Endings and Beginnings: Setting Goals for Summer Success

By Beverly K. Bachel, author of What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go for It! A Guide for Teens

Endings and Beginnings: Setting Goals for Summer SuccessAt the beginning of the school year, we encourage kids to set goals. But by now, most kids (just like the rest of us!) are looking forward to summer vacation. In the flurry of year-end projects, field trips, and final exams, goals may no longer be first on our minds. But that doesn’t mean they can’t still be a springboard for success—as these examples show:

  • As seven-year-olds, twins Emma and Amy Bushman attended a summer cooking camp. As teens, they founded Bake Me Home, a charitable organization whose delicious cookies brighten the lives of others.
  • Dylan Spoering, at age eight, wanted to do something nice for his neighbors one summer. The result? A free front-porch concert that went viral, giving him a taste of what it might be like to achieve his goal of becoming a musician.
  • Maya Peterson, at age ten, used her summer break to attend a conference and further her goal of learning how to be wise with money. Now at age fifteen, she’s the author of a book focused on helping other kids learn how to become “early bird” investors.

Those are summers well spent! But how do you turn your I’m-on-vacation kids into successful goal getters? Here are five simple steps.

Step 1: Celebrate
Did your child get a better-than-expected grade on an exam? Develop a new skill? Help someone in need? Stand up to bullying? Overcome a bad habit? Take several minutes and jot down as many of your child’s accomplishments as you can. Then, share your list with your child and, as appropriate, other family members, asking them to add to it.

When you have a list that feels worth honoring, invite your child to sit down as you read the list aloud, offering your congratulations and a few high fives along the way. A celebration may also be appropriate. How you honor your child’s success is up to you, but keep in mind that celebrations (and other rewards) should be:

  • Timely. Don’t delay or the celebration will lose meaning.
  • Proportional to the size of your child’s accomplishment. Being named to the honor roll warrants a bigger celebration than doing well on a weekly quiz.
  • Meaningful to your child. If your child loves thrills, a pass to a nearby amusement park may be just the thing. Other children may prefer something less extreme like a chore-free weekend or a chance to go fishing.

Step 2: Check In
Once you’ve focused on the positive, which helps build kids’ self-esteems and motivates them to persist even when things don’t come easy, it’s time to check in on the goals your child set at the beginning of the school year. One tool that can help is a Goal Check.

Like a postgame recap, a Goal Check helps your child (and you) determine what’s working, what’s not, and how to move forward. Begin by asking how your child feels about each goal and about his progress toward it. Ask open-ended questions such as, “Why was your goal important in the first place?” “What did you do well?” and “What could you have done differently?”

Also ask your child if the goal is still important. If not, give your child permission to let go of it and grab a new one. On the other hand, if your child still wants to achieve the goal, offer your support and encourage him to seek three important types of help:

  • Get-there help. Practical stuff that helps kids get to where they want to go, get-there help includes things such as access to sports equipment or carpools to and from practice.
  • Know-how help. This includes knowledge and skills that help kids accomplish what they set out to do—everything from how to fill out a job application to tips for taking better selfies.
  • Feel-good help. These mental and emotional pick-me-ups designed to help kids feel better about themselves include verbal and written compliments as well as quality one-on-one time.

You may also want to help your child determine what’s been keeping him stuck.

Endings and Beginnings: Setting Goals for Summer Success

Step 3: Brainstorm
Once you have a sense of what might be getting in the way of your child’s success, it’s time to tip the odds in her favor by encouraging her to set one or more goals for the summer. First, ask your child if she is still interested in going after any previous goals. If so, great. If not, ask open-ended questions to help your child identify other goals. Here are some of my favorite conversation starters:

  • What’s one thing you want to accomplish this summer?
  • What would you feel excited about being able to do in school next year that you can’t do right now?
  • If you could be, do, or own anything when you grow up, what would it be?

Your child’s goals don’t have to be as lofty as starting a charitable organization or writing a book like the kids at the beginning of this post. In fact, going for a too-big goal can be like trying to eat an apple in one bite. Instead, concentrate on helping your child set a right-size goal that fits her age, interests, and skill level.

