Introduction   SEEL Fundamentals   Teacher Development   Classroom Implementation
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Welcome to the implementation plan portion of the SEEL Implementation. You have now learned what SEEL is, how to use SEEL, and specific teaching techniques to bring SEEL to life. This portion of the SEEL Implementation is designed to help you implement SEEL into your own classroom. This section includes instruction on parent involvement and provides a “year with SEEL” full calendar checklist as you use SEEL throughout the year.

The Importance of Involving Parents

Research has shown that there’s a significant relationship between parental involvement and academic achievement (Jaynes, 2005). Students of all grade levels do better academic work and have more positive school attitude, higher aspirations, and other positive behaviors if they have parents who are aware, knowledgeable, encouraging, and involved (Epstein, 1998). SEEL provides opportunities for family involvement both in the classroom and at home.

In the classroom, parents can:

  1. Volunteer to lead small groups of students in SEEL activities
  2. Prepare or supply materials used in SEEL activities
  3. Volunteer to help with special SEEL events

At home, parents can:

  1. Participate in SEEL at Home activities in playful and interactive ways
  2. Ask children to share what they are learning from SEEL activities at school
  3. Read stories and further engage children by asking questions about what is being read
  4. Review literacy targets with children as opportunities arise throughout the day

At the end of most SEEL activity plans downloaded from our website, you will see a “SEEL at Home” hand out. These handouts are a continuation of the activities completed in the classroom that can be sent home with each child. Children and parents can then play one-on-one together as they complete the SEEL at Home activities.

Watch a video about parent involvement. (This introduction to parents was filmed 9/8/2010 at the SEEL Parent Information meeting held at Edgemont Elementary, Provo, UT.)

Weekly Planning

Ideal planning for SEEL occurs on a weekly basis. SEEL activities are designed to be used in all environments—large groups, small groups, during transitions, during centers/free time, and finally during class routines. The more environments you use SEEL, the better the information will be generalized and retained in students' memory. It is also beneficial to keep track of which literacy targets you will be teaching, how they tie in with the curriculum, and in which setting you will teach the literacy targets.

Implementation Plan - A Year with SEEL

Multiple schools and teachers have adopted SEEL as their primary literacy approach. We will walk you through a basic school year while we give suggestions on what has worked for our teachers to successfully implement SEEL as a choice literacy approach. If you have any comments, suggestions, or changes you have made to your own implementation plan, feel free to leave your comments by clicking here.

Before School Starts

Material preparation and curriculum selection

First, we have found it helpful to get everything before the school year begins. This includes kits, materials in bins, lesson plans, selecting parents for different volunteer positions, and sending a list home of things the parents need to save for activity plans that will be used during the year.

During this time, it is also critical that you select and understand what curriculum/literacy targets you wish to focus on throughout the school year. You can go to SEEL’s scope and sequence page to find age appropriate literacy targets for the school year.

Parent introduction to SEEL

It is helpful to introduce parents to SEEL at the earliest opportunity. This can be done using an informational pamphlet (note that the SEEL Flyer handout should include the principles of SEEL, website address, contact name, and email address). This is also a good time to advertise for upcoming parent information meetings, welcome days, literacy fairs, etc.

Hold a "Welcome Day"

A "Welcome Day" is a great way to help parents become more familiar with SEEL and for teachers to set up a parent volunteer system based on the parent’s interest and skills. Information to be covered in the Welcome Day includes:

A Volunteer Sign-Up Sheet Provide a classroom sign-up sheet for parents organized by a list of upcoming themes so parents can come in on days that are most interesting to them. The following is a list of possible parent-volunteer positions (information on each position can be found in the “classroom volunteer meeting” section below)
  • Classroom Coordinator
  • SEEL at Home Coordinator
  • Special Events Coordinator
  • Materials Coordinator
  • Daily Center Teachers
Parent Survey Provide a survey of skills/hobbies parents would like to share that would fit in with classroom themes throughout the year. Click HERE to see an example of a Parent Survey.
Material-Collection List Provide a material-collection list of items that will be used in upcoming lessons. This allows parents and their children to become involved as they begin to collect materials to take to their SEEL classroom. Examples include:
  • Collecting dryer lint for the activity plan "Fun with Fuzz"
  • Bottle caps for the activity plan "Follow the Map"
Dates for Upcoming SEEL Events Include advertisements for upcoming events including literacy fairs, parent info meetings, and classroom volunteer meetings. Distribute a calendar or newsletter. You could also create an email list to update the parents periodically.

Hold a "SEEL Family Literacy Fair"

This can be an open house type of event for parents and their children to come see how SEEL is used by performing various SEEL activities as set up by the Literacy Fair. You can also include volunteer sign ups and advertisements for upcoming events (parent info meetings and classroom volunteer meetings).

First Couple Weeks of School

Conduct a Parent Info Meeting

This meeting is to provide a more in-depth look at SEEL. Discuss the principles of SEEL and how parent volunteers help to make it work in the classroom and SEEL’s critical home and school connection.

Conduct a Classroom Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers are key to involving parents in the classroom. By organizing parents into defined leadership positions, both teacher and parents have a clear understanding of what tasks need to be done and how they will be completed. Volunteers help lower the workload and stress level of the teacher, which creates a better learning environment for the students.

