The Every School Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) is a federal law that calls for a well-rounded (whole child) education and a shifting away from the narrow focus on academics. Under ESSA, teachers go beyond academics to cultivate positive student attitudes, values, and habits.  Inter- and intra-personal (or, “social and emotional”) competencies include attitudes and behaviors that affect how students reflect on and apply their learning capacities and skills relative to managing relationships with others. These skills are sometimes referred to as 21st century skills, deeper learning, non-academic, non-cognitive, or soft skills.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.“– The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).


What are Social and Emotional Skills?

According to CASEL, Social and emotional skills are the tools both children and adults use in social interactions and to manage every day emotional responses. Things like social awareness, setting goals, and taking responsibility for oneself are imperative to maintaining healthy relationships and practicing self-care.


CASEL’s widely used framework identifies five core competencies that can educate hearts, inspire minds, and help students navigate the world more effectively:


  1. Self-awareness: Know your strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”
  2. Self-management: Effectively manage stress, control impulses, and motivate yourself to set and achieve goals.
  3. Social awareness: Understand the perspectives of others and empathize with them, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  4. Relationship skills: Communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.
  5. Responsible decision-making: Make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety, and social norms.

SEL programs improve students’ social-emotional skills, attitudes about self and others, connection to school, positive social behavior, and academic performance; they also reduce students’ conduct problems and emotional distress.


Bluebee Pals are excellent educational tools that can easily be incorporated in the classroom or at home to help model and build early social skills. Use one-on-one or invite a Bluebee Pal into social learning or peer groups to practice skills such as understanding and using appropriate emotions, sharing, turn-taking, asking and answering questions, making appropriate conversations, showing empathy, and more. Paired with educational apps, Bluebee Pals are perfectly suited to offer children a special learning friend who makes social skills practice fun…and therefore, more meaningful. By “speaking” the audio in connected apps, a Bluebee Pal adds just the right touch of warmth and humanity to motivate children. Just connect your Bluebee Pal and get started!


Social /Emotional Recommended Apps :

Choiceworks by Bee Visual, LLC

Helps children complete daily routines, understand and control feelings, and improve waiting skills. Designed to help foster a child’s independence, positive behavior, and emotional regulation.


Following Directions by TSApps by Teach Speech Apps, LLC

Helps to develop the skills needed to boost memory, motor, and auditory processing skills with simple one step directions, two step complex commands, inclusion/exclusion, conditional and motor-skill based directions. Great for working on language, auditory processing, vocabulary, memory, receptive language, attention, and focus.

Autism Emotion by Model Me Kids, LLC

Uses music and photo slideshows to teach individuals about different emotions. Choose an emotion and swipe through photos of people expressing it.

Model Me Going Places 2 by Model Me Kids, LLC

A great visual teaching tool for helping your child learn to navigate challenging locations in the community.

Do It… Or Not? Social Skills for ASD Kids (SE) by Janine Toole

Helps children with autism understand and practice what to do and what not to do in real life social situations

Say It.. Or Not? Social Filter Skills: School Ed. by Janine Toole

Builds social filter skills for what is okay to say and what is not.

Let’s be Social PRO: Social Skills Development by Everyday Speech LLC.

Teaches communication skills and models personal interactions, navigating the community, appropriate school behavior, handling change, and social relationships. Includes ready to use lessons and videos and enables users to create their own social lessons.

10 Ways – a Social Skills Game by Everyday Speech LLC

Helps dig down deep into social communication skills including: conversation skills, perspective taking, asking and answering questions, friendship skills, and more.

Conversation Skills – Lite by Janine Toole

Helps practice key steps in conversation.

Social Skills With Billy by Virtual Speech Center Inc

Practice social and pragmatic skills in real-life situations and identify emotions.

Peppy Pals Social Skills by Peppy Pals AB

Teaches important social emotional skills such as self-esteem and kindness.

Social Quest by Smarty Ears

A social skills problem solving quest for older elementary, middle, and high school students.

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