implemented and used daily in the classroom (no special PD or training needed to be successful)
You will find opportunities to weave the program’s activities into your core content areas and build literacy skills through mentor texts & writing lessons.
mind+heart is a flexible SEL curriculum that can be taught when teachers have time. While the recommendation is to teach a lesson and use the activities to extend learning throughout the week. SEL using this program can be taught in as little as 15 minutes daily.
Build attitudes of respect and caring, reduce problem behaviors, empower students to solve problems, and educate the whole child with this social-emotional learning curriculum.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mind+Heart Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum
How much time does it take to prepare? How should I organize it?
Like all comprehensive curricula, time is needed to print and prepare materials ahead of time. Once the materials are prepared and ready to go, the time needed to prep goes down significantly. I recommend having your lesson plans organized in a binder with a separate tub of lesson materials and activities for each unit.
I already have an SEL curriculum at my school. Do I need this?
Whether you have a prescribed SEL program at your school or not, mind+heart can work for you! While many teachers use mind+heart as the main resource of their SEL block, some teachers use the curriculum to supplement what they already have and fill in gaps that are missing from their current programs.
I homeschool. Will this program work for me?
Absolutely! The mind+heart SEL curriculum is versatile and fits nicely into any K-5 classroom, school counseling environment, or homeschool setting. Most of the group activities can be completed with a partner or 1:1.
In what order do I teach the units and lessons? Is there a “right” way?
You can teach the units and lessons in whatever order you see fit. You don’t need to teach everything included in the curriculum, either. I recommend selecting the topics and lessons most needed for your students at a given time. You know your students best, so go with your gut and meet them where they are.
If you plan to use the complete curriculum, I recommend starting with emotional self-awareness first and then work your way through the units listed in the curriculum scope and sequence.
What Happy Teachers Are Saying about the mind+heart SEL Curriculum
I cannot even begin to explain how relieved I am to have found this resource. I have used recommended published SEL curriculums such as Second Step and they have not even begun to address the needs of my students. (As a general ed, first grade teacher, in a diverse title 1 school with a high population of ELLs… the needs of my students go beyond the average- ADHD, anxiety, PTSD, abuse, autism, etc.). I started off with “Self-Regulation” and it was perfect! Thank you so much! I bought this with my own money, without my principal’s consent, but once I started using it, and showed her how my students were using the language, vocabulary, and responding to the curriculum, she reimbursed me! Thank you so much. I am recommending it to all my fellow teachers and I hope they purchase it as well!~ Back to Teaching with Mrs G
There are no words for what this has done for my class this year. This is our center core of what we’re focussing on to become better people. Without your resource, I couldn’t teach social-emotional learning in the best way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.~ Jenna A
Our district gave us an SEL curriculum to use. This is SO MUCH BETTER. Don’t tell, but I think I’m going to stop using the “required” materials and start using these which are much more student friendly!~ Christine L.
FREE Social-Emotional Learning Lesson
See for yourself why the mind+heart Social-Emotional Learning curriculum is improving classroom communities and supporting children worldwide.
Download a free lesson and activities on identifying and labeling emotions from the Emotions unit by clicking the image below and signing up.
The Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum
If you are ready to invest in your student’s social and emotional well-being, then the mind+heart Social-Emotional Learning curriculum is for you!
Head over to my shop or Teachers Pay Teachers to see it up close and get started teaching SEL right away.
- See the complete mind+heart Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum for K-2 in the Proud to be Primary shop
- See the complete mind+heart Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum for K-2 on Teachers Pay Teachers
- Find the mind+heart Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum for 3-5 in the Proud to be Primary shop
- Find the mind+heart Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum for 3-5 on Teachers Pay Teachers
Check out the detailed preview in store for the scope and sequence, lesson topics, and see the activities included, and start imagining the positive change it can bring.
Digital SEL Lessons and Activities
The mind+heart social-emotional learning curriculum was redesigned entirely and reformatted to suit the needs of our virtual classrooms or digital technology and 1:1 classrooms.
Would having both printable and digital options available to you be helpful? If so, check out the bundles below.
More SEL Lessons & Activity Ideas
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FREE Social Emotional Learning Email Series
Sign up for the social emotional learning email course filled with tips to get you started, lesson and activity ideas, PLUS tons of FREE resources you can access right away. Everything you need to teach social skills and emotional literacy in the classroom!