This term in the Cocoon we have been exploring our Unit of Inquiry, "Who We Are". This has been particularly relevant as we get to know one another, develop relationships and come together as a group to play and learn.
Our central idea is "We are learning about ourselves and others as part of a learning community". Recently our inquiry has delved into "how our emotions impact on myself and others."
The children have been exploring a range of different emotions, identifying them, recognising how they feel and that others may feel them differently.
We have provided a range of learning experiences designed to develop the children's understandings and emotional literacy. The children have had the opportunity to access a variety of materials and resources which invite them to investigate the impact their emotions can have and begin to recognise that there are strategies that they can use to help them regulate their emotions.
Awareness is crucial and often can be difficult, especially when we are feeling intense emotions. Educators have used visual cue cards, posters and even mirrors to provide the children with opportunities to recognise and identify the emotions they are feeling. We have been exploring what the emotions feel like in our bodies and how this is affecting our behaviour. Sensory activities and physical movement are other ways to support children in learning to regulate their emotions.
Later in the day, quiet time has provided an opportunity for mind-body awareness—a chance to slow down and reflect on the day's experiences and their feelings.
Our recent Body Safety sessions aligned perfectly with our work on emotions, and the children were very active participants. They were able to identify a range of emotions and possible warning signs they may experience when their body is telling them that something may not be safe.
You may have heard your child referring to different "Zones". The Zones of regulation is a tool we use that identifies four different zones,
- Blue zone (sad, sick, tired, bored)
- Green zone (happy, calm, feeling OK or 'good to go')
- Yellow zone (frustrated, silly, excited or loss of some control)
- Red zone (angry, frustrated, over-excited or out of control)
We are finding the zones an effective way of helping the children recognise and regulate their emotions, and have noticed them transferring their understandings at a range of learning experiences within the program.
Many of the children's developing interests have linked naturally to our Unit of Inquiry.
A group of children have been eagerly constructing Lego BeyBlades and Mobilo rock monsters. Transferring their knowledge of emotions, the children have given their creations an emotional identity, and have been enjoying using them to play games or have "battles".
Especially during these confusing times, we feel that it's vital for us all to recognise and understand that our feelings are valid. It is OK to feel anger, sadness, joy or shyness. To have our feelings validated can ease worries and fears. However, we need awareness and tools to manage our emotions to resolve conflicts and work through difficulties and challenges.
As the term comes to an end, we will continue to refer to, discuss, learn and inquire about our emotions and the impact they have on our learning community.
Head of Early Learning