What is RULER?

RULER is an approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) that teaches emotional intelligence to people of all ages, with the goal of creating a healthier, more equitable, innovative, and compassionate society.

The RULER Skills

RULER is an acronym for the five skills of emotional intelligence:

Recognizing emotions in oneself and others

Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions

Labeling emotions with a nuanced vocabulary

Expressing emotions in accordance with cultural norms and social context

Regulating emotions with helpful strategies

RULER skills help people of all ages to use their emotions wisely, opening opportunities for us to succeed in school, at work, and in life. These skills are both personal and social, such that a network emerges with positive changes reinforced.

The RULER Tools

RULER skill development relies on four core tools, which are introduced to all stakeholders in the school community—school leaders, teachers, staff, students, and families.

Charter: Builds and sustains positive emotional climates by creating agreed-upon norms for how people want to feel and how they can help each other to experience those feelings.

Mood Meter: Enhances self- and social awareness and supports the development of a nuanced emotion vocabulary and a range of strategies for regulating emotion.

Meta-Moment: Provides a process for responding to emotional situations with strategies that align with one’s best self and that support healthy relationships and personal well-being.

Blueprint: Supports the development of empathy and conflict resolution skills by serving as a guide for reflecting on conflict and restoring affected communities.

RULER Goal for this Year

One of the new goals for RULER that we are working on this school year is expanding our emotional vocabulary. We are practicing getting specific and precise when labeling our emotions and moving away from the usual words of happy, sad, mad, and calm. We have implemented a new part of RULER called the Feeling Words Curriculum. Each month the children will explore new feeling words from one of the four quadrants on the mood meter. February we focused on yellow words and this month of March we are learning about new red words such as aggravated, competitive, self-conscious, annoyed, confused, worried and embarrassed. We will move into blue words next month in April and Green words in May. 

The goal is for children to precisely label their feelings. The more words that children can use, the better we will be able  to support them. 

For each lesson there is a school-home partnership. Students become teachers as they introduce the new feeling words to trusted adults in their lives. In this step, students walk trusted adults through the activities they have completed in class, and interview them about their own experiences with the word. Students then bring these stories back to school and share what they learned about their families