This month we are giving away the first seven books in the Learning About Me & You series. These books support toddlers and young preschoolers in developing self-awareness and social awareness. One lucky reader will win:
To Enter: Leave a comment below describing your best tip for teaching social skills.
For additional entries, leave a separate comment below for each of the following tasks you complete:
Each comment counts as a separate entry. Entries must be received by midnight, November 22, 2019.
The winner will be contacted via email on or around November 25, 2019, and will need to respond within 72 hours to claim his or her prize or another winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. Winners must be US residents, 18 years of age or older.
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We have a morning circle time every day and during that time, the children are invited to talk to us about how their evening went after leaving the daycare the day before. The educators guide the child’s conversation and encourage appropriate communication between the children.
Although it may not always come naturally, I have found this trick to be very effective in teaching social skills to preschool aged children: Verbalizing your thoughts as you work through a scenario. Modeling in this way helps children understand how to make decisions on their own, find solutions to their problems, identify their feelings, interact with others, and so on. Visuals are also a powerful tool in my classroom.
Beginning with toddlers at our school, I get down on the level of the child and make eye contact with them. Next, I describe to them, for example, “Emelia is crying because you hit her. That hurts her body. She is sad. Can you check on her and see if she is okay?” The toddler usually goes over to the child who is crying and gives them a hug. Sometimes, they will go over and touch the crying child on the shoulder and lean over to look at their face. This is okay, also. We also read the books that we have on taking turns, biting, hurting friends, words can hurt, etc. These small steps are how we help to build empathy and caring for others in our school.
Modeling social emotional behaviors works well for me and my group of children. Puppets &
role playing have worked, as well.
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Tips for teaching use books to show but even more is ‘sportscasting’ in the moment. As a moment occurs when a social skill can be learned on the spot, verbalize what is happening and what responses should be. I hear CHILD-a screaming as you pull her car, That is her telling you she doesn’t want you to pull the car. Let go when you hear her scream.
I see you watching them kick the ball. It makes me think you’d like to play. IF you want to play, let’s go over there and ask to join in.
I would utilize these everyday. I love using books to help me reinforce and support positive classroom messages. The kids working on speaking up, or any other title, could have the book read to them, and then earn stickers when a teacher saw them speaking up.
As a school social worker, my best tip for teaching social skills is to make it fun and use peers!!! Kids learn much better from their peers than an adult telling them what to do. Kids respect other kis’ feedback and follow peer models– they’re priceless.
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I like using music and movement to teach social skills as well as asking children to draw about situations that are important to them.
All of the examples above are definitely in my tool box. I think the most helpful way is to model skills in the moment as a reflection of the adult’s actual feelings. Like when a kid is having a really hard time which of course gets our stress responses going, so saying, “I feel really angry/frustrated/nervous right now. I’m going to step away and take some deep breaths and then we can talk”
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I like to have the children pair up for activities that they can do and work on together, One-on-one and in small groups. Also, during free play, I help those children who need support in making friends, seeking solutions, entering a group to play, etc. by giving them the words needed to do so and encourage them.
My best tip is to teach by example. Be kind, share your things, express your feelings. admit when you’re wrong. Saying one thing and doing another is not going to help children learn anything.
Label your own feelings, you need to help children understand what feelings are, what they look like and how we properly deal with them. If you talk through what you are feeling and how you are coping, it helps them develop those skills.
I like to model pro social behavior for the children I work with as well as use visual support in multiple languages.
I will make it short and sweet. 🙂 Modeling and reading/discussing books about social skills is the best way I teach great social skills.
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When I see a student sharing, helping others, or being kind on their own without being told and I acknowledge that positive behavior, it gives the other students the motivation to be praised. By modeling and acknowledging those behaviors students begin to learn them and act that way more. Using books is another great way to model social skills in the classroom. Students can listen, look at the pictures, and even act out the situations. It prompts critical thinking in a ‘how should I react’ in this situation or ‘what could I do?’
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I love using puppets to teach social emotional skills to children.
Puppets are always a fun way to act out different classroom scenarios and model wanted and unwanted behavior in the classroom. It is important to talk through why one way works and the other doesn’t and have the kids have this discussion. Then even having the kids model the correct behavior when they are done discussing it.
