Give Your Head Start Students the Tools for SuccessBuy Now
Evidence-based Second Step SEL for Early Learning brings social-emotional learning (SEL) to your Head Start classroom.
- Preschoolers develop lasting executive-function and self-regulation skills by learning how to focus attention and manage emotions
- In multi-age classrooms, the program allows four- and five-year olds to take the lead and help younger learners excel
- Fun Weekly Themes, Brain Builders, puppets, and songs help prepare children to enter kindergarten ready to learn
Success in Action
Watch these videos to learn more about Second Step SEL in Head Start classrooms.
A Head Start on Positive Relationships
Story from the Field: Changing Classroom Behavior
Follow Along Brain Builder Demonstration: Early Learning
Puppet Script Demo: Asking for What You Need or Want
Story and Discussion Demo: Asking for What You Need or Want
Preparing to Teach Second Step SEL for Early Learning
Social-Emotional Learning Finds a Home in Florida
Head Start Alignments
Second Step SEL aligns with Head Start performance standards by encouraging self-control, respect, language use, problem solving, family activities, social-emotional skills, and more. See all Second Step alignment information.
Head Start Alignment
See Alignment (PDF)
See Alignment (PDF)
We take great pride in the fact that Second Step is based on current research in the field. Get a closer look at the research we incorporate into all aspects of Second Step.
Second Step SEL Increases Executive-Function Skills
A recent study shows that children receiving the Second Step SEL for Early Learning had significantly better end-of-preschool executive function skills, including working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility, than students who didn’t receive the program.
Read the Study (PDF)
Executive Function: Skills for a Lifetime
Second Step SEL for Early Learning has been shown to improve young students’ executive-function skills—like attention, memory, and self-control—which are not only predictive of Kindergarten readiness but are essential for success in and outside the classroom.
Second Step Social-Emotional Learning
It’s easy to use the Second Step classroom kit. Each kit includes:
- 28 durable 11” x 17” color photo Weekly Theme cards
- Teaching Materials Notebook
- Join In and Sing CD
- 3 colorful posters
- 2 high-quality puppets (Boy & Girl)
- 4 Listening Rules Cards
- 1 set of Feeling Cards
- Take-Home Activities and Family Letters
What's in a Kit?
See what’s included in our Second Step SEL for Early Learning classroom kits.
Online content includes:
- Weekly Themes and family materials in Spanish
- Planning, teaching, and assessment tools
- Staff-Training Toolkit
- Online access to stream lesson photos and songs in English and Spanish
Skills and concepts are taught through short, daily activities that take 5–7 minutes each, with little or no preparation time needed.
Skills for Learning
- Focusing Attention
- Following Directions
- Asking for What You Need or Want
- Identifying Feelings (happy, sad)
- More Feelings (surprised, scared)
- Identifying Anger
- Same or Different Feelings
- Caring and Helping
- We Feel Feelings in Our Bodies (worried)
- Strong Feelings (frustrated)
- Naming Feelings
- Managing Disappointment
- Managing Anger
- Managing Waiting
Friendship Skills and Problem Solving
- Fair Ways to Play (play together, trade, take turns)
- Having Fun with Friends
- Inviting to Play
- Joining In with Play
- Saying the Problem
- Thinking of Solutions
- Speaking Up Assertively
Transitioning to Kindergarten
- Learning in Kindergarten
- Riding the Kindergarten Bus
- Making New Friends in Kindergarten
Full Scope & Sequence (PDF)
Program Overview (PDF)
Take a closer look at Second Step SEL for Early Learning.
Weekly Theme Card
Asking for What You Need or Want
See Weekly Theme 6 Card (PDF)
Asking for What You Need or Want
See Weekly Theme 6 Take-Home Activity (PDF)
Second Step® Early Learning Puppets
Boy and girl puppets for Second Step Early Learning
See Puppets in Our Store
Comprehensive Staff Training
The Early Learning SEL staff training is recently revised to be more engaging and easier to use. Download Sample Staff Training Slides (PPTX). Staff training is available with product registration and includes:
Two new versions of the Kick-Off Meeting—one for groups, one for individuals
Engaging videos on social-emotional learning, problem behaviors, executive function, and self-regulation
Infographic-like handouts that reinforce key concepts
The Brain Builder games really do help the children develop their executive-function skills. Especially their inhibitory control, because I can tell that they’re able to stop themselves and they’re able to wait.
Karen Virta, Classroom Teacher, Everett Community College Early Learning Center, Everett, WA
We offer live and recorded webinars so that you can hear from our experts about our programs and ask us questions.
Second Step SEL for Early Learning
Creating a Foundation for Learning
Watch Now | 54 minutes
Second Step Child Protection Unit
Working Together to Keep Kids Safe
Watch Now | 30 minutes
I Have a Second Step Kit, Now What?
Get Started with Early Learning–Grade 8
Watch Now | 70 minutes
Second Step Social Success Series
The Importance of Teaching Social-Emotional Skills in Early Childhood Education
Social-Emotional Education for Creating Positive School Culture in Early Learning Settings
“Mean” Behavior and Aggression in Early Childhood: The Origins of Bullying
Explicit and Implicit Biases in Early Childhood Education: Becoming Aware of Microaggressions
Help Young Children Cope with Stress and Trauma by Becoming an Ally: Bridge the Relationship Gap
Trauma-Informed Early Education Classroom Design: Designing Child- and Family-Friendly Spaces for Recovery from Trauma
Other Ways to Purchase
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