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Inventory of Practices for Promoting Children’s Social and Emotional Competence, Research Paper Example

Pages: 11

Words: 2926

Research Paper

Purpose of the Inventory:
The Inventory of Practices for Promoting Social and Emotional Competence is designed to be used by individuals and/or teams to identify training needs and plan a course of action to address those needs related to three general areas: (a) building positive relationships, (b) creating supportive environments, (c) social and emotional teaching strategies.

Use of the Inventory
This tool is best utilized in a manner that encourages reflection and discussion. Each of the three general areas includes several Skills and Indicators reflective of practices that promote social and emotional competence in young children. The Indicators are detailed phrases that enable the user to “dig a little deeper” in identifying and pinpointing skills that may or may not be present. A column entitled Observations/Evidence allows the user to describe how you perform the skill or explain why you do not and/or how you plan to improve in performing the specific Skills or Indicators. Three levels of skill, Consistently, Occasionally, and Seldom, permit users to record their perceived skill level for each Indicator by checking the appropriate box.

Inventory of Practices for Promoting Social Competence
Skills and Indicators Consistently Occasionally Seldom Observations/ Evidence
3 2 1 Describe how you perform the skill or explain why you do not do it and/or how you plan to improve in performing the skill
Building Positive Relationships Skills
1. Develops meaningful relationships with children and families  
·         Greets children on arrival; calls by name  X With eye contact
·         Communicates with children at eye level X I feel that it can be perceived as intimidating or too personal.
·         Verbally interacts with individual children during routines and activities  X
·         Participates in children’s play when appropriate  X  I read a part in a play, demonstrate, etc.
·         Shows respect, consideration, warmth to all children  X  Sometimes I catch myself speaking to some children as if they don’t understand- before I ask them or wait for them to show me.
·         Speaks calmly to children  X  My calm voice during stress can be misleading, creating the impression that it is “not a big deal”.
·         Uses a variety of strategies for building relationships with all children  and families  X
·         Attends to children in positive ways at times when the children are not engaging in challenging behavior  X
·         Uses a variety of strategies for building relationships with all families  X
·         Creates a classroom that is a place that children and families like to be (i.e., feel comfortable, welcome, and safe)  X
2. Examines personal, family, and cultural views of challenging child behavior
·         Considers personal beliefs regarding the acceptability and unacceptability of specific types of child behavior  X
·         Considers personal beliefs regarding the causes of specific types of unacceptable child behavior  X
3. Examines own attitudes toward challenging behavior
·         Understands the relationship between children’s social-emotional development and challenging behaviors  X
·         Understands that children’s challenging behaviors are conveying some type of message  X  My responses to challenging behavior are just as telling. However, each student needs to come with their own cheat codes.
·         Understands there are many things that can be done to prevent challenging behaviors  X
·         Identifies what behaviors “push my buttons”  X
·         Develops strategies for dealing with situations when children’s behaviors “push my buttons”  X  I tend to grin and bear. I plan and make lists, but sometimes it is difficult to narrow the strategies and options to those which are valid, supportive, and practical.
·         Works together with a classroom co-worker to problem solve around issues related to challenging behaviors  X  Confidentiality sometimes prohibits a direct conversation; talking around the problem helps me examine the choices and others’ perspectives.
B. Creating Supportive Environments Skills  
1.       Designs the physical environment
·         Removes obstacles that make it difficult for children with physical disabilities to move around the room  X
·         Clearly defines boundaries in learning centers  X
·         Arranges learning centers to allow room for multiple children  X
·         Provides a variety of materials in all learning centers  X
·         Considers children’s interests when deciding what to put in learning centers  X  This is a large focus for me.
·         Makes changes and additions to learning centers on a regular basis  X  This is a personal weakness. Balancing the urgent demands of the classroom with updating, changing, or adding to learning centers is enjoyable but time-consuming.
·         Visually closes learning centers when they are not an option for children by using labeling    X
·         Arranges traffic patterns in classroom so there are no wide open spaces  X
2. Develops schedules and routines  
·         Designs schedule to include a balance of large group and small group activities  X
·         Implements schedule consistently  X  I include “must have” scheduling and a flexible back-up plan.
·         Teaches children about the schedule    uses schedule consistently any explains changes when necessary  X
·         Provides explanations when changes in the schedule are necessary  X
3. Ensures smooth transitions
·         Structures transitions so children do not have to spend excessive time waiting with nothing to do  X
·         Teaches children the expectations associated with transitions  X
·         Provides warnings to children prior to transitions and individualizes the warnings as necessary so all children understand  X  Although the warnings may be individualized, they are given generally so as not to single out one student.
7. Designs activities to promote engagement  
·         Plans and conducts activities with specific goals in mind for the children  X
·         Shows an understanding of developmental levels of interaction and play skills.  X
·         Varies speech and intonation to maintain the children’s interests in the large group activity  X
·         Monitors children’s behavior and modifies plans when children lose interest in an activity  X  I may amend their options after they have completed the initial requirements of an activity. This is in my back-up plan as I form the unit.
·         Plans and conducts fun small group activities with specific goals in mind for each child  X
·         Monitors children’s behavior and modifies plans when children lose interest in small group activities  X
5. Giving Directions  
·         Gains child’s attention before giving directions

