CASEL and Quaver SEL

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) first introduced the term “social and emotional learning” 26 years ago. Needless to say, much has changed in the last 26 years. As a result of their ongoing research, CASEL recently updated the definition of SEL and framework to support the social emotional learning of children.

We at QuaverEd want to acknowledge CASEL’s updated definition and framework and reaffirm that our elementary SEL curriculum and resources continue to be aligned to CASEL. 

According to CASEL:

“Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

SEL advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities.”

CASEL’s updated definition emphasizes the following key points: 

  • SEL has the power to advance educational equity and excellence
  • Partnerships between schools, families, and communities are a crucial aspect to SEL
  • SEL can help empower young people and adults to thrive in their communities

At QuaverEd, we agree with the updated emphasis on these key points. Let’s unpack how our elementary SEL curriculum, Quaver SEL, supports each one.


Equity Statement 

In CASEL’s new definition of SEL, there is an emphasis on equity. QuaverEd celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusiveness both in our company environment and in the resources and services we provide to teachers and students around the world.

We have empaneled an Equity Committee within QuaverEd that meets monthly to discuss issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our resources. The foundation of the Committee’s work is based on the following beliefs:

  • We believe in equity, diversity, and inclusion: that all children, regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, economic status, religious background, sexual orientation and identity, academic standing, or exceptionalities have the right to a well-rounded education.
  • We believe that teaching and learning is about helping develop the whole child academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. 
  • We believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion are critical to ensuring a welcome and safe environment for children in school so that learning can be achieved.
  • We believe that technology is a great equalizer, one that affords an incredible opportunity to provide access to high-quality education, both in the classroom and at home.

Among many others, we are committed to the following principles:

  • Developing curriculum resources that are culturally accurate and representative of the diverse population of students and teachers we serve.
  • Providing teachers with age-appropriate resources and professional development to inform their students about diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Working towards digital equity, ensuring that student accounts are free in licensed schools to ensure equitable access to high-quality learning resources, both in school and after the teaching day ends.

For more information on how QuaverEd supports equity, please visit our website.


Five Competence Area Changes

Another emphasis in CASEL’s new definition and framework is on partnerships between schools, families, and communities. Our goal at Quaver SEL is to help schools, teachers, and communities create a culture of caring through providing easy-to-use, online resources and activities to support the social and emotional learning of students.

Quaver SEL is proud to announce that our elementary social emotional curriculum continues to meet the updated five CASEL competence areas and their framework. 

Below we unpack each updated competency definition and offer an example of how it is addressed in the Quaver SEL curriculum. 

CompetencyUpdated DefinitionQuaver SEL Resources
Self-AwarenessThe abilities to understand one’s own
emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts. 

This includes capacities to recognize one’s strengths and limitations with a well grounded sense of confidence and purpose. 

Our 4th Grade Lesson 3 on Honesty entitled “Being With Myself and Others” helps students to recognize their values, personality, strengths, and talents and to understand the importance of being honest with themselves and others.
Self-ManagementThe abilities to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations. 

This includes the capacities to delay gratification, manage stress, and feel motivation & agency to accomplish personal/collective goals. 

The 3rd Grade Lesson 21 “Thinking Things Through” provides steps for students to take to think through different situations in order to practice impulse control. 
Social AwarenessThe abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, & contexts. 

This includes the capacities to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports. 

Understanding Our Differences Screen - Quaver SEL

Our 2nd Grade Lesson “Our Differences Affect Our Choices” helps students to recognize that different characteristics like physical traits, strengths, and cultures influence our decision making. Students are provided Conversation Stems in order to learn how to talk to each other about their differences
Relationship SkillsThe abilities to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups.

This includes the capacities to communicate clearly, listen actively, cooperate, work collaboratively to problem solve and negotiate conflict constructively, navigate settings with differing social and cultural demands and opportunities, provide leadership, and seek or offer help when needed.

Our 5th Grade Lesson 19 “Having Difficult Conversations” explores the importance of having conversations with others when there is a disagreement or when feelings have been hurt. Students are given practical steps to take to learn how to communicate clearly.
Responsible Decision-MakingThe abilities to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations. 

This includes the capacities to consider ethical standards and safety concerns, and to evaluate the benefits and consequences of various actions for personal, social, and collective well-being. 

Students learn to identify an intention for their day and evaluate their progress using simple criteria in our 3rd Grade Lesson 24. Our lessons focus on the importance of decision-making and how decisions may impact interpersonal relationships.

Not only does Quaver SEL still meet the CASEL updated competency areas, but we go beyond the five through our SEL Plus lessons. Our SEL Plus lesson topics include: Academic Achievement, Bullying, Personal Safety, Honesty, Feeling Anxious, Disappointment, Moods, Transitions, and Grief. We believe these topics are essential for empowering both young people and educators in their mental, social, and emotional well-being. 

Through providing definitions and strategies to cope with difficult emotions and situations, young people and teachers will be able to work together to build caring, safe, healthy, and just communities.

Some examples from our SEL Plus lessons:

Quaver SEL Plus Lesson "Understanding Grief" providing definitions and strategies to cope with difficult emotions and situations!
Remote Control Activity is an SEL Plus Lesson that helps students learn about worry and things we can and cannot control.
Quaver SEL Plus Lessons include "Reframe Your Mind" an exercise in coping with difficult emotions and situations!
Quaver SEL Plus Lesson: "Reflect on What Happened" on difficult situations like Pandemic, Natural Disaster or State of Emergency.

Updated Framework

Pie chart style graphic showing the five core competency areas defined by CASEL and the rings of influence on teachers and students

CASEL’s new framework “takes a systemic approach that emphasizes the importance of establishing equitable learning environments and coordinating practices across key settings of classrooms, schools, families, and communities to enhance all students’ social, emotional, and academic learning.”

We know how vital community support is in the social and emotional growth of a child. Thus, Quaver SEL has made it easy for teachers and counselors no matter where school is: in-person, hybrid, or through distance learning.  Educators may simply share resources with their students and students’ families. Whether it is through our state-of-the-art link sharing or through printed materials, Quaver SEL allows educators to extend and enhance a culture of caring beyond just the classroom.

Quaver SEL continues to create and provide relevant curriculum and resources that support CASEL’s updated definition and framework. As our goal is to help students, teachers, and communities to create a culture of caring, we will continue to strive to support and empower each member involved in the education community.