SchoolAppropriate Social Skills

School-Appropriate Social Skills Running head: School-Appropriate Social Skills School-Appropriate Social Skills in APA Style
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School-appropriate social skills are needed in classrooms to ensure effective learning. It is important that teachers monitor children’s social skills for many reasons. One reason is to determine whether intervention is needed or if the child can handle the situation by himself/herself. Some school-appropriate skills and their descriptions are listed below (McClellan and Katz, 2001):
1) The child’s behavior toward his/her classmates- Is he/she approachable, involved, and confident Or is he/she extremely shy, aggressive, and insecure How are the peer relationships
2) Having positive relationships with one or two peers- Can the child handle more than one friendship or is he/she possessive Does he/she truly care about his/her friends
3) Having a sense of humor- Does he/she find laughter and fun in daily life
4) Having the ability to empathize- Does the child have the ability to understand how others are feeling and what they are going through
5) Participates willingly- Does the child protest or refuses to participate Does the child need to be encouraged repeatedly to join or does he/she participate willingly
6) Accutely lonely- Is the child extremely lonely
7) Asserts his/her own rights and needs appropriately- There are appropriate ways to state his/her rights and needs. Does the child state these in a correct manner and behavior
8) Approaches others with a positive attitude- Is the child positive or negative in his/her attitude toward others
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9) Takes his/her turn fairly and without argument, poor attitude, and aggression- How
are his/her attitude and actions when taking turns
10) Shows interest in others- Does the child show a desire to learn more and listen to others Is he/she self-absorbed or truly interested in others
Typically the social skills that are introduced in kindergarten are the skills that deal with how they feel and behave in a social setting. The skills are focused on self in a group environment. These skills include feeling confident and being approachable, being interested in others, and the degree of feeling alone. Feeling acutely lonely and being extremely shy can cause the child to be "pushed" into a situation or into participating and this is counterproductive. Activities such as "Show and Tell" will help a child in building confidence, being approachable, developing an interest in others, and to thwart the feelings of loneliness.
Playing well with others with cooperation, taking turns, and being able to respect author other
than the child’s parents are considered kindergarten milestones. At this age, teachers assist in
refining the social skills of their kindergarten students. Children should be able to invite others to
join them in various activities such as sports activities (kickball, softball, etc.), jump rope, and
chase/tag. This requires sharing and being able to wait their turn. Their attitudes when sharing and
taking turns should be positive and good. They should learn that giving is a joy and that it is feels
just as good, if not better, than receiving at times. Having a positive attitude when taking turns,
sharing, and finding the joy of giving will require another social skill that is detrimental at this age
and this skill is being able to have self control. Sharing books and toys is a good chance to practice
this skill. Even the mere act of a child’s raising his/her hand to ask the teacher a question teaches the
child how to wait and take his/her turn.
Children should be able to take some risk. For example, trying new things and talking to new
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people are risks that can be handled at this grade level and age. However, they should also be able to
have an understanding of rules and to respect these rules. Finally, children in kindergarten should
naturally have the desire to be alone at times. This creates the balance that is needed in life.
Kindergarten teachers will help children to develop these social skills by engaging them in
group activities such as games and group lessons. This will encourage children to share and to take
as they learn all the other social skills that come with participating in group activities. Changing the seating arrangement occasionally and playing games such as "Star of the Week" where a child brings in his/her favorite photos and/or snack, etc. and are asked questions by other students. This promotes group time and social interaction.
Alone time, quiet time, and individual activities will help children have the appreciation of self, the desire to be alone, and to build self esteem. Quiet time such as reading, doing a puzzle, and drawing are examples of individual things that students can do. These activities led by the teacher will help give children the balance that they need as they are encouraged to develop the skills that kindergarteners should acquire.
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McClellan, D. and Katz, L. (2001). Assessing Young Children’s Social Competence. ERIC
Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, ED450953, 2001-03-00, pp.2-9.