PreK/K Class- Week of February 15
This week we will continue to talk about and explore the concept of ‘focus’ and to utilize our daily activities and routines to support children’s ability to focus. In addition we will be exploring the concept of Perspective Taking.
Below you will find information about both skills taken from Ellen Galinsky’s book, Mind in the Making- Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs.
Please remember to bring in snow clothes and a change of clothes as appropriate. We will go outside whenever possible.
A big thank you to everyone for helping to make our Valentine’s day a huge success. Thank you especially to Lily’s mom- Lori for organizing and for sharing her wonderful knock- knock jokes. It is such a joy to partner with you to teach your children!
As always, let us know if you have questions, concerns, celebrations or ideas to share!
Focus: For young children focus involves being able to position their attention in the right direction to achieve what he/she wants to achieve. As children get older focus also includes being able to concentrate- remain alert and oriented despite internal and external distractions.
Perspective Taking is the ability to discern how someone else thinks and feels. According to Ellen Galinsky, author of Mind in the Making- Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs, perspective taking involves:
- Assembling our accumulated knowledge of that person
- Analyzing the situation at hand
- Remembering similar situations,
- Recalling what others have told us about such situations
- Putting aside our own thoughts and feelings
- Trying to feel and think as another person must feel and think
To do this we must inhibit our own thoughts and feelings to take on the perspective of others and be able to view the situation in different ways. No easy task especially for young children!
Why is it important? Studies show that when young children learn perspective taking it:
- Helps them make sense of their own and others’ experiences.
- Children who learn perspective taking have a better adjustment to kindergarten.
- Helps them understand what their teachers and others want and expect
- There are connections between this skill and learning to read.
What we can do:
- Model perspective taking- learn/strive to see the world the way your child sees it. According to Galinsky, “Children who feel listened to, who feel understood, become better able to listen to and understand others.”
- Help children feel known and understood by:
o Repeating back your child’s words
o Describe what you see going on
o Ask a question
o Let them know you’ve been there- you know how it feels.
- Talk about feelings- yours and theirs.
- Use everyday moments to talk about other people’s perspectives.
- Give children the opportunity to pretend.
- Help your child become aware of how their words and actions impact other people.
- Help children step back when something happens to them and make sense of the situation. Help children recognize when they don’t have enough information then help them look for cues to understand other possible explanations.