Early Childhood

RULER programming in early childhood settings includes learning units and core routines that embed seamlessly into the classroom. This content provides children with opportunities to safely explore their own feelings and the feelings of others and to enhance their emotional intelligence for academic and social success. Programming is structured in a way that scaffolds children’s understanding of each of the RULER tools and reinforces their regular use through core routines.

Units center on children’s literature that already exists in many early childhood settings with a focus on multi-modal learning experiences, including small and large group activities, art, music and movement, and dramatic play. Units focus on emotion vocabulary (e.g., frustrated, disappointed, calm, proud) to support the emerging emotion knowledge and skills students this age need to safely express and regulate their emotions. Units are designed with integration in mind, are rooted in early childhood education best practices, and are informed by state and national early childhood education standards (e.g., NAEYC, Head Start). Each Unit contains key concepts (e.g., “I feel sad when…”, “When I feel sad, I can try ____ to feel better”) that link with what we want young children to know, understand, and be able to do in early childhood. With an emphasis on the child’s experience throughout the day, RULER core routines are easily adapted to the diversity of early childhood settings that young children experience, including Head Start, public school pre-K, and community- and family-based childcare settings.

Elementary School

For each grade from kindergarten through grade five, RULER includes six units designed to build skills and enduring understandings of emotion themes and concepts. These understandings are written in kid-friendly language and build on one another, ranging from “I have emotions, and they provide me with information” to “I can use what I learned from studying my emotions to make positive changes in my environment”.

Additionally, we provide support for integrating emotion vocabulary into the classroom curriculum. We provide developmentally appropriate “feeling word guides” for each grade level (12 words per grade) that can be integrated into existing curricular content and deeply explored through narrative, curricular and family connections, and emotion regulation strategy sessions.

Middle School

RULER for middle school is comprised of five instructional units focusing on issues relevant to this age group, guided by project-based learning (PBL). PBL units of study allow for students to take an active role in their classrooms, solve problems, participate in group discussions, and conduct real-world experiments while learning emotion themes and concepts. The middle school approach continues to leverage the RULER tools and provides numerous opportunities for using them in the larger units through reflections, projects, and mini-lessons designed to hone the five RULER skills.

Additionally, RULER for middle school allows for interdisciplinary study and ensures that learning is student centered and inquiry based, as each unit positions students to gain knowledge and skills by investigating and responding to the unit’s driving question. The themes of each unit are consistent across grade levels, but the focus of each grade and its feeling words varies, centering on developmentally appropriate emotion concepts. RULER for middle school addresses students’ understanding of themselves, including their habits, qualities, and characteristics. Students build a deeper understanding of their best self by examining it in the context of relationships, identity/personal values, civic engagement, goal setting, conflict resolution, and wellbeing.

High School

RULER supports adolescents with the advanced social and emotional skills they need to navigate high school and life beyond high school. In addition to enhancing school and classroom climate, RULER offers digital high school curriculum that encourages students to explore three thematic questions: Who am I? Where am I going? How do I maximize my emotional intelligence to get there?

RULER for High School is a flexible curriculum that can be implemented in unique ways to meet the needs of your school. The curriculum is divided into four years, with each year offering 20 lessons that cover topics related to grade-appropriate student development in the skills of emotional intelligence.

Upon completion of high school lessons, students will have an expanded emotion vocabulary to understand and regulate their emotions; a personalized set of strategies for forming and maintaining healthy relationships and making sound decisions; greater understanding of what motivates them, and knowledge of and practice with how to set goals and achieve them.