Tools for Building Community and Social-Emotional Learning in the New School Year

The long-awaited academic year has begun. Students can finally gather in their classrooms and school. It is the time when students look forward to sharing their stories and discussing recent news. Teachers constantly look for different ideas or tools to help them create the right learning spaces and opportunities for their students.

Gettingsmart ( shares tools for building relationships and promoting social-emotional learning (SEL). At the start of the school year, it’s important that teachers focus on building relationships and learning about their students, and giving them an opportunity as well as their families to learn about teachers, school and classmates as well.

What is nice about the tools suggested by Gettingsmart is that they can be used at the start of the year to get to know classmates, share learning, explore new ideas and build SEL skills. They are great to use for assessments throughout the year, whether through digital storytelling, digital portfolios, independent learning via PBL or genius hour, and more that promote student choice and voice. They are also good options for promoting student engagement by having students become creators rather than consumers in our classrooms.

You can learn more about these tools at:


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