Talk about feelings
Children experience a lot of emotions just like adults, too. When it comes to talking about feelings, it sounds simple, but it cannot be easy. Not everybody is open to talking about how they feel or think, even though you think it is normal. Some factors that impact expressing feelings are family values, culture, religion, and more. Our focus is to teach, model, and practice that emotions are okay, that is part of being humans, and that your classroom is safe to talk and identify emotions. If you need help or guidance, sign up here to receive our newsletter every month.
Guide the child to identify and talk about emotions
Children need to learn how to manage their emotions healthily. We usually talk about basic emotions and strong ones but do they have the necessary vocabulary. Sometimes, teachers and parents feel frustrated with children when they say mean things, and when you ask them, the emotion they expressed doesn’t make too much sense with what happened. Well, that’s because we need to teach them different types of emotions and new vocabulary. At the same time, use visuals to enhance the comprehension and help them identify how they feel by using the appropriate words to explain them identify how they feel.
Probably you are asking yourself, what comes next? Yes, you are right. The second thing they need to learn is how to cope with their emotions. These simple steps teachers and parents can take to help students recognize and interpret their emotions.
How can this help me?
“It is the little conversations that build the relationships and make an impact on each student.” Robert John Meehan
Building relationships with your students is crucial. Once you know your students and connect with them, it helps them have a successful year because they trust you and know your care. Once you connect with your students, you can see through their eyes. If something is happening, you can take action right away, help them, guide them, have one-on-one conversations, take action steps, help them regulate and avoid misbehavior in your class, and so much more. Plus, it is considered classroom management strategies.
Increase communication a be a good listener
Talking about your feelings leads to more positive coping mechanisms. When a child is talking, make sure you demonstrate that you listen with your ears, body language, facial expressions, eye contact, and validating how they feel with words. You may be asking yourself, but how? You can validate someone’s feelings by repeating what they said and acknowledge their feelings. The child will feel heard, respected, loved, and you opened up a big step of communication. At the same time, helping them named their emotions and stress.
When a child learned how to name their emotions accurately helps students to comprehend how they feel, how their body reacts towards the emotions, and help them manage their emotions. Next time, when something happens, they can trust you. This poster of the “Good listeners” poster will help you to increase communication with your students. Also, down below, I will give you 5 amazing tips to check how your students feel while they come in or out of your class every day.
Amazing tips to check in how your student’s feelings
- Greetings by the door. Receive your students with an air hug, hug, high five, fist bump, elbow, silly dance, handshake, foot touch, and so much more.
- Non-Verbal Communication with Fist to Five technique -The first tip that I would love to share with you is on a scale from Fist to Five. In other words, from 0-5, you can use it every day, and it doesn’t require any materials. You can ask the question, and the students can raise their hands with their numbers. To improve communications skills, ask them to share their number and why they feel like that.
- Do a Fist to Five Sensory craft- A sensory craft as an activity in the first days of school can help you introduce the topic as a part of the lesson. For this craft, you will need scissors, hole punchers, tape, and beads. Allow the students to cut the papers, add the chenille and the beat, and instead of words, they can show you their craft every day without using words. It is a great time to open up a discussion about feelings, facial expressions, how feelings can transform, and how they need to learn how to regulate and cope with their emotions.
- Posters and systems in place: Also, we have posters with velcro, posters in the calm corner, posters with post it; while the students come in, they can immediately show you where they are and how they feel. You can take action right away to have one-on-one conversations, take action steps, help them regulate, and avoid misbehavior in your class. Plus, it is considered classroom management. If your students suffer from anxiety, these strategies can also help them cope faster.
- Draw how they feel each day. The fact of only drawing a circle face helps. I know other teachers allow them to do the faces with play dough. They print the shape of the face, laminate the paper, and allow them to create the eyes, nose, and mouth to identify their feelings.
- Allow them to write in their journal how they feel and why each day. Integrate in your writing time Social Emotional Learning Components to get to know them and connect with them.
Other articles you may like:
- Greeting students with a smile
- Coping strategies for kids and teens
- Activities to increase emotional vocabulary