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Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is an umbrella term that refers to students' "acquisition of skills to recognize and manage emotions, develop care and concern for others, make responsible decisions, establish positive relationships, and handle challenging situations effectively" ( CASEL ).

Social and emotional education involves teaching children to be self-aware, socially cognizant, able to make responsible decisions, and competent in self-management and relationship-management skills so as to foster their academic success. Schools are focusing more on developing SEL programming for students as research highlights the positive relationship of SEL to academic success. Educators who work with preschool-age children have long understood the importance of addressing social and emotional development. Research shows that “one of the most consistent findings in the early childhood literature is that an emotionally warm and positive approach in learning situations leads to constructive behavior in children.”

Some states have developed SEL standards for preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary grades as part of their efforts to integrate these strategies into the early years of education.

1. Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is paying attention, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non- judgmentally. Mindfulness practices helps students pay attention to their breath, body, thoughts, feelings and the world around them. When they can observe their thoughts and feelings they have the freedom to choose how they will speak and act. And this can lead to a happier, more harmonious classroom.

2. Challenge Thinking – thoughts influence feelings :

This is an important concept because we may not always be able to influence what happens to us but we do have a powerful influence in how we interpret what happens to us and how we deal with it. Many students are unaware that their thoughts play a large role in influencing how they feel. No matter what happens to you, nobody can take this away from you and it is an empowering lesson to teach when ever you hear a student express frustration, anger and other negative emotions – listen for the emotion, catch the moment and help your student challenge their thinking.

4. Empathy – listen to be surprised:

Part of SEL is an understanding of the importance of positive relationships. To have these relationships we need to have empathy. Teachers have a wonderful ability to model empathy. Encourage students to listen to others, ask them to listen to be surprised and try to understand how other students might be feeling.





3. Persistence & Determination :

A really important aspect of wellbeing and SEL is the ability to accomplish things in life. Many students naturally strive to better themselves in some way, whether they are seeking to master a skill, achieve a valuable goal, or win in some competitive event. Other students need some coaching in this area. Teaching students each and every lesson that to accomplish things takes effort, patience and perseverance is really important.


5. Gratitude:

Once again research is showing us that a really important aspect of well-being is gratitude. This research indicates those who regularly express gratitude have more energy and enthusiasm, less stress and better physical wellbeing. For students this can be done by incorporating some simple exercises into each lesson. At the end of each class ask students to reflect on the class using these three questions:

Most importantly above all have fun each and every class – learning should be fun and play is a really important part of Social Emotional Learning (SEL).

Social-emotional development includes the child's experience, expression, and management of emotions and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others . It encompasses both intra- and interpersonal processes. Emotional development refers to a child's growing ability to regulate and control emotions and to form secure relationships. It differs from cognitive development, which readies a child for school, in that it prepares a child to take on a greater degree of responsibility for his or her internal state.


You can promote social-emotional development in your classroom by embedding your teaching practices throughout the day. Remaining sensitive to children’s needs helps them feel secure and confident, and act as a model for effective social behavior. For example, asking questions to help children find a solution to a social conflict helps them develop problem-solving skills. Reading a story and engaging children in a conversation about a socially challenging situation can also serve as a lesson in handling social problems as well as in literacy.

Be Attentive to Each Child’s Needs - Be attentive to the social-emotional skills and needs of each unique child so you can respond with lessons and interventions tailored to help every child develop their skills. Your attention and presence as a teacher can be a pillar of confidence for children who are dealing with stressful life circumstances. Letting children know that you are there to help will build children’s trust that you are a source of guidance.

Early Emotional Experiences Matter :

The emotional domain is foundational to all other developmental domains. If children start school in an emotionally supportive environment, they will acquire the love of learning necessary for success in all areas of school. “As young children develop, their early emotional experiences literally become embedded in the architecture of their brains,” therefore great care should be given to children’s emotional needs, according to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. If you seek children’s opinions, allow children to initiate activities and are flexible about responding to children’s ideas, you’ll build children’s feelings that they are competent and respected, and at the same time motivate their desire to learn.

Promoting Consistent Structure with Play :

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Play is integral to the academic environment. It ensures that the school setting attends to the social and emotional development of children as well as their cognitive development.” Creating routines of fun and meaningful activities such as songs, chants and games can minimize problems or stress during challenging times, such as when children wait in line or during transitions.

Social-emotional development is supported through positive and consistent relationships among teachers and children. Try going beyond expectations of compliance with school rules, and support social-emotional development by crafting a positive, emotionally supportive climate in the classroom that skillfully connects new experiences with children’s unique home experiences. According to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, “Children who develop warm, positive relationships with their [TK] teachers are more excited about learning, more positive about coming to school, more self-confident, and achieve more in the classroom.”


