Every “move” your child makes in the game is a choice. “Behind the scenes” we’re assessing each choice against 20 distinct Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) skills. These are the skills we’re working to build in your child. We call these our ExSEL goals.
IF…’s 20 ExSEL goals were derived from the study of state teaching standards for SEL, as well as experts from Yale, CASEL, The Nueva School and KIPP’s Character Report Card.
- Awareness of Emotions – Children recognize and describe their feelings accurately and as they occur, allowing for a fuller understanding of themselves.
- Awareness of Traits – Children recognize their own abilities and qualities, allowing access to self-confidence and creativity.
- Awareness of Supports – Children recognize the need for supports and sources of support.
- Awareness of Responsibilities – Children are aware of their age-appropriate responsibilities and tasks.
- Managing Emotions – Children are aware of the need for managing strong emotions, such as anger.
- Tools for Regulation of Emotions – Children are aware of the need to use tools to regulate emotions, they know what those tools are, and they are capable of applying them when needed.
- Resilience/Grit – (1) Children are able to effortfully control their emotions to delay gratification, (2) they demonstrate an awareness or knowledge that keeping at a challenging task “pays off” and (3) they show an awareness of and/or the ability to plan in order to meet a short or long term goal.
- Gratitude – Children are aware of the need to nurture gratitude and appreciation.
- Sensitivity – Children are able to perceive or sense others’ perspectives and needs.
- Empathy – Children sense and feel the same feelings as others are having, and use that understanding to guide their actions.
- Compassion – Children care that others don’t suffer and have a desire to act kindly and help others when they do.
- Listening – Children are aware and/or apply listening in an active and reflective way.
- Expression – Children recognize the need and are able to express themselves and their needs clearly, calmly and firmly as needed, with tone that is considerate of others’ feelings.
- Humor – Children recognize the benefit of and utilize humor or playfulness as a means of enriching their interactions with others.
- Supports – Children are able to reach out and ask for help and support.
- Conflict Resolution – Children recognize the need to de-escalate conflict, are aware of the tools they can use to do so, and are able to apply those tools when needed.
- Collaboration – Children are aware of the need to offer encouragement, espouse an attitude of inclusivity, and an acceptance of diverse points of view to support cooperation and team building.
- Responsible Decision-making – Children recognize the need and are able to make respectful, responsible decisions based on evaluating the needs and perspectives of themselves and others.
- Acceptance – Children recognize the benefit and are able to let go of mistakes or disappointments, and when needed forgive, to achieve a sense of freedom and move forward.
- Leadership – Children recognize the value of and are able to initiate or direct a project or team, allowing for a deeper sense of confidence in themselves and their creativity.
When children make positive choices or choices that build these ExSEL skills, they’re able to resolve issues in the game, get positive emotional feedback from characters, and advance the storyline to new scenes and curriculum elements.
When children make poor choices, characters will feel and react differently, much like children and adults might react in “real life”. Learning can occur through remediation and repetition, as well as through the positive feedback from characters of improved choices. It can also occur through observing behavior that is repetitively role-modeled by characters in the game.
Nothing is learned in one shot. Key themes, strategies and tools are repeated from chapter to chapter. Your child’s “skill-building” towards these 20 ExSEL goals is ongoing.
Yet you’re able to see exactly how your child’s progressing in each of these skills on demand. We’re continually tracking and aggregating each data point from your child’s choices and assessing understanding of the lessons plans and comprehension of the 20 ExSEL skills. We organize and report this information to you through your dashboard. Children never see this raw data.