Supporting SEL Initiatives with News-O-Matic
More than ever, teachers are looking for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) resources for their students. This was true before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — and it’s especially true now. With an increasing number of stresses and uncertainties, students need greater help in processing and managing their complex emotions. That’s why News-O-Matic developed a comprehensive SEL program for schools.
SEL is a way for students to handle emotions, set goals, make good decisions, and build strong relationships. According to research from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), these skills play a critical role in students’ success. They do that by helping students get better grades and effectively manage their classroom behavior — which ultimately leads to greater college and career readiness.
News-O-Matic wants to help students and teachers further integrate SEL into the classroom. That’s why we created a 21-part series related to the five core competencies of SEL, as defined by CASEL. These competencies are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
News-O-Matic’s SEL series was developed based on interviews with and insights from CASEL as well as teachers, child psychologists, and other social and emotional learning experts. News-O-Matic also includes voices from kids about how to stay positive. The series aims to help students deal with difficult emotions that may result from the stresses of the pandemic, potential school closures, and evergreen topics such as making friends, dealing with bullies, and forming healthy habits.
News-O-Matic’s on-staff child psychologist, Dr. Phyllis Ohr, said, “Enriching the social, emotional, and behavioral functioning of children is one of the most critical contributions that a school can make to a child’s development. Programs teaching SEL skills are particularly meaningful for children in today’s world, who are facing unprecedented emotional, social, and behavioral challenges. While children typically rely on schools to broaden their knowledge about the world, schools that integrate News-O-Matic’s new SEL series into their curriculum can also help children broaden their knowledge about themselves — by giving them tools of emotional intelligence that can last them a lifetime.”
As with all News-O-Matic content, our SEL articles are designed to be accessible to readers of all ages and abilities. All of the articles appear in three reading levels in English, and there are translations in Spanish, French, Mandarin, and Arabic. Native speakers read every article out loud in all five languages (at all of the levels) for students to listen along. Videos and colorful photos accompany the articles, and comprehension questions reinforce understanding of the text.
Examples of SEL Content by Core Competency