How Are You Feeling Today?
As we continue this month's focus of individuality, the students began to tap into their own consciousness and understanding who they are. To develop these ideas, the children discovered the idea of self-awareness, and although most were unsure of the term, I believe they are already unconsciously familiar with it.
When discussing their emotions throughout the day, the children had a lot to say. Some were happy and excited, while others were on the opposite end of the spectrum, being tired and agitated. Having this one simple discussion allowed them to focus on their emotions and recognize what it is they were feeling at that moment; demonstrating a sense of emotional self-awareness. To level this idea on their own playing field, we watched a Despicable Me 2 scene where Gru struggles to court a crush due to his nervous demeanor.
Not only were the kids fully engaged with this hilarious clip, they were also able to see an applicable example of how the recognition of our emotions can affect our behaviors. To make this concept relatable, the kids discussed moments when they felt a certain emotion and how they responded to that feeling.
To document this learning, the children created "A Day of Emotions" posters and "My Feelings Wheel", enabling them to contemplate on the common and uncommon emotions they feel in their lives. Not only did these activities helped to develop their drawing skills, as most of them LOVE to do, it also provided them a quiet, tranquil opportunity to ponder on the emotions that follows them throughout their day.
Who Am I and What Makes Me... Me?
As we know, being self-aware isn't just exclusive to understanding our emotions, but also who we are individually. We must recognize our personality, our strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly, the support systems who influence our development. If you ask anyone, they will probably tell you that they know who they are 100%, but when having these conversations, the kids were uncertain with how they could describe themselves, because there are a myriad of things we can say! To help consolidate these thoughts, our little K-3 kids worked on their "Knowing Me" posters which asked them to think about the things they love to do and enjoy!
Our 4-8 kiddos were given the opportunity to integrate technology into their learning by taking a Colors Personality Quiz, asking them true or false questions for the accumulation of the attributes that constitutes their personality. Press the image below to check out the quiz!
As the younger kids still struggled to grasp the concept of self-awareness, I wanted them to focus more on their strengths and weaknesses, how these traits contribute to who they are, and the ways in which they learn the best as we all know we can only learn if the learning environment is accommodated to our needs! For this reason, we held group discussions where each person provided ideas on what they were good at and what they felt they weren't good at. The takeaway from this activity was to understand that although we have these two polar categorizes, the things we might be "bad" at, aren't deficits but rather things to improve upon so we can move them into the strengths category.
As the children are still developing and learning, it is important to recognize just exactly how we, ourselves can support this learning. For this to happen, we must understand the environment that we learn best in and how that plays a huge role in the perception of ourself; because if we place ourselves in a space where we cannot learn to the best of our ability, we will begin to accredit negative ideas to who we are internally.
And we can't forget our community and how our support systems play a huge role in molding us to become... well, us! Contemplating this concept, I posed the question to our kids, "who is the person you can always go to when you need advice?" In thinking about this question, the children are working toward the idea that these are the special people that directly impact their upbringing and development because it is their opinions that they so-deeply value. And in order to gain this self-awareness, we must understand how those people influence us and what personality traits or skills we can attribute to them.
The children worked very hard this week as there were many challenging questions posed; but they pushed through like the resilient student-athletes we know they are. They created beautiful work, while simultaneously strengthening their concept of the self to understand how that is constructed so they can apply their self-awareness when on and off the courts!