 

 X
·         Gives minimal directions that are clear and positive  X  Although my tone always sounds positive, the words often come out like a criticism.
·         Individualizes the way directions are given  X
·         Gives clear  and positive directions  X
·         Gives children time to respond to directions  X
·         Gives children choices and options when appropriate  X
6. Establishes and enforces clear rules, limits, and consequences for behavior  
·         Develop classroom rules with the participation of the children  X  This depends on the class participation, upon their seriousness of purpose, the noise level, etc.
·         Rules are stated in a positive manner avoiding “no and don’t”  X
·         Provides opportunities for children to practice classroom rules

 

 X
·         Keeps rules to manageable number (3-6)  X
·         Identifies and enforces consequences consistently and fairly for both following and not following rules  X  Some consequences are handled differently when challenging and disruptive behaviors are involved, according to the situation.
·         Makes sure all adults in classroom know rules and consequences  X
7. Ignores misbehavior when appropriate  
·         Attends to children’s positive behaviors more than negative behaviors  X
·         Ignore negative behavior whenever possible  X
·         Returns attention quickly when the student begins behaving appropriately  X
·         Teaches other students to ignore inappropriate behaviors X  Peer reinforcement and class values are important to me- both now and as a component of civic responsibility in the future.
·         Redirects distracted, off-task, or withdrawn students, giving them opportunities to become involved in more productive activities  X
·         Gives children time and attention when engaging in appropriate behavior  X
8. Uses positive feedback and encouragement
·         Uses praise and encouragement contingent on appropriate behavior  X
·         Provides enthusiastic and descriptive praise and encouragement  X
·         Uses praise and encouragement contingent on child’s efforts.  X
·         Provides non-verbal cues of appreciation  X  Occasionally, verbal cues distract.
·         Recognizes that there are individual variations in what forms of acknowledgment are interpreted as positive by children  X
C. Social Emotional Teaching Strategies
1. Interacts with children to develop their self-esteem  
·         Models phrases children can use to initiate and encourage interactions  X
·         Avoids judgmental and sarcastic statements  X  I try, but sometimes I am guilty of this.
·         Responds to individual children’s ideas and efforts  X
·         Recognizes children’s efforts  X
·         Shows empathy and acceptance of individual children’s feelings  X
2. Shows sensitivity to individual children’s needs  
·         Respects and accommodates individual needs, personalities, and characteristics  X
·         Conveys acceptance of individual differences (culture, gender, sensory needs, language, abilities) through planning, material selection, and discussion of topics  X
3. Encourages autonomy  
·         Provides children with opportunities to make choices  X
·         Allows children time to respond and/or complete task independently before offering assistance  X
·         Creates opportunities for decision-making, problem-solving, and working together  X
·         Teaches children strategies for self-regulating and/or self-monitoring behaviors  X  I teach these strategies, but I need to  utilize strategies for presenting these strategies. If I do not pace myself and link behaviors to specific consequences, the student quickly loses interest, and I lose credibility.
4. Capitalizes on the presence of typically developing peers  
·         Utilizes peers as models of desirable social behavior  X  This is tricky. Behavior is not finite, and I do not want to discourage the other students from being themselves.
·         Encourages peer partners/buddies (i.e., hold hands during transitions, play partner, clean up buddy, etc.)  X
·         Demonstrates sensitivity to peer preferences and personalities  X
·         Shows an understanding of developmental levels of interactions and play skills  X
5. Utilizes effective environmental arrangements to encourage social interactions  
·         Considers peer placement during classroom activities  X  By separating some favorite pairs, they are more excited to work together during small groups and less likely to interrupt activities that require a lot of listening.
·         Develops interaction opportunities within classroom routines (i.e., table captain, clean-up partner, snack set-up, etc.)  X  One of my pet peeves is excessive whining or arguing, so improving these interactions is a constant struggle for me.
6. Uses prompting and reinforcement of interactions effectively  
·         Provides sincere, enthusiastic feedback to promote and maintain social interactions  X
·         Waits until interactions are finished before reinforcing; does not interrupt interactions  X
·         Models phrases children can use to initiate and encourage interactions  X
·         Ensures that interactions are mostly child-directed not teacher-directed during free play  X
