Build social-emotional learning skills in the classroom in just 10 minutes a day using whiteboard messages. Whiteboard messages are prompts projected or written on the whiteboard where students can get up and write their own responses each day. By focusing these messages specifically on social emotional learning topics, whiteboard messages become one of the simplest ways to build SEL skills with your students.
There are a number of benefits to using whiteboard morning messages with a SEL focus. It can help create a predictable daily routine, easing into the day and reducing morning downtime. The messages also serve as a simple, quick, and easy way to teach social-emotional skills with limited prep to the teacher. Finally, you can choose how to integrate reading, writing, and discussion skills into your morning message practice, depending on if you want students to write responses on the board on in a journal (or both).
4 Simple Steps for SEL Whiteboard Messages
Choose a SEL Question. Choosing a targeted and meaningful social-emotional question is key to help kids and teens building their SEL skills. It’s helpful to explicitly tell students what topic the question is addressing. If you’re not sure where to start, see below for some sample questions you can try (or grab the full set with prompts already set for you to go).
Write or project one question each morning. Handwrite or project your question on the whiteboard. Of course, projecting the question from a PDF or Google Slides document is a great option since it means no prep for you! If you handwrite the question, make sure to write it large enough for students to read while also giving room for students to share their responses. It is helpful to make SEL whiteboard messages a daily “do now” routine in the morning.
Let students respond. Kids and teens in your classroom can respond in different ways. One of my favorite ways is having them share quick responses right on the board. This gets kids up and moving first thing in the morning and allows them to easily see their peers’ responses for shared learning. If you don’t want kids writing on the board, they can also do this same approach using sticky notes. Another option is to allow students to journal their responses. This is a great strategy as well since this gives learners the chance to delve deeper into the question while also integrating writing skills.
Giving time to discuss. Use student discourse to create shared learning. Kids and teens are going to learn more when they discuss these questions as a group. Encourage kids and teens to share answers and think about each others’ responses. As the teacher, you can guide students to relate the question back to the SEL skill it is addressing and why it matters in their life. Some questions you might ask include:
- What skill or skills is this question helping you build?
- Why is this skill important in your life?
- How will you apply this skill today to be successful?
SEL Whiteboard Messages to Try
If you’re already hooked on the idea of using whiteboard messages to build social-emotional skills, you can use this yearlong Social Emotional Learning Whiteboard Messages set. It comes with multiple versions to project on the whiteboard or just from your computer. It also includes a printable and digital student journal to record daily responses.
If you want to test this SEL strategy out first with your learners, try some of the targeted social-emotional questions below!
Self-Awareness Whiteboard Messages:
- Self-awareness is having a clear and accurate view of yourself. What words describe who you are?
- You are unique! What are three interesting facts about you that others might not know?
- Strengths are the skills and abilities you are great at. What are some of your strengths?
Self-Management Whiteboard Messages:
- Self-management is taking responsibility for yourself to help you make good choices. What is a good choice you made this week?
- Self-management skills help you to be independent. What are some things you like to do on your own?
- Studying for quizzes and tests can pay off. What are some different ways you can study?
- Coping strategies are different for everyone. What are some of your favorite coping strategies to help you feel calm?
Social Awareness Whiteboard Messages:
- Social awareness is understanding the social world around you. What is a social rule you are expected to follow?
- Always show good sportsmanship! What are some social expectations to follow when playing games?
- Respect means treating others with courtesy and kindness. What are some ways you show respect?
Relationship Whiteboard Messages:
- Relationships are the connections we have with others. What is an important relationship in your life?
- Friends are the people your age that you care about and trust. What are qualities that make up a good friend?
- Conversations are the chats we have with others. What are some questions you could use to start a conversation with someone?
Decision-Making Whiteboard Messages:
- Decision-making is the process of making positive choices. What is a positive choice you made today?
- Think it out! What are some questions you might ask yourself before making a big decision?
- Leaders show responsibility. What other qualities make up a good leader?
Get the Full Whiteboard Message Set
I hope these whiteboard message prompts have been helpful. If you love them, consider grabbing the full yearlong set of SEL Whiteboard Messages to use in your classroom.