Why Social-emotional Learning Matters in Kindergarten

Every parent has seen their pre-schooler act out when they are angry, frustrated, or sad. Part of growing up is learning how to cope with everyday emotions. That is why the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s (OCSB) Kindergarten program has a focus on social-emotional learning (SEL).

SEL aims to help students develop self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills. Everyone needs these skills to succeed in school, work, and life. Students won’t fully master the art of SEL in Kindergarten, but introducing the fundamentals early in their school journey ensures that all students have a good start.

Feelings are a common topic of discussion in OCSB’s Kindergarten classrooms — whether prompted by stories, songs, or events at the school. Talking about emotions helps the children recognize and name how they feel—allowing educators to guide students, share ideas, and devise a plan to calm themselves.

OCSB educators get to know their students well during their two years together in Kindergarten, allowing educators to individualize student plans and promote social-emotional learning.

All of our Kindergarten classrooms have a quiet, safe place where children can regroup if they feel overwhelmed, tired, or sad. These areas are filled with activities and props related to the calming strategies discussed in class.

Watch the video segment below for a peek at what the quiet space might look like in your child’s classroom.

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