How to implement social and emotional learning at your school


Photo credit: DFID – UK Department for International Development via flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Editor’s note: This piece is co-authored by Maurice Elias, Larry Leverett, Joan Cole Duffell, Neil Humphrey, Cesalie Stepney, and Joseph Ferrito, and adapted from the Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning, now available from Guilford Press.

Every school in the United States, and indeed, every school in the world, addresses the social-emotional and character development of the students who pass through its doors. It is impossible to bring adults and children together for long periods of time and not influence children’s skills and the kinds of people they will become when putting those skills to use.

These processes, for many years, have been informal and haphazard. For many schools, social and emotional learning (SEL) programs are disconnected and uncoordinated, and can be associated with the negative effects and fragmentation on staff morale and student engagement and learning (Elias, 2009). Ideally, however, SEL is comprehensive, coordinated, and linked to academics, parents, and community involvement (including after-school programming). In such schools, students understand that they need academic and SEL competencies to accomplish valued goals; to contribute to the greater good, as well as their own good; and to strive to be persons of sound character and health. Correspondingly, the educators in those schools understand that for students to build their SEL skills, it is necessary not only to coordinate what happens within that school, but also to connect with the efforts of other schools in the district and of parents, after-school programs, and community partners.

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National Braille Press Book Explores iOS 7 for Blind Persons


National Braille Press offers iOS 7 Without the Eye, a e-book by Jonathan Mosen that explores all aspects of Apple’s mobile operating system from the viewpoint of a user who is blind.

The iOS 7 operating system, released in September 2013, power’s Apple’s iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

Mosen guides readers through iOS 7 installation — including all necessary safeguards to protect data — and discusses what’s new and different from the perspective of one who uses VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in screen reader.

The book is a text-based, searchable, resource with clear explanations that readers can skim or consult when they need to and also helps prepare technology trainers and teachers how to address questions blind users are likely to have.

iOS 7 Without the Eye Table of Contents


Fun and Engaging Science Lesson // This Week’s Downloadable Oneder Lessons


We’re excited to share the newest lesson added to the Oneder Shared Library. Each lesson and activity can be customized to support the needs of your learner or student.

Oneder lessons are a complete package of materials and goals to support each learner in all environments. Once downloaded, you can edit any aspect of the lesson to best support the needs of each learner.

Oneder lessons are available for free to all Oneder users.

 Maximize Your Students’ Potential With Oneder

Interested in learning how Oneder can benefit you and your students? Click the Learn More button below and we’ll be in touch! 

Location: School
Subject: ELA
Grade: Grade

In this intermediate 5th graders lesson the student will get familiar with tropical rainforests around the world, and animals that live in the rainforest. Incorporated in it are a visual scene with hotspots embedded, a visual story about the rainforest, and two matching activities that relate to animals and sounds and locations of rainforests around the world.

To Differentiate This Lesson:
Beginner Learner: Incorporate Visual story to teach about each animal and the sound it makes and review prior to matching activity, and include a video of features of a rainforest.

Advanced Learner: Incorporate a question activity regarding the rainforest using a choice board.


Goal to target within this lesson
1. The learner will prepare for a visit at the library and manage his behavior appropriately in (X)% of the opportunities.
2. The learner will request and appropriate activity while in the library with the use of a choice board in (X)% of the opportunities.

Standard Targeted Within This Lesson:
1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. RI.5.1.
2. Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.RI.5.2.
3. Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text. RI.5.3.
4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area. RI.5.4.
5. Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts. RI.5.5.
6. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably. RI.5.9.
7. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. W.5.1.
8. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies. L.5.4.

 Maximize Your Students’ Potential With Oneder

Interested in learning how Oneder can benefit you and your students? Click the Learn More button below and we’ll be in touch! 

What Kids Gain From Curriculum Focused on Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease


By Jenny Brundin, Colorado Public Radio

Greg Kintzele is a amiable, blonde seventh-grader from Denver who was always close with his grandmother. They would hike together in the mountains in Colorado where they live, and play a lot of games, too. Especially Scrabble.

“She’d always come up with all these words and I’d be like, ‘Is that a word?’ and then she’d be like, ‘Oh yes it is. You can check it in the dictionary,” Greg says.

And usually she was right.

Then he noticed his grandmother starting to change. Her mood became sharper and she couldn’t seem to remember the grandson she’d known for a decade.

“I felt kind of hurt,” he says. “I’ve known her since I was a baby,” but now he says she asks him what his name is.

It wasn’t until Greg started learning about Alzheimer’s disease in science class that the changes he saw in his grandmother started making sense.

“Oh, this explains a lot!” he thought.

Greg goes to a private school in Denver, Graland Country Day School, which has developed a multi-subject curriculum for seventh-graders focused around dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, in part because the disease is widespread in the U.S.

One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, and it can be confusing to younger generations who may not understand what’s happening to their grandparents.

In science class at Graland students learn about the history of the disease, genetic mutations and biochemical changes in the brain. They learn about different medicines and how research is progressing to a cure.