Modeling grace and courtesy goes a long way with our young ones to teach them their social skills.
The best way to reach social skills-set example. I always told my students stories about myself or my children and they remembered it for years.
I use modeling, books and practicing interactions with the students. Meal time grace and courtesy practice also works well and keeps them sitting at the table.
I teach them by acknowledging one of the kids who are actively doing the desired behavior. I also lead by example. I talk my every action telling why I am doing what I am doing.
It is important to use visuals, model the social skills and feelings, and be sure to use positive descriptive language by telling them what you want instead of what you don’t want. Give positive descriptive praise by using phrasing such as “that was helpful” when children follow directions, Be consistent and provide positive feedback to children who are using social skills. Encourage problem solving through natural occurrences by allowing the children to work through the problem and come up with ideas on how to solve the problem. Small group and large group discussions about social skills with children doing most of the talking are ideal opportunities for teaching social skills.
We discuss feelings by using pictures to describe how the individual in the picture likely feels and then discuss if we have ever felt that way or discuss things that make us feel happy…sad…tired…etc.
I like using puppets to model social skills. This is a fun and non-threatening way to show these and to help students understand “scripts” and skills….puppets work with K-5th graders, too!
Role playing and practice.
I have found it really helpful to use a read aloud to introduce the lesson and then do an anchor chart or role playing to reinforce the skill we are working on that week.
Consistency is key with anything. Starting at a young age showing and supporting kindness and good deeds continue as they grow. They learn through play as well you can build on this in any activity you are doing. Please, thank you, may I, would you, are all examples of key phrases to build on.
I think this is where it begins and in each stage of life you need to keep building and teaching our little ones every step of the way.
In vivo practice is important- kids don’t learn, particularly the autistic kids I work with, without actual practice with real people!
I believe modeling, role playing, discussion, and helping the child take another perspective are crucial to scaffolding a child’s social development.
Model the behavior you want to see from them!
One of the best ways that I enjoy is through role playing and then asking then if it was right or wrong. I also like to touch on social emotional aspect in most of the books that I read to my students. Its also good to compliment when kids are kind to their peers and to highlight their action.
I like to read books about social skills and then act it out with puppets
Some of the best tips for social skills are to lead by example, use kind words, and ask open-ended questions.
Meal and Free Play have been the most practical moments–I find–to encourage kind and respectful ways to encourage engaging conversations among peers. As a technique, I make use of self and parallel talk to invite children to join in any activity. Children have seen to respond very well to this strategy. For instance: during meal serving I hear children say “May I have…”, No, thank you” when offered a food item, and say “Pass it down” while looking at their peers as they pass the meal bowl.
And or during play, I over here children being apologetic, friendly, cooperative, etcetera…
“I’m sorry. It was an accident”; “May I play with you”; “Team work”
Consistent modeling and role play
My tip is to encourage everyone involved to share their perspective. When we do this without judgement we can learn so much about one another and truly build empathy and problem solving skills!
Working with 2-3 year olds I find using puppets or modelling with a colleague, helps the children to see different ways they can respond in a situation.
Social-emotional skills are something that can really only be taught through an experience of some sort. During many read alouds, I make it a point to focus on the characters’ facial expressions and their body language depicted through the illustrations. We will discuss what we think they are feeling in the moment and the why as well. It’s important to have discussions like this casually facilitated throughout the course of the school day and seeing something concrete really helps experience the emotion at hand.
Pay attention, show interest, and check for understanding. When a person, young or older, feels understood, then they can listen! Descriptive commenting is a way to start!
When I have kids with anxiety I combined Breathing and Muscle Relaxing: I have the kids pretend they are balloons filling up with air. As I count to five, they slowly breathe in and fill up their balloons, stretching and tightening their muscles. Then I have them hold it a few seconds. Then, as I count back to one again, I have them release the air and relax their muscles as though their balloon is deflating. I has worked really good for me.
At my school we use a SE curriculum called 2nd Step and it has puppet skits. This is a fun way to teach kids SE! They really enjoy the puppets.
It took me a moment to find where to enter my comment, but I’m so glad it was at the bottom so I could read through all the thoughtful and insightful comments!
