Building Friendships through Transitions and Using Names

friendships names journeyintoearlychildhood.com

Aristotle once stated, “who would choose to live, even if possessed with all other things, without friends.”

Many of our students struggle with the basic components of building friendships such as asking to join in play, suggesting play “Let’s…”, sharing, taking turns, changing perspectives, cooperating, and using respectful language.

We, therefore, must directly teach friendship skills through intentional, deliberate discussions and opportunities throughout the day. These opportunities can be embedded into the activities and work that is already occurring in the classroom setting.

transitions to build friendships journeyintoearlychildhood.com

using names journeyintoearlychildhood.com

 

Continued Need for Deep Breathing

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…

Also check out Winter Themed Deep Breathing Strategies (four strategies) at

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Themed-Deep-Breathing-Strategies-6256399

Winter Themed Deep Breathing Strategies journeyintoearlychildhood.com

AND

Teaching Deep Breathing: 16 Strategies https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Deep-Breathing-16-Visuals-of-Different-Ways-to-Breathe-Deeply-4289195

Mindfulness Strategies for the Holidays

Children are not naturally mindful of their feelings, their own self-worth, and the positive attributes of others. We need to explicitly teach students strategies to be present and be mindful of themselves and others. Mindfulness has been demonstrated through a growing body of scientific research to have a positive effect on mental health and well-being. Practicing mindfulness has been documented as an effective strategy to regulate emotions and feel compassion and empathy.

FREE DOWNLOAD of some mindfulness activities during the holiday season

SEL Remote Style: Deep Breathing with Mr. Turkey

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.

Have fun practicing deep breathing to calm the brain and the body to be ready to learn. We still have two to three days (depending on the school district) for some purposeful, target-driven learning to occur. Use this turkey deep breathing to add in some holiday fun while preparing the mind so that the learning will stick!

Examining SEL Defintion and Week 2 of SEL Remote Style

In the blog post, Social Emotional Learning Remote Style, posted on September 10, I added the SEL definition from CASEL. As a district SEL team, we did a deeper dive into the defintion by pulling out the verbs, nouns and adjectives. It helps to provide a perspective of the key words and the focus, especially when you group together all of the words in one part of speech and ponder each set separately and then together.

We are all in this together for distance learning. Therefore, I am sharing as a FREE DOWNLOAD the second week of social emotional activities for home.

SEL Remote Style- Sharing a Week of Online Activities

See more SEL resources in my teacherpayteachers store- many items are FREE

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Journey-Into-Early-Childhood

Greetings Every Day in the Classroom- No Touch Ideas

Back in February of 2019, we talked about the importance of daily greetings…

TOP 10 Reasons Why to Greet Students at the Door  Each and Every Morning

Greetings journeyintoearlychildhood.com FREE
• Provides a smile and a reassurance that the teacher is glad the student came to school today, which sets the tone for a positive day
• Promotes a strong relationship between the teacher and student
Enhances a positive classroom climate
• Provides a moment of connection when you greet them by name- young children love to hear their name – let’s use them in positive statements
• Assists children with letting go of issues that may have occurred on the bus or at home- they are being welcomed to a new start to the day
• Promotes a sense of belonging and trust that the classroom is a safe place
• Provides social and emotional support
• Demonstrates and models of how to greet others, how to use kind words, and how to be respectful
• Provides a proactive, preventive technique to reduce challenging behaviors
• Starts the day for the teacher with LOTS of smiles and positive interactions!

Tips for using greetings are listed in the post, Greeting Students Each and Every Day.

Greeting our students is more important than ever. Students need to feel wanted and welcomed into the classroom. However, for now, we need to modify our greetings to include no touching options- including even no bumping of hips or elbows. ESPECIALLY elbows since we ask students to cough into their elbows!!

No Touch Classroom Greetings 20 Greeting Choices on CirclesFREE DOWNLOAD of 20 ideas for no-touch greeting options…

No Touch Classroom Greetings 20 Greeting Choices on CirclesGreeting Ideas with No Touching journeyintoearlychildhood

 

For more ideas that include greeting each other by saying “hello” in different languages,Greetings No Touch and Different Languages journeyintoearlychildhood visit… Daily Greetings 20 No Touch Options PLUS 16 Options for Saying Hello in Different Languages

 

 

 

Learning at Home: Changing Our Language to Help with Challenging Behaviors

REFRAME OUR WORDS for POSITIVE OUTCOMES

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).

Reframe Our Words journeyintoearlychildhood

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.

EXAMPLES:

STATEMENTREFRAME to the POSITIVE and/or to the PRECISE
Don’t run.Use walking feet to stay safe.
Don’t yell.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 meEyes 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.
journeyintoearlychildhood.com

Learning at Home: Teaching the When and the How of Taking Deep Breaths

Teaching Your Child When to Take a Deep Breath (noticing signs in their bodies)Variety of Ways to Teach Deep Breathing journeyintoearlychildhood.com

and How to Take Deep Breaths

We, most likely,  all need some deep breaths right now.

Sit with your spine in a line, feet flat on the floor, inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth.

Repeat 3 times.

