Educators have only recently realized the advantages of including social and emotional learning activities in the classroom. Additionally, it does so under the guise of educating the entire child.
There are many ways that students can learn. There is no such thing as a teaching strategy that works for everyone. However, their emotions significantly impact a student’s academic success.
This post will discuss social and emotional learning activities that support students’ growth and achievement.
- Nurture Kindness
When incorporating social and emotional learning activities for elementary into your daily routine, kindness goes a long way. Creating a kindness culture in the classroom implies that students respect one another, themselves, and their teacher.
Make a small bucket for your students with love, kindness, and appreciation notes. It could be about them (self-esteem), a classmate, family members, or the world around them.
Pull cards from the bucket throughout the week and distribute them to the entire class. This teaches students the importance of being kind to others and tolerance.
- Explore debate as a tool
Debates have proven to be effective tools for assisting children in negotiating and navigating difficult situations. One approach would be to design a conversation that requires children to use empathy and evidence.
In a few places, this has been accomplished by organizing seminars on topics such as gender, class, and caste, in which students read about the topic, bring their previous experiences, and present their understanding to the rest of the class. There may be opposing viewpoints on the same issue. For example, when it comes to gender, what a girl presents is very different from what a boy presents. However, the entire unit becomes more aware and informed when the class is exposed to various perspectives.
The final component added to the format could be working together to solve some problems or situations that are doable, such as speaking up against harassment or understanding opportunity gaps in society and how to not give up by supporting one another.
- Reflective Writing
Journaling is an excellent tool for social and emotional development. Writing down one’s feelings, thoughts, accomplishments, and struggles can be therapeutic for students. These notations can also be used for later reflection.
It’s also a haven for students who don’t know how to express themselves adequately. Allow students to free-write or provide prompts to help them get their creative juices flowing and stay on track.
Inquire, for example, “How would you describe yourself as a friend?” and statements such as “I was proud of myself today because…” to boost their self-esteem.
- Host a Morning Meeting
When students begin their day on a positive note, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Start each day with a personal check-in. Please spend a few moments assisting students in connecting with their mood and headspace.
A friendly greeting is a great way to start. Individually acknowledge each student.
Combine your greeting with a question about their emotional state. Please note not only what they say but also how they say it.
A mood chart can also assist students in better identifying their emotions.
Consider a traffic light with different colors representing different emotions. Red can represent “sad, angry, or confused,” yellow “okay, unsure,” and green “happy, ready for the day”!
- Share Something Special
Set up the students in a circle, like Show and Tell, and let them share a special item. This doesn’t have to be a tangible item; it could be a memorable incident or story.
Nothing makes young students happier than sharing their enjoyable experiences. Permit your peers to ask questions. In addition to promoting attentive listening, the storyteller can elaborate and share important details.
Positive reinforcement is provided when students talk about something that has an emotional connection to them in front of an attentive audience. They feel essential and more confident because they are the show’s stars.
- Build Their Vocabulary
One of the most difficult challenges young learners faces is properly and accurately expressing themselves. This is usually due to the inability to identify their feelings and lacking the appropriate words to express them.
This can be highly aggravating for both students and teachers.
By expanding their vocabulary, you can give your students the tools they need to express themselves socially and emotionally. Connect these phrases and words to specific actions or feelings.
This boosts student confidence and teaches them how to overcome challenges. Display useful vocabulary words throughout the classroom. Include photos or pictures to help students remember what the words mean and how to use them.
When a child can identify the difficult emotion, they are experiencing (and what may have triggered it), they can often take steps to let go and move on.
- Create a Quiet Corner
Many classrooms have interest areas set aside for specific purposes. Art, dramatic play, math, and science are examples. Create a quiet, comfortable space for children to reflect or retreat when feeling overwhelmed.
This is especially critical for children who are overstimulated. Overstimulation occurs when a child has difficulty coping with or processing sensations, experiences, noises, or activity levels in their environment.
Some children withdraw from overstimulation, while others act out. A quiet corner provides an escape for students who need assistance controlling their emotions and responses to external stimuli.
Add pillows, oversized cushions, soft music or noise-canceling headphones, journaling materials, or a fish tank to make this space as comfortable and relaxing as possible.
- Anchor Charts
Anchor charts are visual aids that help students comprehend the current lesson. The anchor chart summarizes the most important aspects of what you’re learning.
These charts assist students in setting measurable goals, planning, and honing their decision-making abilities. Allow the student to participate by creating their anchor chart with their favorite colors, themes, or pictures.
The more connected the student feels to the chart, the more likely they will complete classroom lessons successfully. This puts them in control of their learning path.
You can also title the chart based on the student’s objectives. Specific and motivating phrases include “Respect,” “Own My Learning,” and “Be a Problem, Solver.”
- Partner Up
When students collaborate, some of the best social-emotional learning in a classroom occurs. Students can learn about themselves and others through peer interactions. Additionally, it fosters communication and teaches problem-solving.
Pair students up to finish a quick project or create a brief presentation. Allow them to pick a subject that interests them, or encourage them to share something with the class.
Assigning partners and letting people choose for themselves should alternate.
Social-emotional learning activities in the classroom are essential to the learning process. It enables students to learn and identify their feelings and why they feel that way. Emotionally stable students are more open to learning. Social and communication skills are required for success in the classroom and beyond.