Summer Reading: An SEL Frame of Mind

Greetings Readers!

As the days grow shorter and Labor Day approaches, most of you are preparing your minds and classrooms for the start of the school year.  Increasingly, that means not only writing or revising academic goals and lesson plans but also considering how best to foster the emotional well-being and growth of a new group of learners.  What strengths and challenges will your students bring with them?  How will you cultivate the former and meet the latter?  We thought you might be interested, in this last gasp of summer reading time, to dip into some recent books about social emotional learning and mindfulness: what better way to get into a positive mindset about the fall semester?  The dozen titles below are recommendations from two of Norton’s authors whose own work and writing focus on the social and emotional aspects of educating the whole child.

-Carol Collins

Editor, Norton Books in Education

P.S. K-12Talk will take a break next week and will resume with Back to School posts after Labor Day. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

From Patricia A. Jennings, series editor of The Norton Series on Social Emotional Learning Solutions; author of Mindfulness for Teachers (2015), Mindfulness in the PreK-5 Classroom (2019, SEL Solutions Series)and The Trauma-Sensitive Classroom (2019)

  • Building Emotional Intelligence: Practices to Cultivate Inner Resilience in Children by Linda Lantieri (Electronic University, 2014)

A guide for educators, counselors, and parents teaching children how to respond to stress. This book presents exercises and activities to help children focus their minds and tune into their bodies and emotions.

  • Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience by Christopher Willard, Psy.D. (Sounds True, 2016)

With more than 75 exercises, this book teaches parents, educators, and counselors how to empower children with resilience through mindfulness skills.

  • Learning to Breathe: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents to Cultivate Emotion Regulation, Attention, and Performance by Patricia C. Broderick (New Harbinger Publications, 2013)

Foundational meditation skills are tailored to the developmental needs of adolescents in this mindfulness program. Managing stress and difficult emotions and developing attention are among the crucial skills students will gain from this curriculum.

  • Little Flower Yoga for Kids: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program to Help Your Child Improve Attention and Emotional Balance by Jennifer Cohen Harper, MA, E-RCYT (New Harbinger Publications, 2013)

Based on the Little Flower Yoga program developed by a kindergarten teacher, Little Flower Yoga for Kids is an easy-to-read guide to teaching children yoga to increase focus and manage their emotions.

  • The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students by Daniel Rechtschaffen (Norton Professional Books, 2014)

An introduction to the Mindful Education movement and the many benefits of mindful practice for both students and teachers, with practical exercises and lesson plans for students of all ages and needs.

From Meena Srinivasan, author of SEL Every Day: Integrating Social and Emotional Learning with Instruction in Secondary Classrooms (2019, SEL Solutions Series)

  • Assessing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Guide to Meaningful Measurement (SEL Solutions Series) by Clark McKown (Norton Professional Books, 2019)

An essential guide to using social and emotional assessment in support of teaching and learning. This book provides educators with practical information that they can use to clarify their assessment goals, identify viable assessment options that meet their needs, and understand and use assessment data to inform their practice and improve student outcomes.

  • Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students: 30 Flexible Research-Based Activities to Build EQ Skills (Grades 5-9) by Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., and Steven E. Tobias, Psy.D. (Free Spirit Publishing, 2018)

This book provides an introduction to emotional intelligence and why it matters for students, as well as a detailed guide for incorporating EQ into your curriculum with thirty hands-on lessons.

  • Circle Forward: Building a Restorative School Community by Carolyn Boyes-Watson and Kay Pranis (Living Justice Press, 2014)

A guide to incorporating Circle practice into the everyday routines of school communities, including using Circles to teach and learn, to develop social-emotional skills, to promote connection, to develop students’ leadership skills, and many other purposes.

  • Creating a Culture of Reflective Practice: Capacity-Building for Schoolwide Success by Pete Hall and Alisa Simeral (ASCD, 2017)

A guide for administrators to helping teachers develop practices of self-reflection in order to promote the well-being and achievement of their students.

  • Happy Teachers Change the World: A Guide for Cultivating Mindfulness in Education by Thich Nhất Hạnh and Katherine Weare (Parallax Press, 2017)

The Thich Nhất Hạnh/Plum Village approach to mindfulness education spans the entire range of grade levels, from preschool to higher education, and stresses that educators must first establish their own mindfulness practice as a foundation for their work in the classroom.

  • Mindfulness Practices: Cultivating Heart Centered Communities Where Students Focus and Flourish by Christine Mason, Michele M. Rivers Murphy, and Yvette Jackson (Solution Tree Press, 2018)

A book of adaptable mindful education exercises that can be applied across grade levels, Mindfulness Practices illustrates the impact of mindfulness on the performance and well-being of students and provides the tools necessary to incorporate mindfulness into every classroom.

  • Mindful Teacher, Mindful School: Improving Well-Being in Teaching and Learning by Kevin Hawkins (SAGE Publications Ltd., 2017)

A guide to transforming education through mindful practice. Educators can apply Hawkins’ approach to their personal lives, professional lives, and classrooms to benefit teacher, student, and school community.

And check out these related articles from some of our previous blog posts!

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