Why- there is scientific evidence that taking deep breaths truly slows down our stress response- it is like slowing but firmly stepping on the gas pedal. It also produces a feeling of calm, it is relaxing, we don’t need any equipment, it provides more oxygen to the brain which improves our thinking and we can take deep breaths anywhere!

Children need to be taught when they need to take deep breaths and how to take deep breaths. If a child is already escalated and upset, this is NOT the time to start teaching how to take deep breaths. It would be like someone telling us to slow down, stay calm and take deep breaths when we are out camping and running from a bear that just spotted us! If your child is upset, let them see you taking deep breaths- gift them your calm BEFORE you tell them to take deep breaths. After they see and respond to your calm, then you can gently encourage them to breathe like a bunny or smell the flower and blow out the candle.

Remember to gift your calm – when you exhibit calm behavior and slow, even, deep breathing, the child will start to mimic. An escalated adult cannot deescaluate a frustrated child.

Teach different ways to take deep breaths when the child is calm. Have fun! Make it into a game.

How to Teach Deep Breathing:

  • Choose one metaphor or way of taking deep breaths that your child can relate to, when your child is calm and in a good mood.
  • Show a visual of the method and hang it on the refrigerator, in the play area or in the child’s sleeping area.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice at all times of the day. Students need lots and lots of practice so that the techniques can be used automatically in times of stress. It takes LOTS of practice to become an expert.
  • Teach your child to recognize signs of stress, frustration, and anger such as face getting hot, clenched fists, heavy breathing, crying, sweating, scrunched eyebrows, pounding heart.
  • Teach your child the difference between short, quick, shallow breaths and long, deep, calming breaths. We want students to be using deep breathing since short breaths can actually make anxious feelings increase.
  • Model and role-play different situations practicing self-talk such as “I am upset that he took my toy. I can breathe like a bear 7 times.” “I am nervous about your mom working at the hospital today. I can take 7 bunny breaths.” “I’m frustrated that I don’t know what to make for dinner but I can take 7 deep breaths and that will help me think better.”

I have opened my packet of 11 different ways to teach deep breathing as a FREE DOWNLOAD. I hope the visuals and ideas for different methods of teaching deep breathing are helpful for both you and your child.for blog

 

Building Friendships through Interactive Read Aloud with Purposeful Talk

                          friendship books with compelling questions journeyintoearlychildhood.com

Aristotle once stated, “who would choose to live, even if possessed with all other things, without friends.”

Many of our students struggle with the basic components of building friendships such as asking to join in play, suggesting play “Let’s…”, sharing, taking turns, changing perspectives, cooperating, and using respectful language.

We, therefore, must directly teach friendship skills through intentional, deliberate discussions and opportunities throughout the day. These opportunities can be embedded into the activities and work that is already occurring in the classroom setting.

Intentionally Choosing Literature to Discuss Friendships during Interactive Read Aloud with Purposeful Talk:

Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfisterrainbow fish

Compelling Questions to Explore:

  • Do we always need to share to have friends?
  • Why does sharing help us have friends?
  • What are ways that we can share in the classroom? How does it make our friends feel when we share? How does it feel when we don’t share? (have students show the feelings on their bodies and discuss how our bodies feel physically when we are happy and when we are upset)

Set up intentional opportunities for students to share such as limited supplies in small group activities, math and literature centers and free choice play centers.

our treeOur Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel

Compelling Questions to Explore:

  • What are the qualities of a good friend?
  • What qualities of a good friend do you think we should demonstrate in our classroom? How can we use those qualities?

 

sandwich swapThe Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah

Compelling Question to Explore:

  • Should we have just one friend or lots of friends?

 

 

 

Reread the book and explore one or more of these compelling questions…

  • Should we always tell the truth?
  • Should we take sides when friends are arguing or stay neutral?
  • Should we have friends that like different things than we do?

two of a kindRead Two of a Kind by Jacqui Robbins

Explore the same compelling questions as The Sandwich Swap through the experiences in this book. Compare and contrast.

 

 

note: book titles are linked to Amazon.com

 

Building Friendships through Intentional Design of Centers

friendships centers journeyintoearlychildhood.com

Aristotle once stated,  “who would choose to live, even if possessed with all other things, without friends.”

Many of our students struggle with the basic components of building friendships such as asking to join in play, suggesting play “Let’s…”, sharing, taking turns, changing perspectives, cooperating, and using respectful language.

We, therefore, must directly teach friendship skills through intentional, deliberate discussions and opportunities throughout the day. These opportunities can be embedded into the activities and work that is already occurring in the classroom setting.

Intentional Design of Free Choice Centers and Small Group Learning Centers:

  • To encourage sharing, do not provide materials for each student. For example, if 5 children are working on a project that requires glue sticks, only provide three. Teach the students how to ask for the glue sticks instead of grabbing and model how to share.self reflection form FREE DOWNLOAD journeyintoearlychildhood.com
  • Have students complete a self-reflection sheet on friendship skills following center time. Example of a Self-Reflection form. (FREE DOWNLOAD)
  • Designate students who are the distributors of certain materials. For example, in a small group, Carlos has all of blocks, Juanita has all of the magnetic letters and Ian has all of graphic organizers and pencils. Each student must ask their friend for the materials needed by using the student’s name and by using kind words.