M entered school not knowing anyone in the class. She was shy, quiet, and had tantrums when something didn’t go her way. She struggled to understand that she needed to share the space with the rest of the class and would often start sentences with, “I want…”. M would leave the room without telling anyone and would interrupt the teacher anytime she wanted something. She did not enjoy the first few months of school because she wasn’t able to do what she wanted, when she wanted. The students struggled to play nicely with her and she was struggling to understand how to change that dynamic.
After months of practicing positive communication, M learned to use her words to communicate her thoughts and feelings. She learned that when she uses kind words, she makes others feel good about themselves, their work and their friendship with her. In turn, M began to gain a better sense of self and how she wanted to present herself to others. Although she sometimes still makes mistakes, she is now able to fix her mistakes with less support and she recognizes how it feels to be kind.
Teacher: Tell me about school. What do you like about school?
M: I like about it people being nice to me. I like it because I didn’t know my friends when I went to it. It feels really very good to have friends.
Teacher: What is one important thing that you have learned about friendships in school?
M: To treat people nicely and to be nice back to them. It feel really good when people are kind to me and I like that.
Teacher: What is one important thing that you have learned about using materials?
M: Do not drop them on the ground and do not, like, throw them because they will break into pieces and I won’t like it and my heart will be sad. More kids will be sad too. We cannot throw materials because they will get very hurt and they will have to go to the hospital.
Teacher: What does it mean to be a good friend?
M: Play with people when they say they want to play with me. You say kind words and say, “I like you. You are a good friend.” I learned that in kindergarten and I like to learn things from my teacher.
Teacher: What does it mean to make a mistake?
M: You just, like, clean it up and say, “sorry”. That’s how you fix the problem. Last time I threw a felt at my friend and I thought “I shouldn’t have done that because I would hurt him and he wouldn’t like it.”
Teacher: How can you fix a mistake?
M: I can tell the truth.
Teacher: How do you want to make other people feel?
M: Happy and respectful and respect the materials.
Teacher: What type of person do you want to show the world?
M: A good girl. Like do not throw materials and be nice. I want to show them I’m a good artist. I make art for my mommy and daddy. I want to sell art when I am older.
In familiar settings, I can interact with others and my surroundings respectfully.
I can build relationships and work and play cooperatively. I can participate in activities to care for and improve my social and physical surroundings and use materials respectfully. I can solve some problems myself and ask for help when I need it; I listen to others’ ideas and concerns. I can be part of a group, and invite others to join. I can identify when something is unfair to me or others
I can show a sense of accomplishment and joy, and express some wants, needs, and preferences. I can sometimes recognize my emotions.
I can initiate actions that bring me joy and satisfaction and recognize that I play a role in my well-being.
I can seek out experiences that make me feel happy and proud. I can express my wants and needs and celebrate my efforts and accomplishments. I have some strategies that help me recognize and manage my feelings and emotions. I recognize and can explain my role in learning activities and explorations, and I can give some evidence of my learning. I can describe how some specific choices can affect my well-being and participate in activities that support my well-being.