Step 4: Get SMART
To increase your child’s chances of success, help him craft goals that are SMART. SMART goals are:

  • Savvy: Easy for your child to understand and use. (Construct my dream house out of paper and tape.)
  • Measurable: Define exactly what your child intends to accomplish. (Shoot 1,000 baskets a week.)
  • Active: Say what specific action your child will take. (Run a 10k.)
  • Reachable: Require work but aren’t impossible. (Even though my sister makes more than minimum wage, my goal is to get a summer job that pays minimum wage.)
  • Timed: Include clear deadlines. (Save $100 by September 1.)

Step 5: Start Climbing
Once your child’s goal is SMART, help her create a Goal Ladder. Just as a real ladder makes it easy to climb higher rung by rung, a Goal Ladder makes it easy for kids to climb toward their goals by breaking goals into doable steps.

Begin by asking your child what it will take to climb from one rung to the next. Once you’ve worked together to make a list of steps, cross out any that don’t seem useful. Then rewrite the remaining steps in logical order and assign a deadline to each.

Here’s what a completed Goal Ladder for finding a summer job might look like:
Endings and Beginnings: Setting Goals for Summer Success

Congratulations! Even if your child hasn’t reached the first rung—yet—he has done what all successful goal getters do: set a goal, put it in writing, and shared it with others. Now it’s time for your child to make steady rung-by-rung progress. Even small amounts of time on a task can add up quickly. Plus, completing a task builds motivation by releasing endorphins, the brain’s feel-good chemical. High fives also help, as does praise from you and other family members.

The result? A springboard to summer success that will carry over into the new school year.

Author Bev BachelBev Bachel has helped thousands of get-to-it-later teens (and adults) become real goal getters. She set her first goal—sell twenty-five glasses of lemonade—at age five and has since used the power of goal setting to make new friends, buy a car, run a marathon, read a book a week, and buy an island beach house. In addition to writing and speaking about goals, Bev owns her own marketing and communications company and writes freelance articles.

What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go for It! A Guide for TeensBev Bachel is the author of What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go for It! A Guide for Teens.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2018 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved.

Posted in Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Using Group Experiences to Help Young Children Develop Social-Emotional Skills

By Michelle Salcedo, M.Ed., author of Uncover the Roots of Challenging Behavior: Create Responsive Environments Where Young Children Thrive

Using Group Experiences to Help Young Children Develop Social-Emotional SkillsCan you imagine if you were challenged to master a complex cake recipe after having only a conversation with a renowned chef? Or if you were asked to learn to play golf by watching a video of a talented professional? Chances are in either of these scenarios you might gain a working knowledge of the right vocabulary and might even learn some of the needed skills. But conversations, videos, articles, and so on rarely lead to true mastery.

Educational philosopher John Dewey once said, “The only way to prepare for social life is to engage in social life. To form habits of social usefulness and serviceableness apart from any direct social need and motive, apart from any existing social situation, is, to the letter, teaching the child to swim by going through motions outside of the water.” These words, uttered many years ago, still hold much wisdom today. The way to truly learn a skill is to use it. This is especially true for young children because they are contextual learners: They learn best within the context of a situation in which the skill is needed. This is true for academic topics too. As opposed to through a practice like “Letter of the Week,” children learn letters best when letters are part of words that interest them. Numbers are another example. Reciting numbers from 1 to 10 is one thing, but to truly understand numeracy, children need real experiences using numbers.

And this is also true of social skills. To learn to be part of a community, children need to take part in group experiences.

Human beings are not born understanding that hitting is wrong, that sharing is good, and that at times we all must wait for what we want: We learn these skills as we gain experience with others. As teachers plan and facilitate group experiences, they provide real opportunities for children to develop and practice the skills needed to navigate social situations.

For example, teachers can set up small groups during which they support children in sharing materials, such as tools for working with clay or playdough (there should be enough clay or dough for everyone). Or during group time, teachers can use puppets to present a story that poses some sort of social conflict. Children can propose possible solutions for the puppets to play out. Scenarios may include a situation in which one puppet teases another puppet or one in which a character takes a toy away from another character. These social story problems allow children to explore these topics in ways that are safe and facilitate group problem-solving.

Family-style meals are wonderful times for children to develop social skills. As children wait for the bowl of desired food to make its way around the table, they exercise and strengthen the social “muscles” needed for waiting. As they request the plate of sandwiches to be passed, they learn that the honey of courtesy attracts more flies than the vinegar of demands.

