With the recognition of the importance of the social and emotional dimensions of learning, there has been a large effort to move beyond just academics in education to teaching the “whole” child. Such efforts work toward making the classroom inclusive of ALL children so they feel apart of the group, safe within the context of school so that stress does not impede their learning, learn tolerance of the many types of people and viewpoints in the world, and practice self-care, self-acceptance, and conflict resolution so that they can thrive in our mutli-cultural, ever more interconnected world. This is an effort Maria Montessori would applaud and that she incorporated into the Method over 100 years ago. Included below are high-quality resources intended for teachers, schools, and districts from organizations that are promoting Social Emotional Learning (SEL) for children. The more students learn and practice these “soft skills” that employers say are critical in the 21st Century, the better they will thrive. The information below has been divided by topic, which can be accessed using the corresponding buttons below to make it easier to find the information you want. Don’t miss our other Online Resources pages that cover areas such as Teaching and Instruction, Childhood Health and Safety, Educational Technology, the Prepared Environment, Educational Technology, and Curriculum.

We continue to add resources as we find and review them, so be sure and check the pages often. To see new sites as we add them, visit the ClassrooMechanics Facebook page or better yet, sign up for our newsletter where we feature the new web resources along with other content and information of use to your Montessori practice.

General SEL Resources
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is a leading organization for advancing the practice of integrated academic, social, and emotional learning for all children in preschool through high school.

ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative and its companion web site, wholechildeducation.org, is an effort to change the conversation about education from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the long term development and success of children. Whether it’s instruction, school climate, leadership, family engagement, or any of the other issues schools face on a daily basis, all educators need tools to help them improve their actions and methods. A whole child approach, which ensures that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, sets the standard for comprehensive, sustainable school improvement and provides for long-term student success. Through this initiative, ASCD helps educators, families, community members, and policymakers transform to a vision of educating the whole child through sustainable, collaborative action. One of ASCD’s Whole Child Partner organizations is the American Montessori Society.

Full Name Logo for the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning EnvironmentsThe National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE) is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students. The Center offers information and technical assistance to states, districts, schools, institutions of higher learning, and communities focused on improving student supports and academic enrichment. We believe that with the right resources and support, educational stakeholders can better collaborate and serve students and families.

Character Lab was founded by Angela Duckworth, author of “Grit,” and other teachers and researchers, to create new ways to help all students develop character. Although character strengths are malleable, surprisingly little is known about how they can be intentionally cultivated. Character Lab strives to change this situation by bridging scientific research and daily classroom practice to help students learn character-building strategies and beliefs. This web site provides resources that are the result of their efforts.

Banner Logo of the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early LearningThe Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) is focused on promoting the social emotional development and school readiness of young children birth to age 5. CSEFEL is a national resource center funded by the Office of Head Start and Child Care Bureau for disseminating research and evidence-based practices to early childhood programs across the country.

Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use the materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants. The program emphasizes social justice and anti-bias. The anti-bias approach encourages children and young people to challenge prejudice and learn how to be agents of change in their own lives. The Social Justice Standards show how anti-bias education works through the four domains of identity, diversity, justice and action.

Faced with mental and physical health challenges at a global scale, the Center for Healthy Minds conducts rigorous scientific research to bring new insights and tools aimed at improving the well-being of people of all backgrounds and ages. Of interest to teachers is their free Kindness Curriculum, a set of classroom practices designed to help children develop their sense of compassion and pay attention to their own emotions so they can better manage them. Their scientific investigation of emotions, contemplative practices and qualities of mind that affect well-being, including attention, resilience, equanimity, savoring positive emotions, kindness, compassion, gratitude and empathy was incorporated into the curriculum to achieve their mission of making the world a kinder, wiser more compassionate place.
Center for the Collaborative Classroom is a nonprofit educational organization and their site provides resources that support the academic, ethical, and social development of children.

The Benefit Mindset describes societies everyday leaders who promote wellbeing on both an individual and a collective level. It builds on Carol Dweck’s pioneering research on how beliefs can profoundly shape the lives we lead and the actions we take. Rather than being driven by individual gain, this emerging community of people are finding that there is real value, in being of value – to ourselves, to others, to nature and to the future.

Differently Abled Learner Resources

The Head Start Center for Inclusion systematically addresses existing barriers to effective inclusion and increases the competence, confidence and effectiveness of personnel in Head Start programs to include children with disabilities. They take the most current research in including children with disabilities as well as the current research on professional development/knowledge utilization and move it into authentic everyday practice. These models of inclusion work well for ALL children not just those with special needs. Be sure to check out their teacher resources page: http://headstartinclusion.org/teacher-tools .

Understood aims to give parents of children, ages 3–20, who struggle with learning and attention issues a direct path to the support they need most to make them feel more confident and capable, less frustrated and alone. The organization wants to empower them to understand their children’s issues and relate to their experiences. With this knowledge, parents can make effective choices that propel their children from simply coping to truly thriving.To achieve this goal, Understood provides a variety of resources, including: 1) well-researched, practical information that’s easy to apply to everyday life, 2) daily access to expert advice that’s free of charge, clearly communicated and never influenced by commercial interests, 3) a secure community where parents can trade tips and experiences with other parents like them, 4) help in recognizing and developing children’s strengths and addressing their challenges, 5) resources and tips to help parents work constructively with schools, professionals and others in their community.

Behavior Resources

Conscious Discipline’s foundation of safety, connection and problem-solving is leading a revolution of the heart as concepts initially applied in the classroom extend to every facet of our lives. Conscious Discipline is an evidence-based approach to behavior management strategies and classroom structures. It has received high ratings in 8 of 10 categories in a Harvard analysis of the nation’s top 25 social-emotional learning programs that provides teachers with tools they can use to turn everyday situations into learning opportunities.

Ahaparenting.com is a web site filled with practical tips and strategies for parenting kids while maintaining a healthy parent-child relationship. Dr. Laura Markham, a Columbia University trainined Clinical Psychologist, is the expert behind the site, but she’s also an experienced mother of two, so she understands kids and parents. Her techniques translate proven science into the practical solutions you need for the family life you want. Her relationship-based approached has helped thousands of families across the U.S. and Canada find compassionate, common-sense solutions to everything from separation anxiety and sleep problems to sass talk and cell phones, all while keeping the parent-child relationship intact. Her techniques also work well in the classroom!

Mindfulness in the Classroom Resources

The Mindful Schools web site provides information and resources for bringing mindfulness into the classroom. The organization was founded on the belief that mindfulness provides young people with a compass to navigate their lives. Mindful Schools is one of the key players in the movement to integrate mindfulness into the everyday learning environment of K-12 classrooms. The organization has trained over 25,000 educators, parents, and mental health professionals who work with youth. These graduates, spanning 100+ countries, have reached over 1.5 million children worldwide.

Every brain needs a break! MindUP™ was created with educators, for educators, to help them improve student engagement in learning, academics and focus, and to give them some tools and strategies to bring joy back into the classroom. Teachers need tools to help not only their students, but themselves, and MindUP™ gives them a break from the stresses of daily life, leaving more time for teaching and less time managing classroom behavior.