Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Self-regulation and the full day kindergarten program

A major component of the full day kindergarten program is teaching children to self-regulate. Self-regulation is the ability to control one's impulses; to stay calm and focused during any situation. Studies have shown that the better a child can self-regulate, the better he/she can master complex skills and concepts and develop academic readiness.

In the first few months of school, we spent a lot of time talking about the importance of feelings. We read The Feelings Book written by Todd Parr. We discussed how it is ok to have different feelings; if we are sad or upset it is important to talk to someone about those feelings. We conducted some "feelings circles" as a class. At the end of the day, students had the opportunity to share how they were feeling and why.

We have also been discussing strategies we could use to help ourselves feel better if we are sad or upset such as talk to a teacher, talk to a friend, read a quiet book, practice various breathing techniques, visit a safe place, etc..
We have a "safe place" in our classroom. It is a spot in our room where students can go to sit quietly to rest if they are feeling anxious, tired, sad, upset, etc. Please refer to the conscious discipline program for more information.