Manhattan Beach Unified School District

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Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning

SEL Framework

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) reflects the critical role of positive relationships and emotional connections in the learning process and helps students develop a range of skills they need for school and life.

In MBUSD, our Social & Emotional Learning Visual Framework serves to remind us of the skills we want to help develop in our students and how our partnerships, policies, practices, and Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) promote a Culture of Care.


What is SEL?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
For more information from the CDE, please click here.
For more information about SEL and CASEL, please click here.


CASEL’s Widely Used Framework Identifies Five Core Competencies

  • Self-awareness: Know your strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”
  • Self-management: Effectively manage stress, control impulses, and motivate yourself to set and achieve goals.
  • Social awareness: Understand the perspectives of others and empathize with them, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Relationship skills: Communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.
  • Responsible decision-making: Make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety, and social norms.
Please find links to our Big Things Happening (BTH) newsletters below:
MBUSD Virtual Calming Room
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MindUP SEL Curriculum 


Please click here for link to all MindUp Lessons . This includes references to videos, parent handouts, and student handouts.


Lesson 2: Mindful Awareness

Students in K-5th grades will gain an understanding of the difference between mindful and unmindful behaviors. The goal for students is to be able to apply the concept of mindful awareness to their own lives.


Lesson 3: Focused Awareness

We all have moments when we feel flustered. When this happens, it is important we pause, listen, and really focus in on our breathing. For children, it can be useful when they need help settling down to work or when they are shifting their attention between tasks. In this lesson, students will practice mindful listening and mindful breathing. These exercises will help their mind and body relax and improve their focus.


Lesson 4: Mindful Listening

Students will practice mindful listening by engaging in activities that train their brains to concentrate on specific sounds. In addition, they will learn about the role of the reticular activating system (RAS) as a filtering device for the brain. Through mindful listening, students can gain more control of how they think and behave, laying the groundwork for social awareness and effective communication.


Lesson 5: Mindful Seeing

Mindful seeing uses the sense of sight to help children focus and become more aware of their surroundings. The practice can also help students settle and relax when needed. In this lesson, students will focus their attention on particular objects and describe the visual details they see, such as color, size, shape, and texture.


Lesson 6: Mindful Smelling

Mindful smelling is when we use our sense of smell to become more aware of our environment. This can help us observe our world and sharpen our memory. Because our memory and smell centers in the brain are near each other, some of our memories and experiences can be triggered by certain smells.  In MindUP lesson 6, students will practice mindful smelling and learn how using their sense of smell helps them recognize and learn more about their environment and the world. This lesson is divided into two parts.  Part 1 is about how scents can remind us of special people, places and memories.  Part 2 is a practice in mindful smelling and also includes a game called “Mystery Scents.”


Lesson 7: Mindful Eating

It is important that children are reminded to take their time while eating so that they can appreciate the flavors and textures of their food.  Mindful tasting helps children identify different taste sensations, build descriptive skills and approach food with a healthy outlook.  In MindUP lesson 7, students will practice mindful tasting and learn how to train their brain to focus on what they are eating and how they are eating it.  They will practice slowing down and savoring their food.  


Lesson 8: Mindful Movement – Part 1  

When we move mindfully, we focus on the different motions and sensations that we feel in our body when it is at rest or active. By focusing on these sensations, we can recognize the signals our body sends to our brain that help us monitor physical and mental states such as exertion, stress and relaxation. In Lesson 8: Mindful Movement (Part 1), children will learn about the sensations they feel in their bodies when they are active and when they are resting. They will also learn to monitor their own heart rate and breathing through exercise control.


Lesson 9: Mindful Movement – Part 2  

In Lesson 9: Mindful Movement (Part 2), children will practice building their awareness by using physical challenges, such as balance, to help their brain focus and work more efficiently. They will challenge and mindfully control their balance through a variety of mindful movements. In addition, they will continue to deepen their awareness of physical sensations and practice describing these sensations.


MindUP Lesson 10: Perspective Taking  

Perspective taking allows us to consider more than one way of understanding a behavior, event or situation. With children, it promotes tolerance and is a pathway to getting along with their peers. In Lesson 10: Perspective Taking, students will learn how to build healthy relationships with others through having an open mind.  They will practice looking at different points of view and understanding different perspectives.


Lesson 11: Choosing Optimism

Choosing Optimism is the eleventh video in a virtual series of MindUP programming for the 2020-2021 academic year.  Optimism is a way of seeing life with hopefulness and confidence.  It can open us up to new ideas, experiences and possibilities.  In this lesson, students will learn how to train their brains to see things in a more positive way when they are faced with a problem. They will explore the benefits of optimism and see how it can favorably affect their ability to think and learn, make friends and solve common problems. 


Lesson 12: Appreciating Happy Experiences

Appreciating Happy Experiences is the twelfth video in a virtual series of MindUP programming for the 2020-2021 academic year.  Remembering happy memories enables our brains to release the same feel-good chemicals as when the experience actually happened.  When we take a mindful moment to appreciate happy experiences, we give ourselves the ability to garner physical, emotional, and cognitive benefits.  In this lesson, students will learn that remembering happy experiences can help them feel better and think more positively. They can use this tool to help them overcome negative feelings, such as worry, sadness or insecurity.


Lesson 13: Expressing Gratitude

Expressing Gratitude is the thirteenth video in a virtual series of MindUP programming for the 2020-2021 academic year.  Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness and joy we feel in response to something we’ve received, whether it is tangible or intangible.  In this lesson, students will learn how being thankful supports a healthy mind and a healthy body. Also, they will hear about different ways that they can practice expressing gratitude every single day.


Lesson 14: Performing Acts of Kindness

Performing Acts of Kindness is the fourteenth video in a virtual series of MindUP programming for the 2020-2021 academic year.  Acts of kindness are mindful choices that are intended to help another individual. When we receive acts of kindness, not only is our mood lifted, but we are reminded that we can act in the same way to help, encourage, or comfort someone else. In this lesson, students will reflect on times when people have shown kindness to them.  They will talk about how it feels to receive it and also discuss ways they can share that same kindness with others. 


Lesson 15: Taking Mindful Action in the World

Taking Mindful Action in the World is the fifteenth video in a virtual series of MindUP programming for the 2020-2021 academic year.  Mindful actions in the world are intentional activities that take acts of kindness beyond the classroom. Through these actions, children can see themselves as a part of a larger community.  In this lesson, students take everything they have learned about mindfulness, kindness, and gratitude, and talk about how they can make a plan to share it with the world.  


For more information about MindUP, including handouts that accompany this lesson, please visit