Children are not always naturally kind. They need to be taught lots of different ways to show kindness as well as the importance of showing kindness. Children also need lots and lots of modeling of kindness from the adults in their lives.
ONE: Challenge yourself and your colleagues to show 20 acts of kindness throughout the month and share those with the students.
TWO: Challenge the students to find five things you do each day that show kindness. They need to tell what you did AND HOW it showed kindness.
THREE:Challenge for the students to think of the different ways to show and think about kindness- kindness to others, to our environment and to themselves!
Here is a free download of a FIVE DAY KINDNESS CHALLENGE- appropriate for grades K-3rd
One of the best ways to help children prepare their minds and bodies to be ready to learn is through deep breathing.
Deep breathing is a quick and efficient strategy for lowering stress in the body. When we breathe deeply, a message is sent to your brain to calm down and relax.
At this time of the year and especially during this up and down year, it is important to remember to teach our students to stop and breath when they are feeling lonely, upset, aggravated, frustrated, bored, irritated, cranky, etc. AND it is important that the adults in their lives model this strategy frequently!
NOTE: Notice the emotion vocabulary words (lonely, upset, aggravated, frustrated, bored, irritated, cranky). Let’s help children to be specific about their feelings- are they sad because they are lonely or because they are frustrated? The greater depth of emotion words that we can assist children in using and be able to discern how they are feeling with more precision, the more specific we can be with providing useful, intentional strategies plus it is teaching our students to have emotionally rich expression.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Spring Themed Deep Breathing and Calming Strategies…
The Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines SEL as “…the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”
CASEL also reminds us that social emotional learning starts at home. Families play a crucial role in the child’s development of self-regulation, emotion management, problem-solving skills as well as the building of a healthy positive self-esteem.
Social emotional learning is more critical than ever right now but the challenge for teachers is how to help students engage in SEL activities through remote or distance learning. I developed a week of activities for families to complete together. Keep checking back to journeyintoearly childhood.com for further weeks of activities or just sign up to receive the blog directly to your email on the home page. https://journeyintoearlychildhood.com/
Please feel free to use any part of this slide deck that will benefit your students. If sharing with other staff members, please refer them to this website page.
Now more than ever, we need to use positive, precise language to help support the development and practice of positive social and emotional skills.
Remember- the child is still learning. We need to always be modeling, guiding and practicing the skills we want our children to display.
We can reframe the way we view behavior to look through a lens that all behavior is a form of communication or a need for skill fluency practice (need for the behavior to be explicitly taught with precise language and practiced multiple times in multiple situations).
We also reframe our requests to our children to specifically teach what we DO want students to be doing. We are teaching the correct behavior instead of giving attention to the incorrect behavior. This is challenging when we are upset. We cannot regulate our children if we are not regulated ourselves.
Walk away, take three deep breaths, and then reframe your request using direct language of specifically what you want your child to do.
REFRAME to the POSITIVE and/or to the PRECISE
Use walking feet to stay safe.
Use a quiet voice to be ready.
Don’t hit your brother.
Keep your hands to yourself.
Stop throwing your food.
Food stays on the plate or in your mouth.
Don’t look away and listen to me
Eyes are looking at me and ears are open for listening.
Be nice. (Too vague and abstract for young children. They need concrete rules.)
Say “thank you.”
Be kind. (Too vague and abstract for young children. They need concrete rules.)
You take a turn first and then your sister takes a turn.
Don’t grab it from your sister.
Choose a different toy. Your sister is playing with that. Ask your sister if you can play with it after her.