Social and Emotional Learning in K-12 Math Classrooms

Katy Fattaleh

Senior Program Director • The Nora Project

Now, more than ever, Social/Emotional Learning (SEL) is a critical component of classroom instruction. Welcoming students back to in-person learning this year has meant learning how to support students in new ways after a traumatic 18 months. Students are showing up differently in our classrooms, requiring new and different support, and engaging in different ways than we are used to when it comes to their peers and their schoolwork. In order to rise to the occasion, teachers everywhere are turning to SEL to help students feel comfortable and confident in the classroom environment so that they are ready to learn.

The mathematics classroom is not always the first place we think of when we think about incorporating SEL, but when you think critically about it, SEL is truly embedded in the study of mathematics. Students engage in real-world problem solving, collaborate with their peers, weigh different approaches to solving problems, and discuss the merits of those solutions. By integrating SEL into daily instruction in small, simple ways, math teachers can build students’ skills and improve their ability to engage with mathematics content. 

In our recent webinar, “Incorporating Social and Emotional Learning in K-12 Math Classrooms for a Changing World” Dr. Laurie Boswell, Courtney Adams, and myself dig into SEL’s role in the math classroom. We share more about what SEL is and give ideas for simple ways to weave it into your existing instruction. SEL does not have to be flashy, time-consuming, or even obvious. We share strategies for boosting students’ independence, interpersonal skills, and executive functions so that they can be their best selves in the math classroom.

For more information and tips for how to incorporate SEL on a daily basis in your math classroom and beyond, watch this webinar replay!

Incorporating Social and Emotional Learning in K-12 Math Classrooms for a Changing World


Laurie Boswell, Ed.D
Award-winning math teacher, trainer, and Big Ideas Math® Author

Courtney Adams
Director of Lifecycle and Community Programs at The Nora Project

Katy Fattaleh
Senior Program Director at The Nora Project

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