Social-emotional learning is an important part of classroom teaching. While some schools may devote specific lessons to tackle this area, you can continue the practices by integrating short activities into your daily lessons. Spending 5 minutes a day building student relationships can prepare you for successful classroom management and foster positive student relationships.
How to Quickly Build Student Relationships
Question of the Day SEL Activity
Add a Question of the Day to your classroom routine! If you have a bitmoji classroom, add a spot to house your question. Quickly edit it each day.
Questions can range from having students share something about themselves to a Would You Rather Question.
At the beginning of the year, spend the extra few minutes having students tell more about themselves. On days that you are short on time, throw a Would You Rather Question… this type of question can quickly be answered in about 30 seconds but can be extended by having a select number of students share their reasoning.
How to Implement this SEL Strategy
Using this SEL activity in your classroom is easy!
- If you use a daily slide or Bitmoji classroom, add a spot to hold your Question of the Day.
- Project the slide on your Smartboard. Students will follow your classroom procedures while they are entering your classroom. An added step is that they can also think about your daily question.
- After you have handled classroom attendance before starting the class lesson, have students respond to the question. Your question choice will determine the amount of class time spent on the activity.
- Transition to your class lesson.
Teacher tip: At the beginning of the year, try asking questions that will have each student answer. You want to elicit a conversation with your students to help bond with them.
On days when you are short on time, ask a question that can quickly poll the students. This will help you maintain structure without losing out on class time.
Why Should You Include SEL Activities in Your Classroom?
Forming positive relationships with students has many benefits. Using this strategy will help you to:
- Build motivation – Brains release dopamine when they encounter positive interactions and positive reinforcement. Student brains will feel good and motivated to feel that way again!
- Create a safe learning space – Oxytocin is released when laughing and talking, which helps us bond with others. The more students do this in your classroom, the stronger their bond will become.
- Improve student behavior – Often, students imitate our behaviors whether we realize it or not. This happens when students mirror-image our actions. So, displaying empathy, turn-talking, cooperation, or deep breathing when frustrated can set an example for students.