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Second Step® Elementary Teacher's Guide

Make a Strong Start

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The beginning of the school year is a critical moment for your social-emotional learning (SEL) efforts. It offers the best opportunity to set the norms and start the relationship-building that are foundational to Second Step Elementary. This guide offers some simple tips and resources to support you as you begin this important work.

Key Moments

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Before You Start

  • Join the Second Step® Educator Community
  • Review program training and supports
  • Begin the year with community-building activities (included in Second Step® program materials), which help create a safe and supportive environment where students feel comfortable engaging with each other and participating in class

Week 1

  • Begin Unit 1
  • Establish a routine that includes regular, quick morning meetings to check in with students and track the progress they’re making with SEL

Week 2

  • Host your first SEL-focused morning meeting

Week 4

  • Identify a few key program concepts—showing empathy and resolving conflicts, for example—to focus on, and reinforce lessons by using a common language for discussing social-emotional development

Week 7

  • Introduce families to SEL during curriculum nights and student conferences, and explain how you’re using Second Step Elementary to support their children’s social-emotional development and how they can reinforce key concepts and skills at home

Resource Library

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SecondStep.orgLogin Required

Register to access digital teaching materials and additional training and support resources on the official website for the Second Step family of programs.

Classroom kit users: use the program activation key in your kit to register
Digital program users: you should receive an invitation to register from your license administrator

Example of kit activation instructions

Program TrainingLogin Required

If you’re new to Second Step Elementary or switching to the new digital program, these training resources will show you everything you need to know to know about the program and SEL.
Classroom Kits
Digital Program

Classroom StrategiesLogin Required

Use these techniques, tools, and tips to get the most out of your program.
Classroom Kits
Digital Program

CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SELLogin Required

This section of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) Guide to Schoolwide SEL offers research-based strategies for successfully integrating SEL into your classroom.

Anticipate, Reinforce, Reflect Process Login Required

These documents offer guidance on how to reinforce key Second Step skills and concepts throughout the school day.
Classroom Kits
Digital Program

Second Step® Community Rebuilding UnitLogin Required

Originally created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these free, stand-alone units offer a great way to start the school year and help students rebuild a sense of community.
Kindergarten–Grade 1
Grades 2–3
Grades 4–5

Social-Emotional Learning: What Is SEL and Why SEL MattersLogin Required

This video provides a great introduction to SEL and is easy to share with families and staff.
English: Watch Now
Spanish: Watch Now

Second Step®: Not Just Better Students, Better PeopleLogin Required

This short video introduces Second Step programs and is also great to share with your students’ families.

Join the Second Step® Educator Community

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Tap into the collective wisdom of thousands of teachers around the nation—and the expertise of Committee for Children staff—in this free professional learning community (hosted on Facebook). Ask questions, learn in the company of peers, and share experiences and ideas to improve the program.

Visit the community’s Facebook page to join.

second step facebook community qr code