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About Fly Five

Fly Five is a kindergarten to eighth grade social and emotional learning curriculum developed on the core belief that, in order for students to be academically, socially, and behaviorally successful in, out of, and beyond school, they need to learn a set of social and emotional competencies, namely cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control (C.A.R.E.S.). The Fly Five lessons are intentionally designed to be easy to follow and implement so that teachers can place their attention on the important work of noticing a student’s academic, social, and emotional growth and progress and creating conditions for that progress to continue.

About Fly Five
  • There are daily lessons, and each lesson is color-coded according to its competency color and icon.
  • All grade levels have five units with four themes based upon the C.A.R.E.S. standards.
  • Each unit has a School to Home Connection component delivered as a newsletter (English, Spanish) with information and flexible SEL activities.
  • Each grade level has a deck of age- and grade-appropriate mindfulness cards aligned to the lesson objectives. These cards can be used throughout the day.
  • All lessons provide both a teacher and a student objective and identify the materials that are needed to complete each session in the lesson.
  • All lessons provide interactive learning structures (ILS) for active and interactive learning (individual, small group, and whole class) with guidance for the teacher on how to do the ILS.
  • The lessons provide key points for facilitating discussion and monitoring student interaction.
  • Some lessons include bully-prevention strategies.
  • Lessons can be adapted to meet the needs of a school’s context and schedule.
  • All 20-30 minute sessions end with a reflection that is to be used as a formative assessment.
About Fly Five
Standards-Aligned Curriculum


Standards-Aligned Curriculum

In recent years, the US has made significant advancements in embedding support for SEL at district and state levels.The movement towards SEL standards at the state level and the growing advocacy for policies to support SEL nationally create expectations for student learning. Teachers need a well-developed, standards-aligned SEL curriculum to meet state and local standards and learning expectations.

Center for Responsive Schools developed Fly Five in response to the growing need of students, families, and educators across the nation for a SEL curriculum that supports how students learn best (National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development 2019). At the center of our work is the recognition that the academic curriculum and the SEL curriculum are equally important. The growing emphasis on social and emotional learning created a need for a SEL curriculum that can be implemented with the same rigor and quality of instruction given to other core subjects and elective/exploratory courses.


As the Fly Five team designed the curriculum, we kept in mind what we’d learned as educators about implementing a curriculum. Our work was guided by seven design principles:

Embedded Instruction In Emotion Management

Embed instruction in emotion management:

The Mindful Student® curriculum can be used to embed instruction in identifying and managing emotions and emotional responses throughout the day.

Support Teacher Efficacy

Support teacher efficacy through professional development:

Teachers receive two hours of training in how to use the curriculum and 10 hours per year (30 hours over three years) of asynchronous PD intended to develop their own SEL competence and content knowledge.

Empower Teacher Decision-Making

Empower teacher decision-making:

The Getting Started Assessment Suite provides teachers with insights about their own social and emotional competence and empowers them to use their hopes and goals for their students’ social, emotional, and behavioral learning outcomes to make decisions about sequencing the curriculum, while supplying them with data and reports that they can use to make informative instructional decisions.

Adapt To A Wide Variety Of Educational Context

Adapt to a wide variety of educational contexts:

As educators prepare to allocate time in the daily schedule for SEL instruction, the amount of time available in school schedules will vary significantly. Each weekly unit contains three core lessons (60-90 minutes of instruction over three days) and two extension lessons (40-60 minutes over two days). Depending on the school context, teachers may choose to teach the core lessons and none, one, or both of the extension lessons.

Provide Formative Data

Provide formative data:

Each lesson has a formative assessment to help teachers monitor student learning, inform instructional decisions, and help students identify their strengths and areas for growth.

Offers Diverse And Inclusive Representation

Offer diverse and inclusive representation:

Fly Five has a deep and intentional focus on diversity and representation. We designed Fly Five with the awareness that students’ diversity is not always reflected in their teachers. Moreover, many educational products, resources, and materials do not create teaching conditions and practices that embrace the diversity of experiences and perspectives students bring to the classroom. While no one curriculum could capture the vast diversity that exists among and between the students in schools everywhere, Fly Five was designed to be a curriculum that helps to close the gaps in representation.

