SEL 3 Signature Practices

Welcome to the SEL 3 Signature Practices Playbook, your on-ramp for integrating social and emotional learning (SEL) into classrooms, schools, districts and offices.

Weave the signature practices throughout the day, every day, as a regular part of planning and facilitating lessons, meetings, and professional learning. These research-based practices can be part of a systemic approach to SEL. They help us build and practice social and emotional skills and create a climate of belonging for everyone, building strong, equitable, effective learning and working environments.  


Inclusive Welcome


Open each class period, meeting, or professional learning experience with an inclusive welcome.

An inclusive welcome is culturally and linguistically respectful, builds community, and connects to the work ahead. When planning and facilitating activities, educators are always thinking, “What’s my purpose?” The inclusive welcome is an opportunity to bring that purpose to life. What to a casual observer might appear to be an icebreaker or time-filler can be an intentional, effective educational strategy. 


Engaging Strategies


Embed engaging strategies throughout the experience.

Engaging strategies offer opportunities for participants to more fully grasp content and to connect learning to their own contexts. Build in a balance of interactive and reflective experiences that vary in complexity and style to meet the needs of all participants and your intended outcomes for the time together.


Intentional Close


Close each experience in an intentional way that builds a bridge to a next step.

An intentional close highlights an individual and shared understanding of the content and purpose of the engagement, illuminates the intellectual and emotional experience just shared, can provide a sense of accomplishment, and supports forward-thinking. The closing activity may be reflective of the process or the content, help identify next steps, make connections to one’s own work, or show appreciation for one another.

What does SEL look like?

How can we start doing SEL right now?

The SEL 3 Signature Practices were developed in response to these frequently asked questions. Grounded in CASEL’s SEL framework and focal constructs of SEL, these practices are an accessible starting place for do-able, effective systemic SEL. While they can appear simple, they provide opportunities for influencing complex systems in significant ways.

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