Children who enter kindergarten with strong social and emotional skills do much better at getting down to the business of learning. Children with strong social and emotional skills are also better equipped for life beyond kindergarten. And as John Dewey reminds us, those skills can only be learned and honed through use.

Early childhood educators are in unique positions to support the development of these essential skills. Just as we intentionally plan lessons to teach children literacy, math, science, and social studies, we must intentionally set up opportunities for children to use their burgeoning social skills.Using Group Experiences to Help Young Children Develop Social-Emotional Skills

The gift of these skills is one that will continue to serve children well beyond the time they spend with you.

BONUS! Download the HOMES Active Learning Scale, a free printable page from Uncover the Roots of Challenging Behavior. As you plan activities, use the scale to determine if they are hands-on, open-ended, meaningful, engaging, and sensory-oriented. While it is unrealistic to expect that all activities score a 5 on the HOMES scale, it is better for children and reduces challenging behavior when teachers strive to plan and facilitate activities that score at least 3 points.

Michelle SalcedoMichelle Salcedo, M.Ed., is the chief academic officer at Sunshine House Early Learning Academy, a chain of over 120 childcare centers located across the United States. Her articles on young children frequently appear on the Sunshine House’s website and in the popular childcare journal Exchange. She has worked in the field of early childhood for over 30 years, starting as a “teacher’s helper” in her younger brother’s center. She has served as a teacher, director, trainer, and family educator in numerous childcare settings across Michigan, South Carolina, and Spain. She lives in Greenville, South Carolina.

Uncover the Roots of Challenging BehaviorMichelle is the author of Uncover the Roots of Challenging Behavior.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2018 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved.

Posted in Early Childhood, Social & Emotional Learning | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Enter to Win Books for Reducing Challenging Behavior in Young Children

Enter to Win Books for Reducing Challenging Behavior in Young ChildrenThis month we’re thrilled to give away a copy of Michelle Salcedo’s new book, Uncover the Roots of Challenging Behavior, along with eight other books to help little ones learn how to calm down, share, get along with others, and more:

To Enter: Leave a comment below telling us about the challenging behavior you deal with most frequently.

For additional entries, leave a separate comment below for each of the following tasks that you complete:

Each comment counts as a separate entry—that’s four chances to win! Entries must be received by midnight, May 18, 2018.

The winner will be contacted via email on or around May 21, 2018, and will need to respond within 72 hours to claim his or her prize or another winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Winner must be a U.S. resident, 18 years of age or older.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.

FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2018 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved.

Posted in Early Childhood, Free Spirit News | Tagged , | 222 Comments

Tips for Teaching Summer School

By Andrew Hawk

Tips for Teaching Summer SchoolFor most students in America, summer is a season for vacationing and taking a break from school. Unfortunately, a small percentage of students spend part of their summer working on academic tasks. Sometimes these students are in summer school for lacking a sense of urgency during the school year. However, more often than not, students who attend summer school are struggling learners who cannot afford a long break from academic activities because the resulting regression will impact their progress.

My first job as a licensed teacher was teaching summer school. During my time as a teacher, I have never taken a summer off. I have taught at a residential care facility, taught in Extended School Year (ESY) programs, helped run a theater day camp, and, of course, taught general summer school for struggling readers. Teaching summer school offers educators a chance to work with new students and try new teaching techniques with a smaller group. Here are some tips that will help you make summer school a success.

Empathize with Your Students
I hope you do this during the school year, too, but summer school is a little different story. Most students view summer school as a punishment. They know that not all students are attending summer school and often think their required attendance is unfair. Recognize this and help them move past it. I have taught ages five through eighteen during the summer. No matter students’ age, I start off by telling my group how happy I am to have the chance to teach them. I follow this up by telling students that I understand they may not feel the same, but I hope that by the end of our time together, they will have enjoyed some of the activities we completed. Telling students that they are in summer school due to their actions is really unnecessary. Even if it is a true statement, there is no reason to say this to a student. If you hear students complaining about summer school, keep your responses positive. Focus on how you enjoy students’ company and the fun learning opportunities you are going to provide them.

