Friday, August 29, 2014

Emotional Intelligence in Preschool

Emotional intelligence sounds like a really fancy shmancy thing to be teaching at the preschool level, but it's actually quite simple and something most people probably do without even realizing it.  At Seedlings, we work on emotional intelligence every single day, but this month, it was a major focus as we got into the swing of the school year.

Part of increasing our emotional intelligence is recognizing feelings, in both ourselves and others.  We accomplished this in a variety of ways this month, here is a look at a few of the tools we used.

The Excellerations My Feelings Chart was a big help.  We took turns making faces and talking about how the person was feeling and what could have caused those feelings.  The very best thing about this chart was that every child used the eyebrows as mustaches - awesome!!  :)

 We used these People and Emotions Photo Learning Cards to spark discussions about feelings and what might cause them.

We made our own Feelings Books, which gave the kiddos good practice making happy, sad, angry and scared faces and talking about all the things that make them feel certain ways.

Of course, the best way to practice and improve emotional intelligence in preschoolers is through personal experiences.  Sometimes we have disputes among friends and that is a wonderful opportunity to point out how each child looks and have each child explain how he or she is feeling and what caused those feelings.  We can also find ways to comfort each other if we are feeling sad, scared or lonely.

We're off to a wonderful start towards emotional intelligence at Seedlings!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Body Awareness in Preschool

We're learning all about ourselves this month at Seedlings!  From bones and organs to remembering to ask before hugging and finding words to say, "No thanks, my body is mine," we're exploring and playing our way to some serious body awareness.

One of our most popular activities was play dough body parts and faces.  As the week went on, they got more and more complex, even including the skeletal system in some cases!
These fun people and faces also open an avenue for discussion about diversity and similarities and differences among our friends.

Also offered this month are some 5-layer puzzles by Hape.  I have both the boy and the girl puzzle and the kiddos adore them!
We got a good look at bones with our Foam Skeleton Floor Puzzle.  
In our art area this week, we had a chance to make silly faces with magazine photos.

Most of our activities were presented as a group lesson and then placed in the classroom for free exploration.  Our new format has improved the children's awareness of the offerings in the room and has given them confidence in their abilities to complete the activities as instructed and then expand upon them with play and creativity.

Our first week went amazingly well and I'm looking forward to more playful academics with my new friends and seasoned students!  :)

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