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Intentional Focus on Developing Students’ Self-Management Skills

Developing students’ self-management skills to support independent learning



At Henry O. Tanner Elementary School, a prekindergarten through eighth grade school in Chicago Public Schools, teachers noted students struggling to work independently from home when the district closed for in-person instruction and moved to remote learning. Given this shift in the learning modality, developing students' self-management skills became an urgent need for this school as they sought to find a way to support students to complete their learning independently. As such, the school revamped their social emotional learning (SEL) scope and sequence to focus their SEL lessons on self-management.

Approach: To help build the skill of self-management, the school identified three challenge areas and created structured innovations in response to each. The challenges identified were:

  1. Staff development - inconsistencies around effectively building relationships with students at home

  2. Instructional practices - inconsistent modeling of self-management strategies and how to use them

  3. School structures - inconsistent modeling of self-management strategies school-wide and a lack of clarity around who teachers can go to for leadership support around SEL

In response to the challenges identified above, the school launched shifts in three areas:

  1. Shifts in staff development
    • Quarterly development for staff and parents to support adults building self-management skills to model for students

    • Quarterly family nights that utilized practices they desired students to use when learning at home independently

  2. Shifts in instructional practices
    • Provided constant and consistent reminders to students to integrate self-management throughout the day

    • Increased student modeling of skills and strategies

  3. Shifts in school structures
    • Clearly defined leaders and goals for this SEL initiative

    • Built in school-wide SEL habits and acknowledgements of students using self-management skills

This strategy is a part of TLA's Hop, Skip, Leapfrog release, which explores the concrete ways in which schools and systems pursued student-centered innovation during COVID-19. Explore the full guide to find additional strategies, insights, and resources.

Strategy Resources

Prekindergarten - 8th Grade Social Emotional Learning Lesson Pacing Guide

Social emotional lesson pacing guide for prekindergarten through eighth grade, which includes lesson objectives and... Learn More