Wednesday, June 2, 2010

preschool curriculum planning and social intelligence

Personal awareness, social intelligence and self regulation (managing emotions & wants) are skills that can be taught within the preschool curriculum. Young children will only understand so much through simply getting in trouble for their actions. Some children have learned that the only way to get attention is to be in trouble in the first place.
We have found that through fun age appropriate activities young children can and do learn necessary life skills such as these to learn social intelligence.
In developing preschool curriculum we broke the skills down into three main areas for planning.

Practical Life Skills for Preschoolers:
1. Care of the person (self and others):Dressing, grooming, cooking, etc. and personal awareness involving the recognition of facial expressions, communication feelings effectively and understanding emotions.
What this covers: Helping young children understand and regulate their emotions, having self awareness gain confidence in effective communication and taking initiative.

2. Care of the environment (immediate/community and beyond):Learning how to clean, wash clothes, sweep, as well as visiting a convalescent home or learning how to behave in environments outside of the home.
What this covers: Social awareness, confidence in emerging skills, good relationship techniques, empathy and understanding others, positive relationships and teamwork.

3. Grace and courtesy: walking carefully, offering food or drinks, etc. saying please, thank you or making an apology.
What this covers: Decision making, values, positive relationships, self discipline and regulation, positive relationships and respect.

Montessori offers these three categories in a learning series. I used and adapted them to aid me in effectively incorporating these skills into the children's environment and curriculum. These practical life skills are a wonderful foundation for incorporating a new kind of smart for young children.

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