Taxi Dog Glossary

21st Century Skills

Distinct abilities promoted as important for future success. These include:

  • “The “6 Cs “(Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Curiosity and Compassion)
  • Information, media and technology proficiency
  • Mastery of core academics
  • Career and life skills


Above the Line/Below the Line

Terms used by puppeteers to express emotional states.
Puppets whose expressions are above the line (i.e., head raised up) are generally representing positive emotions, such as happiness, excitement, hope. Puppets whose expressions are below the line (i.e., head turned downwards) are generally representing negative emotions, such as sadness, anger and fear. In the Taxi Dog program, these terms can be used to refer to the actual students’ emotional states as well. See The Line and On Top of the Line.

The Line

Referring to a state of calm awareness, both emotionally and physically.

On Top of the Line

Referring to a state of feeling focused, slightly energized, positive and optimistic, and therefore ready for learning. Research has found that learning occurs best in situations where stress is moderate, negative feelings are minimized, and positive feelings are enhanced.


Changes that can be applied to the original lesson plan to simplify the material or make it more challenging. In the Taxi Dog curriculum we refer to these as Traffic Lights: Yellow Lights for simplified content, Green Lights for more challenging content. See Traffic Lights, Green Lights, Yellow Lights.


To pay attention to one’s surroundings and one’s internal state, including feelings and bodily sensations.


(The Collaborative for Academic, Social Emotional Learning): A network of scholars, practitioners and policymakers with a mission to promote social emotional learning in education by seeking to:

  • Advance the science of social and emotional learning
  • Expand integrated, evidence-based SEL practice
  • Strengthen the field and the impact of SEL


Common Core State Standards

Educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics that 45 US states and the District of Columbia have adopted to guide instruction and content in classrooms with the goal of college and career readiness for all students.



The feeling that arises when you are confronted with another's suffering and are motivated to do something to ease his/her experience.  While compassion and empathy are related, they are not synonyms: empathy refers to taking the perspective and feeling the emotions of others, while compassion is when those feelings or thoughts include wanting to help.  See Empathy.  


Ways to adapt Taxi Dog lessons to increase or decrease their level of difficulty, as well as expanded opportunities for learning. See Traffic Lights, Green Lights, Yellow Lights, Road Trips.

Diverse Learners

A term used to refer to the spectrum of strengths and weaknesses each individual student brings to the classroom. These differences can be due to gender, ethnic background, socio-economic status, learning style or disabilities.


Often the words feelings and emotions are used interchangeably. Emotions are a state of mind, while feelings are what gives rise to an emotion and can be experienced in the whole body. Emotions and feelings often seem to happen simultaneously. Emotions are universal across cultures.


The ability to sense, identify and imagine what another person is or might be feeling. In more formal terms, empathy has been described as "An affective response that stems from the apprehension or comprehension of another's emotional state or condition, and that is similar to what the other person is feeling or would be expected to feel" (Eisenberg N. & Fabes R.A. 1990)

Executive Functioning (EF)

Cognitive control skills that help people concentrate and think, and inhibit impulses that may derail them from a goal. Core EF skills include cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control (self-control) and working memory. Complex EF skills include problem solving, reasoning and planning.


An observable outward behavior showing an inner emotional state as seen in the face, body, posture, voice and gestures. Expression of emotions is cultural and can differ between populations.


Further learning opportunities using the original lesson plan as the topic springboard. See Road Trips.

Feasibility Study

A study to examine the strengths and weaknesses, the resources needed, and the likelihood of success of a project.


See Emotions.

Green Light

Within suggested lesson “Traffic Lights” (adaptations), Green Lights refer to lesson adaptations for learners working at an accelerated pace. See Adaptations and Traffic Lights.


The giving or receiving of information through more than one sense at a time for example an activity that provides visual and auditory information at the same time (following along in a book while it is read aloud).


Taxi Dog’s self-regulation practice designed specifically for young learners. “PAUSE” involves having students take a moment to take a breath and reflect on their internal state. This practice fosters a calm, aware state that promotes self-regulated behavior. For more about PAUSE see The PAUSE Practice.

Perspective Taking

The ability to consider what someone else is thinking or feeling from his/her point of view.

Play-based Learning

An evidence-based approach to developing cognitive and social skills through play activities.


Behavior intended for the benefit of others.

Randomized Control Trial (RCT)

A type of scientific experiment design that randomly assigns the participants to an experimental group or a control group.  The experimental group receives the intervention, treatment, etc. that is being measured, while the control group does not in order to compare the differences to determine the effectiveness of the given intervention, treatment, etc. 

Readiness for Learning

Refers to the enthusiasm and concentration needed for learning, including physical, emotional and cognitive preparedness.

Relationship Skills

See Social Emotional Learning (SEL) or Social and Emotional Learning in the Taxi Dog Classroom


The ability to use one’s coping skills including courage, stamina and optimism to keep going during hard times or after something negative has happened.

Responsible Decision-Making

See Social Emotional Learning (SEL) or Social and Emotional Learning in the Taxi Dog Classroom

Road Trips

Suggested activities to broaden learning and understanding of lesson content. See Extensions and Customizations.


Research has found effective programs follow the SAFE program development guidelines (SAFE as defined by CASEL):

  • S: use a sequenced set of activities to achieve skill objectives
  • A: use Active forms of learning
  • F: include at least one program component Focused on developing personal or social skills
  • E: Explicitly target particular personal or social skills for development


See Social Emotional Learning (SEL) or Social and Emotional Learning in the Taxi Dog Classroom


See Social Emotional Learning (SEL) or Social and Emotional Learning in the Taxi Dog Classroom


Managing emotions, energy levels, attention and behavior in order to achieve goals such as fostering positive relationships, learning and social emotional well-being. See PAUSE

Social Awareness

See Social Emotional Learning (SEL) or Social and Emotional Learning in the Taxi Dog Classroom

Sequenced Lessons

Progressive lessons that allow students to build on previous knowledge and skills gained from preceding lessons.

Social Emotional Competencies (SEC) & Social and Emotional Skills

The ability to recognize social and emotional cues in ourselves and in others, and to respond in ways that benefit the well-being of self and others.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

The processes through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions (as defined by CASEL).

  • Self-Awareness: Recognizing one’s emotions and values, as well as one’s strengths and challenges.
  • Self-Management: Managing emotions and behaviors to achieve one’s goals.
  • Social Awareness: Showing understanding and empathy for others.
  • Relationship Skills: Forming positive relationships, working in teams, dealing effectively with conflict.
  • Responsible Decision-Making: Making ethical, constructive choices about personal and social behavior

Supportive Classroom Environments

Teaching practices that foster classroom environments that are safe, caring and respectful.

Traffic Lights

Suggestions for adaptations to simplify or advance the lessons to better match them for the ability level of a particular student or classroom. Green Lights provide more accelerated learning, and Yellow Lights take a slower pace with lessons. See also: Green Light and Yellow Light

Universal Learning Design (ULD)

A set of principles for curriculum that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. See Multisensory, Adaptations, and Traffic Lights


Yellow Light

Within suggested lesson "Traffic Lights" (adaptations), Yellow Lights refer to lessons calibrated for learners working at a slower pace. See Adaptations and Traffic Lights.