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Early Childhood Teachers – Social Emotional Development

Early Childhood Teachers – Social Emotional Development
As a teacher, you know that school readiness is not just about academic skills, such as letters, numbers and naming colors. It is also about ensuring children can form positive relationships, share, follow directions, persist when tasks are difficult, and control their own behaviors.

In fact, social-emotional competence is now recognized as a greater predictor of school success than early reading, math or even family background.

As a teacher, you play a critical role in helping children develop strong social and emotional skills. The following resources can help you do this.

The Importance of Social-Emotional Development in Preschools

  • Setting the Stage for Academic Success — This article from High Scope (page 5) provides a strong overview of social-emotional development, its importance and the Key Developmental Indicators (KDIs) of social and emotional development.
  • Social-Emotional Teaching Strategies – This comprehensive site, from TK California, examines the teacher’s role in promoting social-emotional development and offers specific teaching strategies to develop these essential skills.

Activities to Help Develop Social-Emotional Skills in the Classroom

  • Learning Through Games and Activities – These Head Start resources offer classroom-based games and activities to promote specific aspects of social-emotional development, including self-concept and self efficacy, self regulation, emotional and behavioral health, and social relationships.
  • Using StorybooksResources in Spanish and English from the Center on Social and Emotional Foundations for Learning include book lists and guides for maximizing the learning from each book, stories focused on social-emotional development, tips on building social emotional development into classroom activities, and tools for parents
  • Activities for All – This collection of activities from PBS, featuring the much-loved Arthur, offers you a wide range of options to develop social-emotional capacities.
  • Helping Children Identify and Describe FeelingsThis video and supporting materials show how one teacher helps her children develop emotional literacy.
  • Cooking a Serving of Social and Emotional Skills – In addition to the benefits to building math, science and literacy skills, cooking activities develop the social-emotional skills of following directions, independence and pride.
  • Promoting Positive Peer Relationships – Social development in Pre K is a strong predictor of success in school and in life. This article from Young Children describes how one teacher helped her children build positive peer relationships and social interactions.

Helping Parents Support Positive Social Emotional Development

  • Using Play to Develop Social Emotional Skills – This site from Scholastic focuses on developing the social- emotional aspects of play – confidence, cooperation, curiosity and communication – and offers parents specific ways to help their children develop these skills.
  • Books to Read with Your Child – Read-aloud books are a great way to encourage children to talk about feelings, emotions and the everyday events that promote these. This list and description of the books will get you started!
  • Toys to Help Develop Social Emotional Development – Toys can help children develop their social-emotional skills. This list identifies some toys that can be useful for this.