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5 Ways ASSISTments Teacher Supports Social Emotional Learning in Math

The term social-emotional learning has become an integral part of education, but how does a teacher address social emotional learning while teaching mathematics? In today’s post-pandemic math classroom,  teachers are finding ways to help students  in showing empathy, maintaining relationships, and making responsible decisions all while teaching fractions. It can definitely be a daunting task but is one made easier with the use of ASSISTments Teacher.

ASSISTments Teacher learning data reports are designed to support teaching. This means that every data point informs instruction. Like you, we believe that every student is math capable, but sometimes it is hard for the student to believe it too. 

The teacher drives the culture and community in their classroom, which [supports] each student’s growth in the core SEL competencies outlined by CASEL. This blog shares  five ways that teachers can use ASSISTments Teacher data to support the core competencies in the CASEL SEL framework. 


1. ASSISTments Teacher in developing Self-Awareness

Self-Awareness is the ability to understand one’s own strengths and weaknesses with one key component being a growth mindset. When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. They put in more time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement.

As of January 24, 2023,  ASSISTments Teacher allows teachers to control how scores are communicated to students. Students can receive a report showing only symbols or a report displaying number scores. Choosing to show students only symbols can help students break away from the idea of scores equalling grades. As a result, they can try without penalty and are more likely to make several attempts at finding the solution. As a result of multiple attempts, teachers can identify students' strengths and weaknesses.

Symbols of Success

Lesson/Activity in the Classroom

Set up small-group discussions that allow students to discuss how and why emotions can influence our behaviors (e.g., “What can happen when we get frustrated?,” “What can happen when class or homework is challenging?”). Tie the conversation into using ASSISTments (e.g., “What can you do when you get feedback that your answer was incorrect?,” “How can you use a hint or chat with a tutor when you are stuck?”).


2. ASSISTments Teacher in developing Self-Management

Self-Management is the ability to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations. This includes feeling motivated and empowered to accomplish personal/collective goals. 

Marybeth Fleming, a 6th-8th grade teacher in Massachusetts, shares ASSISTments Teacher data during math class to increase student investment and perseverance. Students in her classes set daily goals for their average scores both individually and as a class. Students then have a clear goal in mind as they work. This creates an atmosphere where students can collectively work towards a common goal and help each other along the way. 

Lesson/Activity in the Classroom

Lead a discussion that encourages students to reflect on barriers they may encounter when completing an assignment (e.g., finding a computer) and that also helps them think about ways they can overcome them, including how to approach others for help (e.g., how to politely ask the teacher for help).

Be sure to notice and discuss with students when they persevere. Give authentic feedback when students persevere (e.g., “I observed that you kept trying at the problem, until you found the solution,” “I noticed you respectfully asked a peer for help and tried that suggestion,” “I saw that you looked at the hint to help you find a strategy you could try next.”).

3. ASSISTments Teacher in developing Social Awareness

Social awareness is one's ability to understand the perspectives of others. In a math classroom, this comes from recognizing there is not just one way to solve a problem.

ASSISTments Teacher make it easy to facilitate this conversation through a custom sort option for student responses. Students have the ability in ASSISTments Teacher  to insert an image, capture an image directly through their computer camera, and draw for any open response. This allows students to solve the problem and represent their solution in the form they best understand. Teachers are then able to open all student responses on a single screen and custom-sort responses. Choosing to highlight different strategies and making it easier for a teacher to facilitate a discussion among their students on the different approaches to the problem. 

Lesson/Activity in the Classroom

Discuss different approaches to problem-solving, identify other students' thoughts, and invite those who have used a particular approach or strategy to share their reasoning and reasoning process. 

4. ASSISTments Teacher in developing Relationship Skills

Relationship skills are one's ability to develop a positive relationship with others through communicating effectively. In a math classroom, this can be seen through collaborative problem-solving.

An easy routine to develop collaborative problem-solving in the classroom is the “My Favorite No” routine. This routine invites students to do error analysis on one problem or task that the entire class completed. The teacher projects one wrong answer and students share what they like about the work before identifying the mistake. The idea is to encourage students to see that even if they get to the right answer, there can still be a lot to learn from how a student approached the problem.

With ASSISTments Teacher, we make picking a “favorite no” or wrong answer easy by providing common wrong answers. This would be ripe for discussion, as it is an answer that often reflects some correct work, but then an error that reflects a common misconception. 

Lesson/Activity in the Classroom

Give students opportunities to practice social skills through the “My Favorite No” routine and respond to disagreements. 

5.ASSISTments Teacher in developing Responsible Decision Making

Responsible decision-making is one's ability to think critically and learn how to make a reasoned judgment after analyzing information, data, and facts. In a math classroom, this can be done by teaching students how to respond to wrong answers when completing an assignment or when to ask for a hint.

Mistakes and asking for help are both encouraging because they provide an opportunity to understand math more deeply. For example, the first wrong response is an opportunity to decide what to do next. Students can choose whether or not to receive assistance through ASSISTments Teacher. Students can choose to check their work for computational errors or ask for a hint. Hints will give students a teacher-written hint to help guide them in the direction of being able to answer the problem. Students can then decide how they wish to proceed - do they want to try again? Do they wish to ask for another hint? Do they want to chat with a tutor? Do they want to ask for the answer? These small decisions are helpful places to start responsible decision-making.

Lesson/Activity in the Classroom

Support students through the steps of making a decision when they face a choice or decision. Simple choices like “Which tool should I use to measure this angle?,” “Do I need a calculator for this problem?” “Should I use a hint?” and “What should I do differently after this feedback?” are good places to start.

Tell us some ways you've infused SEL skills/competencies into your classroom by using this quick form. We will share the ideas in our Facebook User Group - haven’t joined the group yet? Join here!