I teach a 2nd/3rd-grade special day classroom. My students are a fun bunch of diverse kids who love school and enjoy learning. They come to me with various skill levels and disabilities that can inhibit their learning, but together we find ways to celebrate and share their differences within our school community.
My students are silly and kind to one another.
They love to explore the world around them. My students learn in different ways, and my classroom gives them a place to do so. We create, dance, and laugh our way through our school days, allowing each student to feel successful.
My students feel every sort of emotion throughout their day. My students experience a range of emotions including happiness, sadness, fear, anger, excitement, boredom and any other feeling people can experience, but most are unable to identify these emotions or can only do so on a very basic level. I teach students with special needs and for some of them, their disability gets in the way of them being able to identify what they are feeling. This also makes it difficult for them to identify emotions that others are feeling. Since emotional intelligence and awareness is not a skill that naturally comes to them, it has to be explicitly taught. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a critical area that students need to be taught in order to become the best individuals they can be and have success both inside and outside the classroom.
Students have big feelings and it's important that they learn how to identify them and manage them in positive ways.
Kimochis are plush characters that come with feeling pillows. The characters have their own unique story and big feelings that they deal with. By learning about feelings from fun characters, students can practice strategies to work with these feelings in positive ways through the characters and then start to use these skills themselves. Integrating Kimochis into my classroom will allow for my students to learn about their feelings and how to manage them through play and practice.
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