Hello Peekapak friends! 

As back-to-school approaches, educators and students alike are gearing up for a fresh start filled with new opportunities. At Peekapak, we believe that integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) into the classroom is the key to unlocking a successful and fulfilling academic year. Join us as we explore essential tips and strategies to prepare for an exceptional back-to-school season.

  1. Cultivating a Positive Classroom Culture

Creating a supportive and inclusive environment is key to fostering SEL growth, especially during the back-to-school season. Students thrive in a community where everyone contributes and everyone is valued. According to Jason J. Barr, developing a positive rapport with students improves students’ learning and motivation (2016). This can be done by:

  • Greeting children in the morning
  • Calling them by name
  • Communicating at eye-level
  • Getting to know your students individually
  • Ensuring they feel comfortable, included and safe in the classroom 

Doing so contributes to building positive teacher-child relationships, which is the foundation of effective teaching. Peekapak’s interactive stories feature relatable characters facing various social and emotional challenges. By exploring these themes together, students develop empathy and understanding for others, creating a more compassionate and inclusive classroom culture.

  1. Emphasizing Self-Reflection and Goal-Setting

Encourage students to reflect on their emotions and set goals for personal growth at the beginning of the school year. Regular self-reflection helps students understand their strengths and areas for improvement, enabling them to develop a growth mindset. Moreover, reflection often helps students self-evaluate their knowledge and identify unclear areas, thus improving their learning (Chang, 2019). Peekapak’s SEL lessons guide students through reflective exercises and provide tools to set realistic goals, boosting their self-confidence and motivation throughout the school year. For example, one activity encourages students to reflect on their feelings and emotions that they have towards being back to school. Then, they will express their feelings and ways they can cope with them by writing a letter to Leo. This activity will increase their self-awareness and problem-solving skills as they continue to navigate the start of the school year.

  1. Celebrating Milestones and Achievements

Acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of your students as they make progress in their social-emotional learning journey. Recognizing their efforts and growth reinforces positive behaviors and motivates them to continue developing their SEL skills. Celebrating milestones, big or small, also helps boost children’s self-esteem and confidence, encouraging them to set goals and achieve them (The Importance of Celebrating Milestones in Your Child’s Life, n.d.). Peekapak provides tools for recognizing and celebrating students’ SEL achievements, such as printable certificates and digital badges. By acknowledging students’ progress and efforts, it reinforces positive behavior and reinforces a sense of accomplishment.

  1. Collaborating with Families and Guardians

Involve families and guardians in the SEL journey! Sharing SEL strategies and resources with parents not only strengthens the home-school connection but also empowers them to support their children’s emotional well-being. Many studies have found strong connections between family involvement and student performance, which is why family engagement is essential to a learning environment (How Family Engagement Leads to Student Success, 2023). When parents are engaged in their children’s social-emotional development, the impact extends beyond the classroom, reinforcing a positive culture at home and school.

With back-to-school fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to plan for an extraordinary academic journey that incorporates the power of SEL. By creating a welcoming environment, integrating SEL into your curriculum, fostering relationships, collaborating with families, and celebrating growth, you’ll pave the way for a successful back-to-school season with Peekapak.

Embrace the transformative potential of SEL, and watch as your students develop essential life skills, build resilience, and flourish both inside and outside the classroom. Together, let’s create a nurturing and empowering learning experience that prepares our students for a bright future.


Barr, J. J. (2016, October). Developing a Positive Classroom Climate. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED573643.pdf

Chang, B. (2019). Reflection in learning. Online Learning, 23(1), 95-110. doi:10.24059/olj.v23i1.1447

How Family Engagement Leads to Student Success. Waterford.org. (2023, June 26). https://www.waterford.org/education/family-engagement/

The Importance of Celebrating Milestones in Your Child’s Life. Collaborative for Children. (n.d.). https://collabforchildren.org/resources-for-families/resource-library/the-importance-of-celebrating-milestones-in-your-childs-life/#:~:text=Boosts%20their%20self%2Desteem%3A%20Celebrating,set%20and%20achieve%20more%20goal

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