Being a successful learner goes beyond academics. Successful individuals have strong emotional, social, and executive functioning skills that contribute to their academic, career, and general life success.
These individuals are able to regulate their own emotions and behaviors, persevere and remain disciplined in the face of challenges and problems, focus on finding solutions rather than on complaining about problems, take personal responsibility for their actions, and make good decisions.
Socially, children with strong SEL skills demonstrate empathy for others, work well with others, and resolve conflicts amicably. Academically, children with strong SEL skills showed an 11-percentile-point gain in academic performance.
At Concordia, our hope is that our students will learn skills that promote whole-child development, setting the stage for them to be kind, compassionate, principled, contributors to society.
Social-Emotional Guidance in Concordia's Kindergarten
The Kindergarten Guidance program at Concordia provides opportunities for students to gain skills and strategies to become caring, confident, and capable learners and problem-solvers. We use the Second Step curriculum, which is a well-researched, evidence-based SEL program that spans the K-12 grade levels. In Kindergarten, topics include:
- Skills for Learning – listening skills, paying attention, staying on task, asking for help, positive self-talk
- Empathy – identifying feelings, responding to accidents, perspective-taking, caring and helping
- Emotion Management – handling frustration, calming down, waiting, managing disappointment and anger
- Problem Solving – inviting others to play, fair ways to play, handling name-calling
- Child Protection – staying safe, being assertive
Skills are taught through a variety of interactive activities using various modalities – visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Students learn and practice SEL skills through stories, games, songs, videos, arts/crafts, small and large group discussions, and both individual and group work.
Dr. Alice shows students how to use common social language to express their feelings in certain situations.
Skills are reinforced and integrated throughout the day, and students are reminded to use their skills when engaging in academic tasks and interacting with their peers. Visual reminders of various skills are posted in classrooms and serve as visual cues for students.
These Kindergarten SEL skills set children up for success as they prepare to enter elementary school and set a foundation for the ES guidance counselors to continue building upon. Please feel free to reach out to the EC Counselor, Dr. Alice, if you have any questions, want to learn more about social-emotional development in young children, or are interested in ideas to reinforce SEL skills at home.