The Ministry of Education have released new resources that support kaiako to develop the social and emotional wellbeing of young children. He Maapuna te Tamaiti takes a holistic approach to a child's development to encompass the social, emotional, and communication skills they will need through life. The strategies are flexible and organised around creating a supportive environment, emotional competence, social competence, and supporting learning and engagement. The resources are aimed at encouraging self-management and regulation in children so they can grow their abilities to successfully contribute to them own social interactions and their capacity to learn.
The Ministry defines self-management as having the cognitive control needed for learning. That is, the ability to focus attention, persevere, plan, choose, and decide what to do next. These are all foundation blocks that we encourage our tamariki to learn at Cherry Grove to encourage self-help so our Cherry Grover's become their own problem solvers. Knowing a child well, understanding what they already know and are capable of defines how we can effectively grow and support each child's development and sense of self worth.
There are many things we can do to help children with their social and emotional competence and get their communication flourishing at the same time. Social coaching or commenting is the source of so much wonderful development in children and uses the following techniques to create learning opportunities:
Describing and Modelling - providing verbal narrations of a child's play to all the tamariki around the play so it is clear what is happening. This provides the perfect opportunity to also model verbal feedback, praise, and positive reinforcement to support children's understanding and their ability to communicate their own feelings, emotions.
Encouraging and Praising - using positive cues, comments, and visual guidance to encourage persistence, especially with new skills or challenges.
Scaffolding - collaborations with children that are done to encourage learning and/or social and emotional competence, it's like a 'leg up' for children, especially those tamariki that shy away from trying new things. It's important to gradually remove this help and replace it with prompts and reminders of support instead.
Feedback - acknowledge a child's actions and behaviours to continue motivation and their willingness to continue trialing and participating in social transactions, these can be verbal or gesture based encouragement.
Thinking Out Loud - talk about what you are doing, why you are doing it, what you are thinking, and demonstrate verbally things that promote learning, like attitudes and ways of speaking.
Positive Forecasting - talking optimistically about a child's ability to do something in the short term (you went to the toilet so well this morning, let's try that again soon) so there is an expectation that the outcome will be good. Preparing children to transition to new things or keep trialing something that is challenging allows them to have a positive approach to it and be ready for what is to come.
Tuakana-Teina Relationships - allow children to learn from older peers through supporting relationships and verbally acknowledge when a child shows support and awareness of the children around them. We can help children to learn to be interested in others when we model positive attention and curiosity at what others are doing around us.
Prompts and Reminders - Children love and learn from expectations and/or routines, it enables them to use recall in situations that have had positive outcomes or where they have solved a problem. Using cues whether verbal or visual helps a children to remember and practice social and emotional expectations.
As an adult, it takes a lot of practice to help children learn through consistent verbalising and coaching but the outcomes are so worth it and we encourage you to join us and give it a go! If you would like further information on this, please do not hesitate to talk with us.