Overview: Behavior

Print-friendly version of directions [pdf]

Estimated time: 20 minutes

Audience: parents & families, educators


Social emotional learning is the way a child develops the ability to experience, regulate, and express emotions; form close, secure relationships; explore the environment; and learn. The behavior that students use in school can be understood as a manifestation of their social emotional development stage.

The purpose of this activity is to build awareness about behavior and social-emotional learning. Parents and teachers will explore the stages of child development and determine possible strengths and challenges to the students’ participation in school.


The Snapshots of a Child’s Social and Emotional Well-Being from CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) used in this activity provide brief descriptions of child development at each grade level. Also included are ideas for parents on things they can do to promote their child’s social and emotional success.

Link to RtI Concepts and/or Research-based practices

Epstein’s Six Types of Family-School-Community Partnerships: Parenting, Communication, Learning at Home

Wisconsin RtI Framework essential element: high quality instruction


For Parents 

This activity provides information about the developmental expectations of a child’s grade level.

  1. Review the CASEL Snapshot that is appropriate for your child’s age, choosing from the list in the resources section of this activity. Read the information about What to Expect, grade level descriptions, and ideas for parents.
  2. Compare this information with what you know about your own child.  You may want to look at the Snapshots about the grades before or after your child’s grade level for more information.  Children develop at their own paces and any same-age group will have children at various developmental stages.
  3. Identify areas in which your child seems to exceed their developmental level and Identify areas in which your child seems not to be at this developmental level  (see Social-Emotional Development Checklist to record your thoughts)
  4. Use this information to brainstorm ideas for how you can positively support your child’s success in school. Write your thoughts in your journal. The journal is for your use only. You may want to review the journal later for ideas in your Parent-School Partnership work.

For Educators

  1. Start with the Development Snapshots for two levels above and below your grade level.
  2. Think about your students; using the checklist in the resources section of the activity estimate the number of students that fall in each range.
  3. Use this information to brainstorm ideas for differentiating instruction and to develop strategies, activities, and interventions for proactive behavior management.


CASEL Snapshots (Retrieved from http://www.casel.org)

Social-Emotional Development Checklist (adapted from the Snapshots)


Group Activity

Estimated time: 30 minutes

Activity Directions for Groups [pdf]

Additional Resources for Group Activity:

  • none