Text-based discussions play a critical role in student achievement.

Improving reading skills and SEL through text-based discussions


Classroom conversations and text-based discussions can play a critical role in students' academic achievement

As the importance and benefits of social-emotional learning (SEL) have become more widely recognized, many teachers have struggled to combine this type of learning with their required curriculum.

A recent edWebinar led by Bobbi Bear, director of customer advocacy for Achieve3000, identified effective ways to integrate SEL with reading instruction, through classroom conversations about nonfiction and fiction texts.

Recent research has shown that SEL increases high school graduation rates, and post-secondary enrollment and graduation rates, as well as employment rates and wages. SEL also decreases behavioral issues, dropout rates, drug use, and teen pregnancy, so the advantages of including it in elementary and secondary classes are clear.

Related content: 5 discussion tools to fuel student engagement

While definitions of SEL can vary, key elements include self-awareness and social awareness, relationship skills, self-management, and responsible decision making. And, the goals for students engaged in this type of learning include self-esteem, empathy, motivation, and commitment.

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