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4 Fun-Packed SEL Activities for Back-To-School

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As we inch closer to the start of another school year, one thing is for sure: whether in a remote, hybrid or in-person classroom, teachers and administrators agree that SEL (social emotional learning) and student engagement are top priorities.

At Unruly, we believe play is the key to connecting students, whether your class will be in-person, virtual, or hybrid. Play encourages students to expand their social emotional learning by demonstrating skills like good sportsmanship and effective communication. We break it all down in our latest blog with insights from administrators and educators as well as activities to encourage social emotional learning!

Virtual and Hybrid Learning Models This Fall

Figuring out how to incorporate SEL will vary depending on your school opening plan so before we get into tips for SEL, we wanted to share some data based on a survey we conducted with principals and educators on school openings.

As schools and districts plan for the 2020-2021 school year, the hybrid learning model is becoming more popular as explained in our recent study.  

According to a survey we conducted with 100 principals and 131 teachers,  while remote learning is somewhat effective in core subjects like math and english, non-core subject areas like social emotional learning, project-based learning, and computer science are more challenging in a distance learning environment. 

When hypothesizing about what to expect in the next academic year, one educator from Trenton, New Jersey said, “Just about everything [will be different next year]. Learning in itself is social.”

In fact, as they plan for the year ahead, administrators are in the process of adjusting their purchasing decisions to include products that aid student learning in a hybrid or remote environment.

Social Emotional Learning During Virtual and Hybrid Learning

Social- Emotional Learning is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions as noted by CASEL ( Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) and in our blog on SEL.

Educators across the board are focusing on the wellbeing of students and families as they roll out content and curriculum for the year ahead. A teacher from Ontario, Canada noted that she will modify her teaching plan heading into next year, but she also said, “I am concerned about their emotional well being first.”

Knowing that many schools will still be doing some form of distance or hybrid learning, Unruly Splats designed an SEL Activity Pack with a series of engaging and collaborative activities that focus on community play and work for both virtual and in-person settings. In these new SEL activities, we share four Splats games that focus on the competencies of self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. Each activity also includes an SEL-checklist for instructional reference, as well as suggested lesson plans. 

4 SEL Activities for Remote, Hybrid, or In-Person Learning

  • BUG OUT! - A cooperative, program debugging game. Each team has a snippet of bugged code, instruction for how the code should work, and together they create a functioning game!

  • WONDER SPLATS - A puzzle solving game where each player or group takes on a puzzle of their choice. There are three different challenges to take on!

  • FISHY SPLATS - A Splats take on the classic card game Go Fish! Each player picks a ‘hand’ type, called Fishy Splat A, B, or C. One at a time each player asks a question about what their Splat is doing. If they get it correct, they get a point!

  • WOULD YOU RATHER - A fun take on the Voting Machine game. Teams rush to agree on a question to pose to the whole class. The code keeps track of the votes and declares a winner!

Using Splats and Unstoppable Play for SEL

Active play with Unruly Splats will drive collaboration and engagement among students and is an easy way to incorporate SEL into other subjects like music, math, technology, and PE.  Wherever learning takes place this year one thing remains true, encouraging students to play and learn together will have a positive impact on their social emotional well-being and keep learning outcomes strong. 

The Unruly Splats Hybrid Learning Guide is designed to help educators use Splats in and out of the classroom and a great resource to have students playing no matter the setting. Even better, our new unstoppable play memberships include new resources for flexible play and hybrid learning. Educators have access to 12 physical and virtual Splats, online coaching, flexible start dates, and a growing library of virtual and hybrid learning resources. Request a call by clicking the button below to learn about how you can incorporate computer science, active play, and SEL into your school with Splats.

We’re interested in hearing how you’re addressing social emotional learning this year. Share your approach with us on Twitter with the hashtag #WeAreUnruly or email us at info@unruly-studios.com with your ideas to ensure the health and wellbeing of students through play in and out of the classroom! 

Unruly Studios makers of Unruly Splats, programmable, stompable floor tiles that help kids learn fundamental coding skills through recess-style play. Best for elementary and middle school students from PE to science or coding class, a great addition to the classroom for active STEM coding and play!

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