We believe children gain confidence when they have opportunities to try new things and experience success and failure in a supportive, inclusive environment. They learn independence when they have opportunities to practice self-help skills every day. And they develop empathy when they observe caring adults interacting with others and encouraging children to consider different perspectives.
At FKS, you will find:
- Classrooms arranged to help children keep track of their own belongings and find things they need.
- Teachers modeling respectful tone of voice, “I messages,” and conflict resolution strategies.
- Visual cues including photos, symbols, signs, and equipment layout that encourage appropriate use of space and materials.
- Family style dining at meals and snacks.
- Children participating in activity planning, set-up, and cleanup.
- Role playing and dramatic play environments.
Key Social Skills in Early Childhood:
- Emotional regulation: Children learn to delay gratification and express their frustrations and needs using verbal, rather than physical, communication.
- Self-help & independence: Children who take care of their belongings and perform basic hygiene tasks feel competent and empowered.
- Empathy: As children develop cognitive reasoning and observation skills and become emotionally more peer-focused, they begin to be able to consider another person’s point of view and needs and demonstrate courteous behavior.
- Teamwork: Children in group care learn to share space and materials, compromise on contentious issues, solve problems cooperatively, and play an important role in group successes and quality of life.
- Planning: Children plan, implement, and reflect on projects. As they grow, they begin to demonstrate initiative and foresight.
Our bottom line: children who work and play in a supportive social environment will become cooperative, self-reliant, and respectful learners.
Our Social Skills Curriculum:
We strive to meet children’s individual developmental needs as we guide them through successful social interactions with others and help them gain confidence and self-reliance. Many of our interest center activities and daily routines incorporate social skill components.
- Use adults as a safe “base” from which they can venture out to explore.
- Mimic peers and adults.
- “Converse” with adults and peers by babbling and cooing.
- Pre-verbal infants use baby signs to communicate.
- Form trusting relationships with their caregivers.
- Set up and clean up their spot at meals; feed themselves.
- Practice taking turns during circle time songs and fingerplays.
- Use simple words such as “stop” and “help” to communicate their needs.
- Use transitional objects and rituals to move between activities and settings.
- Seek out trusted adults for support and companionship.
- Follow simple two– and three step directions.
- Use “I messages” to communicate their needs and wishes.
- Work cooperatively on math, science, and art projects with their peers.
- Perform regular classroom chores such as feeding animals, preparing activities, and clean-up.
- Talk through problems at class meetings and one-on-one with adult support.
- Collaborate to determine classroom rules for appropriate behavior.
- Use if, then reasoning to solve simple problems.
- Use social stories to develop a variety of conflict resolution strategies.
Kindergarten & School-Age:
- Use calendars and graphs to chart progress toward long-term goals.
- Plan projects that extend over several days or weeks and require cooperation.
- Prepare and serve snacks to their peers.
- Hold class meetings to discuss behavior and group dynamics.
- Incorporate self-assessment items into developmental portfolios.
- Visit and “assist” in younger classrooms as reading buddies or special guests.
- Use increasingly complex language to describe their feelings.
- Use simple lists to help them remember tasks.
- Demonstrate increased competence maintaining emotional control in challenging situations.