By |April 19th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Hands on learning in pre primary teachers training


Learning-by-doing is a concept in economic theory by which productivity is achieved through practice, self-perfection and minor innovations. An example is a factory that increases output by learning how to use equipment better without adding workers or investing significant amounts of capital. Hands-on projects obviously engage kids who are tactile or kinesthetic learners, who need movement to learn best. They also engage students who are auditory learners, who talk about what they're doing, and visuallearners, who have the opportunity to see what everyone else is creating.

As students put projects together, create crafts, or use familiar materials in new ways, they're constructing meaning. "Kids learn through all their senses," says Ben Marvell, PhD, a researcher with Project Zero at Harvard University, "and they like to touch and manipulate things."

 When we combine activities that require movement, talking, and listening, it activates multiple areas of the brain. "The more parts of your brain you use, the more likely you are to retain information," says Judy Dodge, "If you're only listening, you're only activating one part of the brain," she says, "but if you're drawing and explaining to a peer, then you're making connections in the brain."

Multitasking in the classroom is not a negative when it comes to hands-on activities such as coloring, scribbling, or cutting with scissors. Indeed, even adults benefit from the "busy hands, busy brain" phenomenon: Recent research has shown that people who doodle during business meetings have better memory recall. A report in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology demonstrated that volunteers who doodled during a dull verbal message were 29 percent better at recalling details from the message. Researchers suggest that engaging in a simple hands-on task, such as cutting out a shape with scissors, can help prevent daydreaming and restlessness during a learning experience. If adults in business settings can benefit from mnemonic tricks such as doodling, then students should certainly be encouraged to try these strategies

The Hands-On Classroom

Terri Lachine, a kindergarten teacher at Darcy School in Cheshire, Connecticut, uses hands-on activities all day, every day, to let all her students shine. Currently, Lachine is teaching a student who is a gifted artist but has poor language skills. He fidgets during large-group activities but can spend hours drawing or building. Lachine nurtures his interest and talent by allowing him to make projects; she recalls one day when he carefully constructed bird beaks out of recycled materials, then gave them to other kids to wear in class. Through art projects and play, Lachine has seen the student's language skills improve as he answers questions about his creations and illustrations.  We know our students learn in many different ways: visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, and social. Still, says Dodge, most of us teach the way we're most comfortable, and that's not necessarily the way our students learn. "It's a missed opportunity if we don't use the way that a child learns best to hook them and get them excited about learning," says Dodge.


Using tools such as markers, scissors, and glue in hands-on projects also builds the fine motor skills that children will need to use for functional activities throughout their lives. Simple tasks such as buttoning, tying shoes, and using a key to open a lock all require manual precision. The best way to build that precision is, of course, through practice.

Yet practice need not be dull and repetitive. Activities such as constructing a miniature city out of recycled materials, or crafting a butterfly's life cycle using fabric scraps, not only help kids strengthen their hands and minds -- they are also fun and engaging.


The more arts and crafts that teachers can bring into the classroom, the more opportunity they have to reach every child in the room, from kids with sensory difficulties to those who need an extra challenge in order to stay focused. Hands-on, creative, and artistic activities help students to focus and retain knowledge, and at the same time emphasize the importance of beauty and design in our world. 

Research has proven that students who are taught using hands-on teaching methods with manipulative outperform those who are not. It is true for many subjects but most documented in mathematics as acquisition of early math knowledge and skills is the most important predictor not only for later math achievement but also for achievement in other content areas.

Math is often thought of as a subject that relies on memorization of facts and practicing skills, but the true test of success in mathematics comes when a student must figure out an answer but can’t remember a fact, or has forgotten a skill. Hands-on learning drives authentic understanding and application versus memorization algorithms, or “tricks.” Students who use manipulative create physical evidence of thinking and reasoning, solve problems, and make sense of mathematical ideas.


Hands-on learning is an educational method that directly involves the learner, by actively encouraging them to do something in order to learn about it. In short, it is 'learning by doing.”First and foremost, it is clear that there are certain situations in which hands-on learning is the only way to teach something. For example, there is no use trying to teach a child to ride a bicycle in a traditional classroom - they need to get outside to try out a bike.Furthermore, hands-on learning allows students to directly observe and understand what is happening. This is a particularly successful way to teach kinesthetic learners, who learn best by example. It is often hard to properly understand something you have never directly seen or experienced. This is why lately hands-on learning has become more popular in education - there are more vocational courses that provide work experience than ever before. This is a perfect example on hands-on learning in practice.

It also encourages young pupils to do things for themselves, which will help them with learning independently later on in life. However, there are downsides to the technique. Often demonstrations will give students the main idea of how something works, but place less emphasis on detail. For students hoping to attain the highest grades, they may need to read up on their subject to develop a deeper understanding of it. Students may feel after learning the basics they don't need to do any more study, which could impact negatively on their grades. There is no doubt that actively involving students will enhance their education. However, hands-on learning would be more effective if it was combined with traditional learning from books.

By |April 3rd, 2017|Blog|0 Comments