Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving (SDM/SPS), Grades 4-5

Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving (SDM/SPS), Grades 4-5 : A Curriculum for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning

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Developed over three decades of implementation in a wide range of schools, this research-validated curriculum focuses on teaching students to be reflective, nonimpulsive, and responsible decision makers and problem solvers-while emphasizing essential literacy skills. It is ideal for classroom use and can be adapted for small-group settings.The program uses a variety of cooperative learning methods, including small-group brainstorming, problem-solving, and role-playing activities. Students learn skills such as self-control, listening, respectful communication, giving and receiving help, and working cooperatively and fairly in groups. The manual and accompanying CD include numerous reproducible worksheets.

SDM/SPS influences student behavior, academic learning, and social and emotional life. It promotes a multicultural perspective by building group cohesion, acceptance of differences, and the ability to understand different points of view.

SDM/SPS has been recognized as:

an Exemplary Evidence-Based Social-Emotional Learning Program by CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning)
a Statewide Model Program for Substance Abuse Prevention by the New Jersey State Department of Education
a Promising Program by the Expert Panel, U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools
an Exemplary Evidence-Based, School-Based Learning Program by NASP (the National Association of School Psychologists)

Separate volumes of the SDM/SPS curriculum are available for grades K-1 and 2-3. As an ideal extension of the elementary curriculum, the authors have also written an SDM/SPS manual for working with middle school students.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 392 pages
  • 216 x 279 x 25.4mm | 1,065.94g
  • IL, United States
  • English
  • CD
  • 0878225137
  • 9780878225132
  • 1,289,638

About Maurice J. Elias

Dr Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., is a professor and the director of clinical training in the Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, USA; academic director of Rutgers' Civic Engagement and Service Education Partnerships Program (; coordinator of Rutgers' Internship Program in Applied, School, and Community Psychology; past president of the international Society for Community Research and Action/Division of Community Psychology (27) of APA; director of Rutgers' Social-Emotional Learning Lab; coordinator of Improving School Climate for Academic and Life Success at Rutgers' Center for Applied Psychology; and founding member of the leadership team for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning ( He has been elected as a fellow in five divisions of the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists. Dr. Elias is a past winner of the Lela Rowland Prevention Award, the Ernest McMahon Class of 1930 Award for service to New Jersey, and the American Psychological Association/Society for Community Research and Action's Distinguished Contribution to Practice and Ethnic Minority Mentoring awards. He lectures nationally and internationally, has been featured on numerous television and radio programs, and is frequently sought out as an expert for articles in magazines and newspapers. He has written an award-winning weekly parenting column, most recently for the Sunday Newark Star-Ledger's Family Accent section. His books include Research Press's Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving Curricula for Elementary and Middle School Students, Emotionally Intelligent Parenting (Random House, 2000), Bullying, Peer Harassment, and Victimization in the Schools: The Next Generation of Prevention (Haworth, 2003), (Research Press, 2006), The Educator's Guide to Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement: Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom (Corwin, 2006), Bullying, Victimization, and Peer Harassment: A Handbook of Prevention and Intervention (Taylor & Francis, 2007), Urban Dreams: Stories of Hope, Character, and Resilience (Hamilton Books, 2008,), and School Climate: Building Safe, Supportive and Engaging Classrooms and Schools. (National Professional Resources, 2011). He writes a blog on social-emotional and character development for the George Lucas Educational Foundation at

Linda Bruene Butler, M.Ed., has worked on the development of school-based programs in social and emotional learning for three decades. Currently, she is director of the Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving (SDM/SPS) Program at the Behavioral Research and Training Institute of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, USA University Behavioral HealthCare's Behavioral Research and Training Institute. She has also served as adjunct faculty for courses in the area of social- emotional learning at the Department of Psychology, Rutgers University; Teachers College, Columbia University; and the Department of Psychology, University of Illinois. Ms. Bruene Butler has published and lectured extensively in the area of social-emotional learning and has trained many others to become SDM/SPS consultants and trainers. Her current area of interest is exploring ways that computer-assisted technologies can enhance the individualized depth and differentiation of SEL instruction, educator training, and the ability to share and evaluate innovative methods for promoting social-emotional learning.
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