A classroom volunteer meeting can be used to select and train parents for the following positions:

  1. Classroom Coordinator - This is a dependable volunteer who would coordinate the center teachers for each month.
  2. SEEL at Home Coordinator - This is a dependable volunteer who would oversee materials prep for SEEL at Home activities to go home every Friday in the Friday folders and then collect them on Monday after students have had a chance to share their work with a teacher or a friend.
    • The folders can be filed in a Pendaflex hanging file tote that would provide an easy way for volunteers to take them home if needed.


  3. Materials Volunteers - These are parents who volunteer at home to help with creating any handouts or student copies for SEEL activities (at centers and at home) and then to return them to school to be used or sent home in Friday Folders. They could also help with:
    • Classroom manipulatives/collections
    • Family literacy kit
    • Weekly prep
    • Send needed ingredients for special cooking projects


  4. Center Teachers - These are volunteers (scheduled by the Classroom Coordinator) who would be side by side partners with the teacher at tier 2 & 3 centers. This is designed after a gradual release model where the teacher is the lead teacher and the parent is the supporting teacher, eventually switching places, and the teacher would eventually leave the parent in charge at the center. These volunteers would be provided "on the job" training during centers.
  5. Special Events Coordinator(s) - This is one or two volunteers (other than the Classroom Coordinator or SEEL at Home Coordinator) who helps the BYU team plan special SEEL events as well as parties, field trips, etc. for the classroom.

As the Year Continues

Hold various parent meetings as needed

These meeting are to train new parents who have moved in after the first parent information meeting and to help parents who are already using SEEL to know how they can extend or simplify activities based on the needs of their children at home and in the classroom.

These meetings can also help get parents excited and re-invested in facilitating SEEL at Home activities. Teachers can include new parent volunteer sign-up sheets to fill positions as needed.

Hold special volunteer days

Invite parents on special "volunteer days" to come participate in SEEL activities with their child as a volunteer for those parents who are unable to commit to volunteer on a consistent basis.

Hold SEEL celebrations

Hold a "Spring Fling" - an activity planned for the week before spring break so students and teachers can present some of their favorite SEEL projects.

End of the Year

Hold a "Spring Round-up"

This is a meeting for incoming parents/students for the following school year. This can also be a time to find coordinating volunteers who would work with you over the summer to help get things ready for the beginning of the year activities and special events. It is also a good time to advertise important dates for the new school year.

Creating a SEEL Activity Plan

SEEL has created activity plans for all types of literacy targets. We hope that by seeing our writing process, it will help you 1) see the efficacy and thought that goes into each of our activity plans and 2) will help you create your own activity plans using SEEL principles. SEEL was not designed for you to be completely dependent on activity plans that have already been created, but rather it was designed for you to adapt to the needs of your classroom.  You may have specific themes and activities that connect better with your students that have not been developed by the SEEL organization and we want you to have the tools that you need to develop these activity plans on your own.  If you desire to share the activity plans that you have created with other teachers browsing the site you may do so by attaching your activity plan on the Contact Us page.

There are 6 steps used in creating a SEEL activity plan. These steps can be used to help you create your own activity plans, help you modify activity plans you may already have, or to help you modify SEEL activity plans found online to match your specific needs as a teacher. 

  1. Identify the Literacy Target
    • Use the curriculum to identify a literacy target students need to learn (e.g., Learn to read and write words ending in –at).


  2. Identify Target words
    • Identify words that fit the target (e.g., bat, cat, hat). Use the SEEL dictionary or an online search engine for possible target words. Make sure the words are child-friendly. They need to be words the children already know or words that would have meaning to their lives, words that are developmentally appropriate to teach, and words that are appropriate for the grade/curriculum level


  3. Find a Resource to Support the Target
    • Find an arts-based/playful resource to introduce and reinforce the target. Possible resources include a book (e.g., Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin), a song that can be “SEEL-ized”, (e.g., where is thumbkin – changed to Spooky Spider), etc.


  4. Create the Activity
    • Think about how the supportive target words and the resources can be used in a child-friendly hands-on activity. Possible types of activities include story re-enactments, dances, songs, puppet shows, dramatization, visual arts and crafts, cooking, and games. Vary the types of activities chosen as much as possible and always remember… keep it simple!


  5. Write a target-focused activity plan
    • Using the planning template, write a plan for the lesson. Include an introduction, relating the activity to children’s background knowledge and explicitly stating the goal of the lesson. Include the main points of the activity. Think of ways to incorporate the target as much as possible. A song or a chant can sometimes be helpful to enable students to use the target repeatedly.


  6. Provide authentic opportunities for reading and writing
    • Give students a reason to read and write. Incorporate reading and writing activities, which relate directly to the activity (e.g., Make labels for characters in the play; write a list of ingredients to make Octopus Stew; write the letter Mm for the mouse to much on.)


Congratulations on completing our training tutorial! It is now time for you to start using the SEEL approach in your classroom. Your next step is to visit the SEEL Activity Plan Library.

If you have more questions or require further understanding please Contact Us.