When I stop to consider my best tip for supporting children’s social skills & emotional competencies development, I would agree with and also use so many strategies that have already been listed.
The tip that I would offer in conjunction with these great strategies would be to ensure you’re foundations are strong, and focused on building and sustaining positive, nurturing, and trusting relationships with the children AND their families. No matter how “proven” a curriculum, strategy, or approach… their effectiveness can often be diminished when lacking the essential foundation and focus on the relationship with the child and their family. It’s at the heart of it all. <3
When I think of having a strong social-emotional connection it comes with giving value to every interaction. Every person can use making mistakes as teachable moments so that the aspect of mistakes being acceptable is re-iterated in everyday situations. Treating children with respect is vital to positive climate being high. Delving into emotions in ways that are meaningful is helpful with understanding and building relationships. We can all get better faster when the foundation of emotional support is taking into consideration with all avenues in the classroom as in life.
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I think the most important thing is consistency. Children need us to show them that whatever skills or methods we are trying to teach them are for them to use everyday, and that we use them every day, too!
I like to use dress up clothes and role-play!
I like to have the students do roles plays after the skill is modeled. Also using teachable moments, when the students are in their organic environment.
The best tip that works for me is being realistic. We always correct children when they are upset, or angry, or not operating at a level of our expectations. However, we as adults, have “off days,” or get angry, etc. We express frustration, but act as if your students should be happy at all times, not capitalizing on those teachable moments of resiliency; which can lead to meaningful and memorable life lessons for all.
We use PAT lessons and a variety of activities to teach social emotional skills to infant/toddlers. We use literature and model labeling feelings and emotions to the children. We use many activities like puppets play, mirror play, and use vocabulary of many emotions to give them labels for feelings and to introduce the concepts of different feelings they will come to learn about and feel themselves, even if they can’t identify them right now.
I encourage children to interact using words instead of just emotions.
I use a solution kit with a variety of problems and I ask the children to work out their solutions with each other by going to the kit to help them resolve their issues. Also, I havea child who is a solution patrol person to help with his or her peers.
Validate each child and their feelings. By being acknowledged, the child will have a better frame of mind to show empathy toward others.
We take pictures of the children in the classroom showing the social skill. Then they are posted around the room as well as making copies of them, laminate them and turn them into a book. Children respond better to their pictures. 🙂
We use a social/emotional curriculum to teach some skills. There are lots of opportunities for children to practice what they are learning. But it’s also important to teach skills “in the moment”. Often you have to model what to say in certain situations.
Using eye contact, link gestures with ideas and emotion when reading Use facial expressions and voice changes when reading or explain social skill before teaching.trainttrs
What an AWESOME set of books to win! These would be an asset in our Early classrooms.
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Teaching children to listen by modeling. Listening to others helps us understand each other.
I use pictures of the student in their environment to create a personalized social story related to each specific need.
I think the use of puppets with a book is a great way to teach social skills.
The best way to encourage healthy social, emotional skills it to lead by example. Remain calm, cool and collected and try not to raise your voice. When addressing children show respect and set limits. Question children when they are upset and have regained composer about what they could have done in the situation to create a better outcome. Build empathy for the other person’s needs and feelings. Teach and discuss ways to deal with feelings when things do not go the way that they are expected, when others disappoint us or treat us badly. Some children need to know the correct words to advocate for themselves in disadvantaged situations. They need to know that they can always walk away from a mean or bossy friend and not play with them. That can also be empowering. Build trust so that children will seek you out for help and advice when necessary.
Modeling and role playing are powerful tools, as is using music to reinforce vital concepts.
I’m the art teacher in our school but am also diligent in teaching our Title 1 students empathy and manners. My only classroom rule is manners because like an umbrella, it covers almost anything and everything we need to do successfully in my elementary art room; sharing, keeping our voices down, helping each other, listening, asking permission for things etc. etc. the list goes on and on.
As far as empathy goes, I made it a personal goal that every child in our school understands the meaning of the word so they can be better students, citizens and friends. Many times one needs a degree of empathy to understand artists’ motives and the meaning in their work so it is relevant to my subject matter. Plus, our school is a kindness zone and that becomes way more powerful if all our little people walk around with empathy and good manners!
