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Using Podcasts in the Classroom for Social Emotional Learning

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Listen up! I don't know about you, but I am in love with podcasts. To be honest, I never knew what they were until about a year ago. Since finding them, I’m obsessed.

I’m currently jamming on Teacher Hustle, Driven, and theYou’re Welcome podcasts. I listen to at least one a day...and sometimes two. 

If you’re like me, you’ve been eyeballing the trend of teachers using it in their classroom, but didn’t quite know where they fit in. I wanted whatever podcast I chose to have a positive impact on my kids in and out of the classroom. So I listened…and listened…and found a solution.

Social emotional podcasts!

Now, more than ever, we need creative ways to incorporate social emotional skills in our virtual classrooms. What’s more, our students with traumatic backgrounds and behavior concerns, absolutely need these 2 things: choice and engaging content! 

Structure choice into podcast lessons by:

  1. Letting students choose which podcast they would like to listen to

  2. Where they’d like to listen 

  3. Which order they’d like to complete the flipbook in

Why this lesson is highly engaging:

  1. Technology integration

  2. Options for flexibility

  3. Animal characters

Podcasts are such a powerful, low-prep, way to incorporate these skills. They are seriously so much fun. I even enjoy listening to the kids’ podcasts because they’re so cute! And....I found a great podcast for integrating social emotional and regulation skills….Best Day Yet. You can listen to this podcast on all apps and It’s created with kids, for kids. Fun, engaging stories focus on daily affirmations that include topics like:

  • Acceptance

  • Friendship

  • School

  • Kindness

Each episode combines self-regulation strategies into storylines with animal characters. Are your students as obsessed with animals as mine? Students love taking the journey with these characters as they move toward a set of positive affirmations. And we are always trying to incorporate a positive mindset, am I right?!  They’re asked to repeat the affirmations at the end...and it is pure joy to hear your students whispering or yelling out these positive thoughts! Even though we can’t be there physically with our students, we can meet virtually! The experience is just as rich! There’s even an episode targeted to the current school shutdown due to Covid-19, which I am using with my kiddos this week.

Are you excited, yet? I hope so! If you’re looking for a resource to help you get started, I have a growing flipbook bundle for you. These will help you target academic and social-emotional skills, while creating a high level of engagement and choice for all of your learners.

If you really want to dive into podcasts, check out this Digital SEL Writing Activity here. You’ll be the podcast queen (or king) of your (virtual) classroom!

Let me know how you use podcasts in your classroom! Happy listening :)

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