In English class students write a biography of an elderly person in their lives. And in art, they build memory boxes filled with objects representing that same person’s life.

“Our goal here is intergenerational learning,” says Mark Gatlin, Greg’s science teacher. Part of the project takes its young students out of the classroom to interact with adults affected by the disease.

Learning What Can’t Be Taught

A short walk from the school is the Sunrise Senior Living facility, the third floor of the building is just for residents with dementia.

That’s where Greg politely introduces himself to Jerry Shafer, a resident.

They talk about Shafer’s past, what he liked to do when he was a boy. Greg asks Shafer what war he served in and he’s quiet for a moment.

“Korea,” he says.

“The Korean War?” asks Greg. “My grandfather was in the Korean War, too.”

Shafer’s stories meander – going far back into his childhood and then to the war, but that doesn’t faze Greg. The students here learn to roll with the topics.

One resident talks about her days skiing in Oklahoma City and another remembers when band members from Earth, Wind and Fire used to annoy her by playing music too loudly in her neighborhood.

Mark Gatlin, Greg’s teacher, says not only are the students coaxing memories out of seniors, the kids are also learning complex social skills.

“The hardest thing is teaching patience,” he says. “They want immediate feedback and going to Sunrise takes them out of their comfort zone.”

There’s little research in the practice of intergenerational learning between adolescents and older people in the United States, but it’s more common in Europe.

In England, hundreds of schools are termed dementia-friendly, giving students a deeper understanding of dementia and providing interaction between people with dementia and students.

Practicing Patience

These same skills – being patient and gentle with seniors – are put to work a couple of days later at the school on a makeshift croquet field. About once a month, some of the seniors come over to the school to play.

There’s a lot of laughter on the green today. One man, though, Bill Taylor, hasn’t cracked a smile yet.

Then he hits an incredible shot, square on the ball. The room erupts.

Taylor smiles a big smile at Greg, his student mentor. “That was amazing,” Greg shouts.

For him, learning about Alzheimer’s this deeply has helped him relate to his own grandmother. He says he’s learned not to get so frustrated with her questions and moods.

And after talking with the residents at all stages of the disease at Sunrise Senior Living center, he knows what to expect as she progresses.

“It’s kind of like a map for me,” he says.

He still plays Scrabble with his grandmother — though now her words are made up. But he says he’s okay with that.

Copyright 2016 Colorado Public Radio. To see more, visit Colorado Public Radio.

Welcome to TalentWorks


Welcome to TalentWorks, the online resource that helps employers and human resources (HR) professionals make their eRecruiting technologies accessible to all job seekers—including those with disabilities.

Are your company’s virtual doors open to everyone? They may not be. According to a 2015 survey of people with disabilities conducted by PEAT, 46 percent of respondents rated their last experience applying for a job online as “difficult to impossible.” And that matters, because if your technology is limiting your pool of applicants, you could be missing out on top talent.

With most of today’s employers using some form of web-based recruiting to evaluate and hire job applicants, it’s more important than ever to understand why accessibility matters to eRecruiting, and how to ensure your talent acquisition tools are accessible. TalentWorks is designed to help you do just that.

Developed by PEAT, the following web pages synthesize ideas and solutions gathered from employers, advocacy organizations, job applicants, and technology providers. We’ve distilled those resources into what will be a continuously evolving online guide, all with the aim of helping employers improve the accessibility of the technology they use throughout the entire employment lifecycle.

Are your company’s virtual doors open to everyone?

The Employment Lifecycle

Most human resources (HR) practitioners cite six components of this lifecycle—the continuum that defines an employee’s time with a particular company or organization. While their names can vary, the employment lifecycle typically includes the following, which are also presented in graphic form:

  • Recruiting
  • Hiring and Onboarding
  • Work Immersion and Productivity
  • Career Advancement
  • Retention
  • Post-Employment and Retirement


Information and communications technology (ICT) touches all phases and aspects of employment. In the eRecruiting phase, we are talking about online search tools, social media, job applications, pre-employment testing applications, and digital interviewing tools.

TalentWorks is currently focused on the Recruiting step of the lifecycle. In the coming months, we will continue to expand the eRecruiting resources and then begin adding resources related to the rest of the lifecycle.

And where does technology fit into this continuum? Everywhere!

Information and communications technology (ICT) touches all phases and aspects of employment. So for employers concerned about effective talent management, it’s important to consider the various technologies used in your workplace and how they impact your workers at different stages of their career. In the eRecruiting phase, we are talking about online search tools, social media, job applications, pre-employment testing applications, and digital interviewing tools. A sample list of ICT tools for each stage of the employment lifecycle is available in this infographic.

Get Involved

Want to learn more? Check out the individual sections and topics most relevant to you or visit the Resource Library to see the full array of documents and videos. We also want you to join the conversation and share your ideas, stories, and leading practices so we can continue to add new tools and resources based on your feedback. Thank you for visitingTalentWorks!