Children on School Bus

What is PBIS?

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based framework designed to promote positive behavior and improve overall school climate. It focuses on creating a proactive environment by teaching and reinforcing positive behaviors, rather than solely reacting to negative ones.

In the context of education, PBIS aims to establish a culture where students feel safe, engaged, and supported. It involves clearly defining behavioral expectations, consistently acknowledging and rewarding positive actions, and addressing behavioral issues through a systematic approach. This approach fosters a sense of belonging and community within the school setting.

How is Social-Emotional Learning related to PBIS?

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is closely intertwined with PBIS, complementing its principles. SEL emphasizes the development of essential life skills such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. These skills are vital for students to navigate both academic and social challenges effectively. Together, they support students learning through teaching skills for self-management, learning, self-esteem, responsibility, emotional control, and social skills. Research on SEL suggests that when students are successful in these areas of social and emotional development, they can better learn content and make the academic gains that meet their potential. A.K.A., your schools test scores will improve!

PBIS and SEL share a common goal

Their goal is to nurture students not only academically but also emotionally and socially. While PBIS provides a framework for creating a positive school environment through behavioral interventions, SEL contributes by fostering the emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills necessary for students to thrive in various aspects of their lives. Together, these approaches create a holistic educational experience that supports the overall well-being of students.

How to Incorporate SEL into your school’s PBIS

Integrate SEL into Classroom Curriculum:
Embedding social-emotional learning (SEL) principles into the regular curriculum helps students apply these skills in real-life scenarios. Teachers can incorporate activities, discussions, and projects that focus on self-awareness, self-regulation, and interpersonal skills, fostering a positive and supportive classroom environment.

Integrate SEL into Classroom Culture:
Embedding social-emotional learning (SEL) principles and practices into the classroom culture is also essential for modeling and practicing SEL skills. This includes making things such as a morning greeting, individualized handshakes or greetings with your students, using feelings charts posted in your classroom, and use of a positive behavioral rewards system to regularly recognize students displaying expected behaviors at school. It also means dedicating a specific part of your day to SEL learning or practice (breathing, brain breaks, video lessons, cooperation games, morning circles, etc.), and providing think sheets for self-reflection when problem behaviors occur..

Here are some of the products that I have available to help integrate SEL into the culture of your classroom.

Implement SEL-Specific Programs:

Schools can adopt dedicated SEL programs that provide structured lessons, activities, and resources to develop students’ social and emotional competencies. These programs often include components like mindfulness exercises, conflict resolution strategies, and empathy-building activities to enhance students’ emotional intelligence.

There are many programs out there that range in price and effectiveness. As a school psychologist, I have provided support to my PBIS school teams as well as SEL for classrooms. I also provide the tier 2 and 3 supports that some students need in counseling. On the Counseling Fanny Pack of Fun YouTube channel, I have several video-game SEL activities that can help Elementary School Aged children with learn important SEL skills.

Here are just 3 of the many videos and video-activities that I have created to support implementing SEL into classrooms easily for teachers and counselors.

Expected vs. Unexpected Behaviors SEL Game
Study Skills Tips Video Activity
Emotions SEL Game

Teacher Professional Development on SEL:
Offering ongoing professional development for educators on SEL strategies equips them with the knowledge and skills to create an emotionally supportive learning environment. Teachers can learn how to model positive behaviors, effectively manage classrooms, and address individual student needs, contributing to the overall success of a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework.

Involve Parents and Community:
Engaging parents and the broader community in SEL initiatives creates a collaborative approach to fostering social and emotional growth. Schools can organize workshops, events, or communication channels to educate parents about SEL concepts, enabling a consistent and supportive environment for students both at home and in school. This holistic approach enhances the impact of social-emotional learning within the PBIS framework.

Provide Instruction and Practice in SEL Skills with Structured Activities and Curriculums

In addition to video lessons and activities there are tons of games, centers activities, and worksheets out there that can reinforce lessons. I often see my schools dedicate each month to a specific topic, such as Respect, Responsibility, Kindness, etc. With each month’s theme, I will provide my teachers (in an SEL Google Classroom or Docs folder) with activities that they can choose from to support their lessons on these themes.

If you are looking for an SEL Program that can support PBIS in your Elementary School and is based on research, experience, and compiles all of the activities, systems, and materials seen above, please check out he Summit SEL Curriculums in the Counseling Fanny Pack of Fun Store in TpT!

Each Curriculum is individualized for each grade level, TK-6th grades. The program is designed to progress through each grade and is designed to be developmentally appropriate, fun, and engaging for KIDS! 

SUMMIT SEL Curriculum

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