I model the social skills in everyday classroom activities
Early childhood social skills are best taught in a nurturing environment; individual & group situations while children are exhibiting desirable behaviors; using a variety of teaching modes, such as books, songs, puppets, photos, simple dramatizations, etc.
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Playing a game together is the best way to learn social skills, for kids of all ages.
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I’ve been a toddler teacher for 5 years. Social skills are essential for making a classroom run smoothly in my opinion. We all know that each child reacts differently in certain situations. I could go on and on about the tools i use in my classroom. But the most important tip of all is to understand that it is never too early to provide the language for their feelings. Explain to them why they are angry or sad or happy and give them the words to better understand what that means.
Ex. “It’s very frustrating when Johnny knocked over that tower. Maybe he can help us clean it up and build a new one. Would that make you happy?”
This opens the door for better communication and sharing skills!
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My best tip for teaching social skills is to lead by example… kids watch you, they learn from what you do and how you do it… wonderful little observers! <3
I often tell kiddos that have a hard time making eye contact to try looking at my ears or my forehead if it is easier than looking at my eyes. It can feel less stressful for little ones who find eye contact difficult.
I like to use PDA’s in my classrooms. These are Positive Descriptive Acknowledgements. When I see a child doing something wonderful I make sure that I acknowledge their achievement by not saying, “Good Job” but describing what I saw and saying how well they did something such as: “It makes me so happy to see you sharing. You are such a good friend.”
This makes the child understand what he did and that I am pleased with it.
Personally I use solution cards. When children are having a problem with another student I go to them with solution cards that I have made up and ask them to choose a different way that their problem could be handled. This way the children are in charge of how the situation can be resolved.
modeling the behavior is the best method for teaching.
books about social learning are helpful to caregivers and children
The best tip I have for teaching social skillsis getting the kids engaged in a story. I would do a story or show a video to give kids examples of how you would like them to behave.
Be an example 🙂
I love to have students cut out a heart and as we think of unkind things to say, they crumple up their heart and then we brainstorm kind things to say and “unwrinkle” the heart, I point out that the creases are still there. We hang our hearts to remind us that words, kindness matters.
Model the social skill you want to teach because children copy the adults around them. Provide opportunities for children to practice the skill on a regular basis. It should be part of a regular day rather than a single lesson plan.
Social skills must be broken down and taught just like letter recognition and quantification. We must differentiate, beginning where each child is at and facilitating skill building through direct teaching, support, modeling, role playing and just playing. During challenging moments we have to bear in mind that we are teaching somebody’s child, and do so in a way that reflects how we would want our own child to be taught. When sharing with parents, it is most effective to keep it positive. One way to do this when there are challenging behaviors is to identify and share the skills that we want the child to use instead of the difficult behaviors. Then we can give the parents practical ways to teach these at home.
Model the desired behavior with students. This shows
the class how to act, cope with situations right in their
environment. They can visually see what to do when
Someone calls them a name, cuts in line, pushes, …
One of the way to teach social skills to children is developing social stories and role play.
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model/practice all day everyday!
Videos showing kids within the school using great skills. Class meetings. Modeling
My best tip for teaching social skills is to start with building a relationship with each child. Connect – help then identify emotions, engage in Serve and Return interactions and model self-regulation skils.
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I teach social skills in group therapy sessions through experiential learning. I facilitate problem solving, cooperation, and age appropriate skills to support social emotional learning.
I calmly give them nice words to use, then point out how well they work, after they use them.
skill based practice activities!
I love to teach social skills using books that have realistic pictures of people (versus books that have cartoon characters or animals). I also like the Interactive Modeling technique.
Hello, I feel one of the best ways to teach social skills is to role play scenarios that are common to the children that we teach. This way they can put themselves in the role and it helps them to commit to memory strategies they can use when needed. For example, they can role play Goldilocks’ and The Three Bears and decide on the better choices to make in the story. It incorporates the whole child because they are moving, learning about social skills, self-regulation, other viewpoints and cultures and ways to solve problems as they arise.
