Category Archives: SEL Mini Sparks

SEL Mini Spark #6 – A New Routine

Across the country, many teachers and students have transitioned into some form of distance learning. This is a big adjustment for most of us. You probably miss seeing your friends and teachers, going to special events like games and dances and even participating in ordinary parts of the school day, like lunch or short breaks. You might also miss — without realizing it — the routine that school brings to your life.

A school-day schedule helps us structure our time. It tells us when the day begins and ends, and how to spend all the hours in between. The school day builds in time for learning, physical activity and play, creativity, socializing, eating and taking breaks, too. Without this routine, a day at home can feel endless. Luckily, there are steps you can take to create a daily routine that works for you and provides some of the structure you’re missing. You’ll want to make sure your new routine allows you time for both productivity and rest.

Step 1: Read the rest of the Newsela article, Establishing a new routine for distance learning.

Step 2: Create a chart that includes the activities in your morning, afternoon, and evening distance learning routine. You may use a table in Google Docs or create a presentation in Google slides. Include clip art or photos that go along with each part of your day.


Step 3: Post your distance learning routine chart/slides in your home work space to keep you on track and get the most out of your distance learning journey!


SEL Mini Spark #5 – Inner Voice

We all have an inner voice that speaks to us regularly. When this voice is kind and understanding, it can be a great guide to helping you through challenges.
This exercise is all about getting to know your inner voice better. How do you talk to yourself when you face a challenge? Are you compassionate? Do you speak to yourself like you are your own best friend? Or are you a little more harsh and critical? Which voice do you think helps you reach your goals.
Step 1: Read about the challenges below and see how a self-critical voice (left column) sounds versus a self-compassionate one (right column). The compare how these two different voices affect the character you’re reading about.
Next time you have an adversity, take a moment to notice how your inner voice sounds. See if you can choose to speak to yourself with greater compassion. Speak to yourself like a best friend would speak to you.
Step 2: Your turn? Use one of the templates below to write in what you think a self-critical and self-compassionate voice sounds like. You can even use the last challenge you faced as an example.

SEL Mini Spark # 4 – World Kindness Day

November 13th is World Kindness Day but you can celebrate all year long! Complete this mini spark to explore ideas of sharing kindness and making it a daily practice.

Step 1 – Read this article that highlights 20 acts of kindness.

World Kindness Day

Step 2 – Write down 3 things from the list that you can do today!

1 – 

2 – 

3 – 

Step 3 – Once you have completed your 3 acts of kindness, snap a photo of one of them and send to your EY Coordinator.


SEL Mini Spark #3 – Square Breathing

In this video, boost your superpowers of calm and focus by breathing as Puffer Fish keeps time. Try playing this mindful game when you are overly excited or are in a meltdown. It is also helpful to play this game when you feel already feel relaxed to build the muscles of calming down in more stressful situations.

1 – Practice Square Breathing by watching this video and following along.

2 – Remember what you learned about square breathing the next time you feel stressed or upset. Share this technique with a friend or family member.

SEL Mini Spark #2 – Guided Meditation

Do you sometimes feel stressed from juggling school, friends, family, and extracurricular activities? If so, don’t worry! You’re not alone. We’ve got you covered! Sal from Khan Academy has recorded a few short meditations to help you relax.

You may be wondering—what is meditation? Why should I do it? Meditation, a simple practice of mindfulness, can help you reduce stress and improve your focus.

1 – Practice by listening to “Guided Meditation for Students” with Sal.

2 – Set some reminders to meditate on your iPad. Maybe begin with a few times a week and eventually find a time each and every day to practice meditation. 

3 – Check back here every so often for a new guided meditation with Sal.

Source: KhanAcademy

SEL Mini Spark #1 – Developing a Growth Mindset

1 – Watch this video on Growth Mindset.

This is a story of two seeds – both planted on the same day, in the same soil, in the same garden bed. One has a growth mindset—with a curious desire to grow and reach the outside world—while the other has a fixed mindset—filled with fear and choosing the remain stagnant in its soil.

This video explores the characteristics of a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. It busts the myth of perfection and teaches you to appreciate mistakes and failures. The video explains that fear is a natural universal emotion, how challenges help you grow, and provides tips on how to switch on their growth mindset.

Source: ClickView for Schools

2 – Think of a time that you were challenged and frustrated. What did you do to get through the situation? Write at least a paragraph (on iPad or paper) about this personal experience and what you learned from it. At the end of your paragraph, write some tips for developing a growth mindset.

3 – Keep your story for a reminder when you face your next challenge. If you would like to share your story, email your document or a photo of your written work to your EY Coordinator.