At one center, Ms. Elena looks on, Sara, Javon, and Ashish arrive at the center and immediately pick up the toys. They each choose a figurine and begin playing. The cow should go sleep in the barn.
Rivers, Sharon Shapses Every morning, Ms. Mitchell thinks about how her feelings will affect her teaching. If she feels frustrated or overwhelmed when she arrives at school, she takes a deep breath and makes a plan for managing her emotions so that she can fully engage with her students and coteachers.
She greets children and families as they walk through the door and asks how they are feeling. Throughout the day, children use a classroom mood meter to acknowledge their feelings.
In many different ways, Ms. Mitchell models emotional intelligence and supports its development in her students.
Developing emotional intelligence enables us to manage emotions effectively and avoid being derailed, for example, by a flash of anger. Children with higher emotional intelligence are better able to pay attention, are more engaged in school, have more positive relationships, and are more empathic.
Emotional intelligence is related to many important outcomes for children and adults. They also regulate their behaviors better and earn higher grades Rivers et al. Recognizing emotions in oneself and others; Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions; Labeling emotions accurately; Expressing emotions in ways that are appropriate for the time, place, and culture; and Regulating emotions.
These skills, which form the acronym RULER, are the heart of an effective approach for modeling emotional intelligence and teaching the emotional intelligence skills children need to be ready to learn Hagelskamp et al.
While the full RULER approach provides a range of tools and instructional strategies, in this article we focus on the mood meter, which is a color-coded tool that provides a shared language for becoming aware of emotions and their impact on teaching and learning. Introducing the mood meter If you ask a group of 3-year-old children how they are feeling, what would they say?
What if you ask a group of early childhood educators? Their responses might not be that different!
Accurately labeling and discussing feelings helps adults and children acknowledge the role that emotions play throughout the day. Taking time to recognize feelings, elaborate on their causes, and jointly brainstorm potential strategies to shift or maintain them helps ensure that adults and children use emotions effectively to create a climate supportive of learning.
The mood meter has two axes. Our feelings usually fall somewhere between these values. The vertical axis, which has the same range, represents the energy we experience in our bodies e.
At -5, you might feel drained of all energy e. Together, the two axes create four colored quadrants from the top left and counterclockwise red unpleasant, higher energyblue unpleasant, lower energygreen pleasant, lower energyand yellow pleasant, higher energy. With young children ages 3 to 8, a simplified color-only version of the mood meter works best, in our experience.
When first introducing children to the mood meter, we tend to describe each color with one word: As children learn to use the mood meter, they acquire more feeling words that correspond to each color and in later grades, they learn how to use the numeric ranges to express their degree of pleasantness and energy.
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With the mood meter, children learn that there are no good or bad feelings. There may be feelings that we like to have more often than others, but all feelings are okay. Even for those unpleasant feelings, we can learn to employ strategies that use the information we receive from our feelings to respond to them in ways we feel good about.
One way to do this is by regularly checking in on the mood meter throughout the day. How am I feeling? Cues from our bodies e.
Think about how our feelings may affect the interactions we have with others. What happened that led me to feel this way? As feelings change throughout the day, think about the possible causes of these feelings. Identifying the things e. Determining the causes of feelings we want to foster can help us consciously embrace those things for ourselves and others more often.
What word best describes how I am feeling?
Although there are more than 2, emotion words in the English language, most of us use a very limited number of words to describe how we are feeling e. Cultivating a rich vocabulary allows us to pinpoint our emotions accurately, communicate effectively, and identify appropriate regulation strategies.
How can I express appropriately what I am feeling for this time and place? There are many ways to express each of our feelings. At different times and in different contexts, some forms of expression are more effective than others.This article is based on an interview with Bill Rogers, Adjunct Professor of Education at Griffith University, on his most recent work, 'I get by with a .
The prevalence of obesity has increased in both children and adults. 1,2 The medical illnesses associated with obesity 3 usually occur in adulthood, but adults rarely achieve sustained weight loss. Articles opting for hybrid Open Access will be freely available to read, download and share from the time of publication.
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Free play and guided play—together known as playful learning—are pedagogical tools through which children can learn in joyful and conceptually rich ways. Get this from a library! YC Young Children..
[National Association for the Education of Young Children.;]. Explore an extensive selection of research-based books, articles, and journals (Teaching Young Children and Young Children). Professional Development Enhance your career and improve your knowledge, skills, and practices with our in-person and online training.