I work in the preschool world and teaching young children to identify their emotions is something we work on all year. A fun activity we do through sunshine circles is “You are special,” we pass a mirror around with a hanging cloth over it. Each child goes around and lifts up the cloth we say “there’s someone very special in there with sparkly eyes and an amazing smile who is it?” Children get a million dollar smile and light up. This not only makes them feel unique but they learn to have patience as they wait for the mirror to get to them. We follow up with a book reading “It’s Okay to be Different’ by Todd Parr
Another activity we do for identification of emotions is a GLAD book “The feelings book” using characters from the Pixar movie Inside Out. We focus on 2 emotions from the book with the focus on how that feeling feels and how to handle it in a safe way. We than pass out cards with different emotions and the children get the opportunity to act them out and share a past experience.
The best teaching tool to teach social skills has been our classroom’s family-style lunch times. The children and teachers sit as a community of diverse individuals, sharing both food, reflections on our like & dislikes, learning new things about each other, and loads more. Eating as teachers and children (and occasionally with members of the children’s families) amazing intergenerational connections are shared – fun for both “bookends.”
Taaching toddlers about social emotional helps them develop self-control to be competent for school learning. I describe our emotion we feel to use the language to say is ok to feel upset, sad or mad.
This would be great for my preschool and kindergarten students!
Be intentional in what you will teach and how you will teach it. Add what you plan to teach to your lesson plan. Visual picture cues are very helpful!
Talking about emotions and demonstrating how to share, help etc
Social stories and modeling are very helpful when teaching social skills.
We, as human beings, should slow down and appreciate the beauty we gave in our lives. We need to spend to build our relationship with children. Live in the moment, and we need to provide them with a beautiful environment to enjoy it.
Working with children from K-12 these books are the best to teach kids about feelings and thoughts they are experiencing which many times they don’t know how to describe instead they act them out. The books make it super easy to identify themselves in the story. Thank you for the books
My best method for teaching good social skills is to be a good role model for the children in my care.
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I love using card games to teach social skills !
The best way to teach kids social skills is by modeling and teaching their parents and caregivers how to model them. Children do as we do, so by using language and actions that model our own social skills, we teach them their own skills.
I think the best way to teach is example and of course reading to the children and check for understanding.
My best tip for involving social skills is so objectively describe what had happened and invite nearby children to get involved in caring for their community. By objective describing what you see, we do not shame the child with challenging behavior and we create learning opportunities to show empathy for the children involved and those who are nearby.
Best tip for teaching social skills – model appropriate skills yourself! Also, give children the opportunity to learn from a mistake. It’s ok if they need practice!
Another tip is using books and doing extension activities for teachign social skills
One of the most important thing is modeling for teachign social skills. You need to show you feel and what your problem is.
I like to teach social skills in the moment as well as read books and play games the first few days of class to introduce different feelings. When the children are sad, we point out this emotion, show how we can be empathetic, and try to help our friend etc.
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These books very plainly tell children why todo something. I love the positive messages
This will be a great set to use in the Life Skills classroom
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One of the best ways to teach social skills is for adults to model social skills as adults are interacting with children during the school day and this is especially important when conflicts arise between adults and children.
My best tip for teaching social skills is to model the skills you would like to see in your students. Being respectful to others, adults and children alike.
Model what you want the children to practice!
I have multiple mirrors in my classroom available to students. I have a standing mirror and hand held mirrors. I make a point to explain the feelings and emotions a child may be experiencing throughout our day and encourage them to see what that looks like in the mirror. A visual representation really helps my students!
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Modeling is the best tip I can give while setting up situations to model within
I take care of a multi-age group of kids in a family childcare (in my home). I am learning to affirm choices that are kind like “thank you for sharing those blocks. How kind!” I also point put pictures of character’s facial expressions during story times and ask how the character is feeling and why.tarartar
I work in an early childhood setting. I would use these books to share with other teachers so that children can learn very important social skills.
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I use trade book picture books to introduce a skill such as kindness, the book, Each Kindness, and then branch off into discussions with the class about the characters choices how they displayed the topic and not, what the students would do, etc. it helps ground the ideology of the skill in a more tangible way for youngsters. They often relate back to the book when drawing a parallel to an issue in the class or their life.