Try Some New Strategies
Obviously it is important to teach content-rich lessons during the school year. However, when summer rolls around, teachers need to push their lesson-planning game to a new level. Now is not the time to use recycled lessons and punishment to motivate students into paying attention. Trust me, it is a lot easier to show students something they have not seen before and draw them into a lesson. Summer is a great time to try some new ideas. You might find strategies you like and begin to use these strategies during the regular school year.

Tips for Summer School ListRelax a Little
I am sure you have heard before that learning does not take place without effective classroom management. I agree that this is true, but during the summer, I try to keep things a little more relaxed. I usually do not give consequences during summer school. Smaller group size and fun teaching strategies help eliminate that need.

Offer Some Sort of Reward
I am not suggesting that you buy your students presents per se, but I believe in offering tangible rewards during summer school. I had a colleague three summers ago who talked our local pool into donating free single-use pool passes for our groups. Last year, the teacher who taught next to me incorporated a group reward with a fun management system. She brought in a box of brownie mix. Each day her group displayed appropriate behavior, she used a little scoop to scoop some mix into a container. When the container was full, she baked brownies and brought them in for her students. Usually I give students candy, but I am considering trying the brownie idea this year. The cornerstone of being an effective teacher is borrowing ideas from others.

Use Time Wisely
In the summer, class time is usually limited to half a school day or less. This being so, there is not a minute to spare in your lesson planning. When implementing lesson plans, try to be as exact as possible. If students need material differentiated or require one-on-one assistance, be sure to include extra time in your lesson plans.

Collaborate with Peers
Unlike during the regular school year, during summer school you do not have much time to get to know your students. Get a head start by reaching out to teachers who taught your summer school students during the regular school year. These teachers should be able to offer you some valuable insights about how to meet the needs of your new students. Additionally, you must review IEPs and any other education-related documents you have at your disposal.

Reach Out to Parents
Summer school is often short. I have taught sessions that lasted only three weeks. For this reason, teachers sometimes skip over the important step of making positive contact with parents. I recommend a brief phone conversation within the first day or two of your summer session. In addition to gaining support at home, you may be able to head off some issues before they escalate. For example, one year I called a mother who believed her son was being retained at the end of summer school. She was stewing on the issue while she decided what she would say to our administrator. My phone call to her lasted only a few minutes, but I was able to reassure her that her son was not going to be retained.

Take Things Outside
Good weather should not be wasted. If your content material can be taught outside, I say move things outside. Be sure to quickly review behavior expectations with your students first. If students can maintain appropriate behavior, teaching outside makes the day a little more enjoyable for everyone.

Andrew HawkAndrew Hawk has worked in public education for sixteen years, starting as a teaching assistant in a special education classroom. He has taught first, second, and fifth grades as a classroom teacher, and for the past five years, has worked as a resource room teacher, providing services for fourth and fifth graders. Working as a special education teacher has given him the opportunity to work with a variety of age groups and exceptionalities. Andrew earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Indiana University East in Richmond, Indiana. In 2011, he earned his master’s degree in special education from Western Governor’s University, and in 2016, he completed a second master’s degree in educational leadership, also from WGU. When Andrew is not preparing for school, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2018 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved.

Posted in Elementary Angle, Teaching Strategies | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to Boost Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in Students: A Q&A with Drs. Maurice Elias and Steven Tobias

By Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., and Steven E. Tobias, Psy.D., coauthors of Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students: 30 Flexible Research-Based Activities to Build EQ Skills (Grades 5–9)

How to Boost Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in Students: A Q&A with Drs. Maurice Elias and Steven TobiasDeveloping emotional intelligence (EQ) in students is essential to preparing them for success in college, careers, and adult life. In March, Free Spirit authors Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., and Steven E. Tobias, Psy.D., discussed in a webinar through edWeb what EQ is, why you should teach it, and how you can build valuable EQ skills in your students. Watch the recording of “How to Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students,” then read on for a bonus Q&A with Drs. Elias and Tobias.

Q: Do students’ ages make a difference when deciding whether to focus on one, two, or three of the EQ areas?
A: No. The key principle is matching the instruction realistically to the time available. We believe that EQ Area 1—Self-Awareness and Self-Management—is the foundation for the other areas. That’s why we feel that if one were to do two areas, one could do Areas 1 and 2 or Areas 1 and 3, but Area 1 is essential. We also know that, in general, the younger the child, the longer it can take to learn skills, so you want to be mindful of that in how long you focus on an EQ area. Our specific recommendations, in the webinar and in our book Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students, apply to grades 5 through 9.