7. Provides instruction to aid in the development of social skills
·         Teaches appropriate social skills through lessons and role-playing opportunities  X
·         Incorporates cooperative games, lessons, stories, and activities that encourage and teach working cooperatively X
·         Structures activities to encourage and teach sharing and turn taking  X
8. Promotes identification and labeling of emotions in self and others  
·         Uses photographs, pictures, and posters that portray people in various emotional states  X
·         Uses validation, acknowledgment, mirroring back, labeling feelings, voice tones, or gestures to show an understanding of children’s feelings  X  This can be perceived as mockery or as shallow empathy.
·         Assists children in recognizing and understanding how a classmate might be feeling by pointing out facial expressions, voice tone, body language, or words  X  I usually run a “what if” scenario, which seems to create less blame and direct pressure on a current situation.
·         Uses real life situations to practice problem solving, beginning with defining the problem and emotions involved  X
9. Explores the nature of feelings and the appropriate ways they can be expressed  
·         Teaches that all emotions are okay, but not all expressions are okay  X
·         Teacher labels own emotional states and provides an action statement (e.g., I am feeling frustrated so I better take some deep breaths and calm down)  X
·         Uses opportunities to comment on occasions when children solve problems appropriately  X  “Okay, did everyone hear what [NAME] suggested?” [NAME] repeats, and I summarize in a positive way and relate that to the activity or to other, relevant information.
10. Models appropriate expressions and labeling of their own emotions and self-regulation throughout the course of the day  
·         Labels positive feelings  X
·         Labels negative feelings paired with actions to regulate  X
11. Creates a planned approach for problem-solving processes within the classroom  
·         Individualizes the planned approach to the appropriate level and needs of the child  X
·         Takes time to support children through the problem-solving process during heated moments  and reinforces their efforts  X
•         Helps children recognize cues of emotional escalation  X
·         Helps children identify appropriate choices X
12. Promotes children’s individualized emotional regulation that will enhance positive social interactions within the classroom  
·         Helps children recognize cues of emotional escalation  X
·         Helps children identify appropriate choices  X
13. Working with Families  
·         Initiates contact with parents regarding their child’s progress  X  Extra information can create an expectation, a sort of parental dependency or aggression even. The big positive and negative events are addressed mainly.
·         Respects parents as an equal partner in the educational process  X  Some partners help.
14. Teams use functional assessment  
·         Conducts observations  X
28. Monitors children’s progress
·         Conducts Observations X This is mainly done through personal interaction.
·         Measures and monitors changes in behavior  X
·         Team meets periodically to review child progress, plan implementation, and to develop new support strategies X  Team communication is more informal going top-down. Support personnel, teachers, and administrators may not communicate the breadth of information regarding a child.

 

 

Reflection

I need to work on: 1) designing the physical environment, 2) giving directions, and 3) rules.

For designing the physical environment, I need to designate a time to reexamine the learning centers and replace, remove, or update the materials and approaches as necessary. This will also involve responding to increased awareness of individual students’ skills, cultural awareness, interests, etc. Providing a dry-erase schedule for sporadic elements of the schedule will decrease any confusion and provide smoother transitions.

Regarding the skill of giving direction, I need to practice being direct, clear, and concise. This will reduce the number of ambiguities which create some of my common challenges: confusion, restatement of expectations or directions, and conveying a secondary, unintended meaning. Also, I tend to err toward the “do not” end of the continuum. Starting with the positive is good, as is discussing possible negative consequences, but it seems to be less threatening when the discussion addresses “another class tried to do it this way, and we didn’t get to finish”. This works better for the ‘fun’ activities, the ones that the students are very excited for. This approach also requires a firm but compassionate set of directions prior to beginning.

Setting, educating, and enforcing rules involves a better acquaintance with school procedures and personal goals for the classroom. Involving others in decision-making is a quick and effective way to reexamine the ways in which I can improve. This may require some observation or gentle inquiries.

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