Dear Eagles Parents,
In this blog I will be discussing some of the social-emotional skills the Eagles learn, and practice each day. Social-emotional skills are woven into our day, whether it’s a planned book, an activity or through play. Social-emotional skills help children regulate their emotions, problem solve, make positive choices and build trust with their teachers and peers.
Feelings and Emotions
Identifying and naming feelings is an essential social-emotional tool. A child’s emotions affect their behavior. If a child is able to recognize that they are mad because a friend did not share with them, they can tell that friend, “It made me feel mad when you did not share with me,” instead of reacting by knocking down their building. Or, if a child is feeling sad, they can let their teacher know. We can problem solve together. It can be difficult for children to recognize their emotions (and pick up on the emotions of others), so practice is important. The Eagles practice telling their friends how they are feeling throughout the day. We frequently hear, “That made me feel happy when you shared with me.” And, “I did not like when you cut in front of me.”
Developing empathy takes time. Some children naturally feel empathy from a young age, but for others, it needs to be cultivated. We can help children develop empathy by acknowledging their feelings, “I can see that you are feeling sad because you were hoping to be the line leader today ” and expressing others feelings, “It looks like ____ is hurt and mad, let’s talk to her and find out how we can help her feel better.” Books are a helpful way to teach empathy. While we read books we pause and talk about how a character in the book may be feeling.
Just this week, Gracie was feeling sad that she had lost something special she made for her father. The whole class tried to help her figure out where it could be. Empathy!
In this photo Lilya and Chloë are hugging Gracie to help her feel better. Empathy!
Gratitude is connected to our emotions. When a child is able to recognize what makes them feel happy or joyful, they can experience gratitude. In our class we often talk about things that make us happy.
Here the Eagles illustrated what they are thankful for.
Being able to play together in a positive manner is an essential social skill. When children communicate and share their ideas with each other it helps build their self-confidence. We practice sharing and listening to each other’s ideas respectfully. We learn that we do not always agree with each other but we do need to be respectful. We encourage the Eagles to problem solve on their own. We will step in if they need help finding solutions.
Here the children are seen working together as they rebuilt last weeks waterway. Some children are digging, others are pouring water down the canal. And, others are adding bridges. Fabulous teamwork!
Here, the class is working together mixing dough to make their own exploding volcanos.
All on their own, the children decided to create joint paintings at the easel. Collaboration!
They Eagles helped each other sweep up some of the loose gravel on the roof. Teamwork!
Daily we practice taking slow breaths as the children pretend to smell a flower and blow out a birthday candle using their fingers. You may have seen your child doing this at home. This is an important skill for children to learn to help them calm their bodies and minds, especially when they are feeling angry or frustrated. We also practice yoga. And, we do an exercise where I ring a chime and we all listen carefully until we can’t hear it anymore.
I hope you will try some of these tools at home with your child.
Have a wonderful long weekend!
Amy and Rocio