Q: Many of the teachers in my school would appreciate these skills. Is there a book study for your text? We could perhaps use that as a way to start the discussion in our school as well as to earn recertification points.
A: There is no book study per se, but the structure of the book lends itself well to what you are thinking about. Specifically, you could structure a book study like this:

  • Session 1: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why Should We Teach It?
  • Session 2: Adolescent Brain and Developmental Considerations
  • Session 3: Lessons and Materials and the Pedagogic Structure of Intervention Design
  • Session 4 (or more): Specific Lesson Activities (which can be discussed, piloted, and then discussed again as a group—with the process repeated, perhaps across EQ Areas, as time allows). Note that there is much value to simply piloting lessons—even if students have not had prior lessons and context—just to get a feel for the procedures and timing.

If you need this to be formalized for it to count for recertification points, you can reach out to Steven or me, and we can review your process and progress.

Q: Is there any general questionnaire or scale you recommend to assess EQ (all three areas) in 9- to 14-year-old kids?
A: The two best known and most feasible scales are the EQ-i:YV by Reuven Bar-On and James Parker and the DESSA-mini.

However, if you are engaging in a specific intervention, you may find that what these scales are assessing does not match what you are doing. Or you might want to supplement these measures with an assessment more tailored to your particular focus. In that case, guidelines in The Other Side of the Report Card: Assessing Students’ Social, Emotional, and Character Development by Maurice Elias, Joseph Ferrito, and Dominic Moceri can be useful in helping you develop that assessment.

Q: What are some resources to apply this work with preschoolers? What would work for creating a positive class management environment in preschool classes?
A: Materials consistent with the EQ approach in the webinar can be found at Research Press Publishers, including the ICPS curriculum for preschoolers and kindergartners and the Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving curriculum for grades K through 1. For creating a positive classroom environment, materials from Free Spirit are relevant, such as The School Climate Solution by Jonathan Erwin and Activities for Building Character and Social-Emotional Learning PreK–K by Katia Petersen, as are resources from the Northeast Foundation for Children (The Morning Meeting Book and Rules in School).

Q: Do you have or know of programs that have implemented this instruction and been evaluated? Like in an RCT?
A: The best summary of the evidence can be found in this article:
Durlak, J. A., et al. “The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions.” Child Development 82, no. 1 (2011): 405–432.

CASEL also provides guides that summarize empirical evidence for a large number of programs at elementary, middle, and high school levels. The programs they identify as SELect—which are the basis for the interventions included in Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students—have the strongest empirical evidence behind them. There are very few RCTs, and those that do exist are limited in the grade levels and demographic populations to which they are applied.

Q: We don’t have advisory classes in my school, but I want to help with my own kids’ emotional intelligence. Are there strategies that can be integrated in an academic class like algebra?
A: Yes. We believe that EQ can be integrated in any academic class:

  • When students are working in small groups, you can have them focus on using good communication skills and understanding and respecting others’ perspectives.
  • Algebra itself involves problem-solving. Have students look at the steps they go through in solving an equation and how they can use these kinds of steps in other problem-solving situations.
  • Have students discuss different ways of thinking about and solving a problem.
  • Have students periodically do a self-calming breathing exercise, and prompt them to use the exercise before a test.
  • Encourage students to talk their way through a problem—to verbalize the process—and to make positive self-statements such as, “I can get this if I keep trying,” “This is hard but I can do it,” and so on.
  • Set clear goals for each year, unit, and so on, and state your goals to students. Encourage students to set goals for themselves.
  • Have students periodically reflect on what they have learned and have them self-evaluate.
  • Have students come up with study plans, which include:
    • Who are you going to study with?
    • What are you going to study?
    • When are you going to study?
    • Where are you going to study?
    • How are you going to study?

Q: Is there any place we can see a sample lesson from your book?
A: Yes, you can see a preview of our book at Free Spirit Publishing’s website. You can find Lesson 1 here.

Q: Does your book include sample role plays?
A: Yes. Role playing is an important strategy for students to learn and practice EQ skills. It makes EQ more concrete for students, it helps you assess other areas of skill deficit (communication, self-control), it helps build relationships among role players, and it is usually fun.

