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Playing Brain Games

More and more educators are shifting their thoughts about what defines success for students. In the past, academic success was only measured by cognitive skills. Now creativity, self-management, and relationshipskills are included in the list indicators of intelligence. As afterschool providers, we must seek ways to educate the whole child. Creating programs that include social-emotional learning activities is crucial to the holistic development of our children.

At our recent conference, we conducted an experiential laboratory that explained the importance of social-emotional learning using The Brain Architecture Game, a tabletop game experience that builds an understanding of the powerful role of experiences in early brain development.

Here are five simple techniques to incorporate social and emotional learning from Edutopia.com

Technique 1: Implement Regular Class Meetings

Regular class meetings which allow students and their teachers to meet face-to-face to discuss challenges promote responsibility and thoughtfulness in students.

Technique 2: Use Conflict Resolution to Teach Problem-Solving Skills

Having a protocol that students can use to guide discussions about interpersonal conflict helps students handle disagreements in positive ways.

Technique 3: Use Emotional Sandwiching

Students who see their classroom as a refuge come to school with light steps, anticipating their interactions with classmates and teachers.

Technique 4: Build Emotional Capital in Ourselves

Perhaps the most important thing a teacher can do to promote healthy social-emotional learning development is to prepare him- or herself.

Technique 5: Build Emotional Capital in Our Kids

We can also build capital for children through our interactions with them. Each time we have the opportunity to communicate with a child, we can use that interaction to support the child.


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