Support Social And Emotional Learning At Home

Support social and emotional learning at home:

The School-to-Home Connections (SHC) are designed to support parent/caregiver engagement, continue SEL learning at home, and connect parents/caregivers to what students are learning at school. The SHC unit is formatted as a newsletter with an overview of the standards, competency, and skills that are being taught in the unit. It also provides five activities that parents/caregivers can choose to incorporate at home based on their schedules. The activities vary in time and depth of engagement. Parents/caregivers can choose these activities based upon their context and time. Some activities can be completed in as few as 10 minutes, while having dinner, before bed, or even in the car. Others may take up to a full day if the parents/caregivers decide to invest that amount of time.

Our Vision

Our Vision

A global movement that fosters social and emotional competence and a culture of dignity and hope for all people

Our Mission

Our Mission

Empowering social-emotional growth in students through autonomy, belonging, and competence

Our Core Belief

Our Core Belief

Success in learning, life, work, play, relationships, and business requires a set of social and emotional competencies, namely cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control

Curriculum Components

The Fly Five curriculum provides students with the ability to explore and practice skills to build their social and emotional competence. Instructional materials come as print and digital components, including:

Teacher's Lesson Guide

The Fly Five Teacher Guide is an instructional manual that sets the conditions for effective lesson implementation. Designed to be easy to use and engaging, this resource offers educators insights into the development and mission of Fly Five, research surrounding social and emotional learning, and grade-specific strategies for lesson implementation. By guiding teachers on how to deliver each session, the Teacher Guide serves as a comprehensive toolkit to keep teachers organized, prepared, and focused as they bring SEL into their classrooms.

Student Journal

The Student Journals are vibrant, colorful journals that provide visual and manipulative tools to promote student learning. Filled with vignettes, scenarios, games, and other learning materials aligned with the lessons, the journal pages are infused with exciting designs and illustrations. Each student receives their own journal so they can creatively and individually explore their SEL lessons.

The Mindful Student Lessons

The Mindful Student are lessons in card format that outline age-appropriate, engaging mindfulness activities that correspond with a lesson’s skill focus. The activities range from interactive partner work and role playing to quiet visualizations and guided reflection. The activities are brief and versatile, so they can be used whenever students need an additional few moments to refocus and reset.

Scenario Cards

For kindergarten through second grade, the Scenario Cards depict a wide variety of situations where the characters must put their SEL skills to use. Each card aligns with a skill focus and offers questions and prompts that allow students to think through the situations in their own way. These cards provide a myriad of opportunities for students to explore, discuss, and practice SEL both during Fly Five lesson time and throughout the course of the day.


For kindergarten through second grade, the Poster Packs are a visual resource for interactive learning. They feature concept maps and character illustrations that support students’ understanding of SEL lessons and vocabulary. Teachers can utilize the Poster Packs in a variety of ways, including displaying them only during a lesson or hanging them for a length of time for extended reinforcement of their SEL objective.


The PowerPoints (PPTs) are a digital resource for grades 3–8. The presentations align with the lesson’s skill focus and offer students an opportunity to explore visual models, photos, illustrations, and text that support lesson retention. The PPTs clearly define important words and skills and allow for individual vocabulary exploration.

Teacher Resource

The Teacher Resource is an online, downloadable resource that provides additional information regarding the visuals and Student Journal pages. The additional background information contextualizes the lessons and allows for stronger instruction and more in-depth learning.

School-to-Home Connection

The School-to-Home Connection is a weekly newsletter filled with engaging activities to bring SEL learning into a student’s home and community. This newsletter communicates what SEL skills students are practicing each week and offers conversation prompts, guided reflections, read-alouds, and suggestions for students and families to practice SEL in their communities. It encourages SEL growth beyond the classroom and affords students and families the opportunity to deepen their SEL skills together.

Digital Platform

Fly Five’s digital platform is a Learning Management System (LMS). It functions as a virtual library and instructional delivery platform that contains all teacher-facing and classroom instructional materials listed above. It has projection capacity that allows teachers to share content in a virtual classroom setting or project the content on a screen in the face-to-face classroom. It features (1) a dashboard with the teacher’s SEL profile and their classroom SEL profile for an easy reference point; (2) capacity to email SHC materials directly to parents; (3) helpful hints to guide lesson implementation; and (4) opportunities for teachers to send reviews of all components directly to the program developers, who will use the feedback to inform real-time or life-cycle revisions.


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