Q: Would you share resources for songs about emotions?
A: Happily! Go to happykidssongs.com to find some samples and ways to access materials that have been prepared with the highest degree of attention to evidence-based approaches. Most recently, Don McManus and his team have developed emotion-focused musicals that can be used as productions in schools.

Q: Is this program implemented only by counselors or teachers in the classroom? Does it apply to special education?
A: The approach in Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students is designed to be flexibly implemented by teachers in the classroom, counselors, school psychologists or social workers in the classroom, nurses, vice principals in charge of discipline, playground supervisors, or anyone else responsible for students’ social and emotional well-being, which is basically everyone. Any of these professionals can also lead the book’s lessons in pullout groups of varying lengths. The program can be done in a formal and sequential manner, but school personnel can also pick and choose skills and lessons most relevant to their roles and circumstances. The book also provides guidance regarding what to do per the number of sessions available and, most importantly, for those running after-school and out-of-school programs.

The skills in Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students are ones that can be found in most IEPs—students need self-awareness and self-management, social awareness and relationship skills, and responsible decision-making and problem-solving. The way to adapt the lessons for special education populations (behavior challenges or emotionally troubled, in particular) is to plan on taking two to four sessions to cover what is written in a single lesson in the book. Plan on using all the practice examples and more, not just some. Plan on regular review of the use and potential use of the skills. You will find that the pedagogic structure of the activities is geared toward fostering retention and generalization.

We recommend not moving on from EQ Area 1—Self-Awareness and Self-Management—too quickly. And we also suggest supplementing lessons with resources such as What Do You Stand For? For Teens and other student leadership materials from Free Spirit, which you can find at their website in the self-help for teens and student leadership sections.

Ultimately, we believe that inspiration precedes remediation, so motivating students with leadership and service opportunities will make them more likely to actively want to build the skills needed to take advantage of those opportunities. Preparing students with special education classifications for their future roles as citizens is no less important than preparing any other population of students, and it deserves explicit attention since many special education students come to believe they are neither capable nor valued.

Q: How would you recommend advocating for this work with a principal or superintendent?
A: The evidence laid out in the first section of Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students—and summarized in the initial slides of the webinar—makes the best case for someone who is genuinely open minded. The benefits to behavior, academics, and college and career success—particularly among disadvantaged or minority students—as well as to teacher job satisfaction, should provide as much incentive as one might wish. Of course, these benefits accrue when the approaches are used extensively and continuously. Working with a pullout group of students will not change the climate of a school or raise a school’s test scores—but it will improve the school experience for the students involved and those teachers who have them in class and may well improve these students’ academics over time.

Maurice EliasMaurice J. Elias, Ph.D., is a professor and former director of clinical training in the Department of Psychology, Rutgers University. He is also director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, academic director of the Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service, and founding member of the Leadership Team for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Dr. Elias lectures nationally and internationally and devotes his research and writing to the area of social-emotional and character development in children, schools, and families. He is a licensed psychologist and writes a blog on social-emotional and character development for the George Lucas Educational Foundation at Edutopia. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Ellen, near their children and grandchildren.

Steven TobiasSteven E. Tobias, Psy.D., is the director of the Center for Child & Family Development in Morristown, New Jersey. He has over thirty years of experience working with children, parents, families, and schools. Dr. Tobias feels a strong commitment to children’s social and emotional development and provides consultation to schools as a way of reaching many children, including those who are underserved in terms of their social and emotional needs. He has coauthored several books with Dr. Maurice Elias, including Emotionally Intelligent Parenting and Raising Emotionally Intelligent Teenagers. He has given lectures throughout the United States on topics related to parenting and children’s emotional development. Dr. Tobias lives in New Jersey.

Boost Emotional Intelligence in StudentsMaurice and Steven are coauthors of Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students: 30 Flexible Research-Based Activities to Build EQ Skills.


Join Free Spirit on edWeb! Visit www.edweb.net/studentachievement to explore practical, effective ways to integrate social-emotional learning, inclusive teaching practice, and higher-level instruction. As a community member, you will receive:

    • invitations to free webinars presented by leading experts
    • free CE certificates for attending and viewing webinars
    • access to a resource library, teaching tools, and previous webinar recordings
    • opportunities to engage with thought leaders and other educators through online discussion forums

We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2018 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved.

Posted in Social & Emotional Learning, Teaching Strategies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment