A desire to explore a range of topics, eagerly engage in activities, think and play creatively, and learn independently.
Show an interest in learning. Learning begins with curiosity as children show an interest in learning and talking about a range of topics, ideas, and tasks (i.e., ask questions and seek new information).
Show self-confidence in approaching new challenges. Children are open to learning more things when they have confidence in their abilities and are empowered to take on new challenges and experiences while developing new skills.
Think and play imaginatively. Children learn through play. Their imagination paves the way for flexible thinking as they think beyond their immediate reality while playing alone or with others (e.g., fly like a butterfly).
Think creatively and symbolically. Problem solving requires creative thinking and can also require the use of symbols to represent things beyond the here and now. Children learn these skills as they explore divergent uses of an object (e.g., use a table as a “tent”) and use one thing to represent another in play (e.g., line up chairs to be a “bus”).
Use their working memory. Working memory, or the ability to hold information in mind and “work with it,” is a skill that supports learning in all content areas. Children learn to remember and follow a routine, rules, or directions using relevant information (e.g., remember a few items your family needs at the grocery store as you shop).
Maintain focused attention. Children learn to resist distractions and instead use self-control to maintain focused attention.
Persist at tasks. Children show self-control by stopping impulsive actions and reactions, and they learn to persist at tasks, sometimes delaying gratification or resisting distractions to continue the task at hand through frustration or challenges (e.g., getting dressed in the morning). If needed, they may break the task into smaller, more manageable components.
Think flexibly. Children learn to think flexibly about a problem or situation by switching rules, doing the opposite, thinking about someone else’s perspective, applying different strategies or transitioning from one activity to another.
Plan ahead. Children learn to anticipate and consider future needs in preparing for activities. They set goals and then develop and follow through on plans.
Make connections. Children learn to process information, connect related information and prior knowledge, and then complete a task or solve a problem (e.g., our shoes are dirty so we need to wipe them on the mat before going indoors).
Recognize cause and effect relationships. Children learn to recognize when one thing makes another thing happen (e.g., poking a bubble will make it pop).
Compare, contrast, and sort. Children learn more about things by observing how certain characteristics are similar or different (e.g., color, shape, size, texture, or sound), and they classify, match, and sort objects based on those characteristics (e.g., putting all the blue objects into one group).
Consider and choose from multiple solutions or options. Children learn to investigate multiple solutions or options to solve a problem. They think critically about each one and evaluate it, then choose the most appropriate or effective solution.
Evaluate their choice. Children learn to reflect on the solution or decision they made and decide whether or not it was successful. If it was not the best choice, they may go back and try another option.
Identify, name, and express their own emotions. Children learn to recognize and talk about their feelings, using words like happy, sad, surprised, frustrated, angry, and scared. They learn appropriate ways to express their feelings, like smiling, laughing, crying, dancing, singing, and drawing. They come to understand that their feelings can change over time or in different situations and that they can have more than one feeling at the same time.
Regulate their emotions. Children learn to cope with and manage strong feelings appropriately. They become aware of clues inside their bodies to tell the difference between comfortable and uncomfortable feelings. They learn to use calming down strategies such as belly breathing to work through uncomfortable feelings in stressful or emotional situations.
Regulate their behavior. Children control themselves in stressful and emotional situations. They may use self-regulation strategies such as self-talk, counting, or singing.
Demonstrates self-control. Children resist a strong inclination to do one thing (overcoming an automatic response) and instead do what is most appropriate.
Identify and name the feelings of others. Children learn that others may have feelings that are different from their own. They learn to identify the feelings of others by using clues such as facial expressions and body language.
Recognize and care about the needs and feelings of others. Children begin to not only identify the feelings of others but also care about them. They may show empathy by expressing support (e.g., drawing a picture to cheer up a friend) or by helping (e.g., helping parents with tasks).
Understand what a friend is. Children learn that a friend is someone who cares about them and whom they care about. They learn that a friend can look different and have different likes, wants, and needs than their own.
Develop and maintain friendships. Children learn to make and keep friends by engaging in fair ways to play (playing together, trading, taking turns), inviting others to play, and entering social groups.
Cooperate with others. Children learn to work together to meet a shared goal, solving problems and resolving conflict along the way.
Respect oneself and develop confidence in one’s abilities. Children will develop an awareness and appreciation of their own abilities, efforts, feelings, and differences. They will come to feel and express feelings of self-worth and confidence and will challenge themselves to try new things.
Respect others, their capabilities, and their rights. Children will learn that it is their personal responsibility to respect others, regardless of their national, ethnic, linguistic, religious, or socio-economic background or their physical abilities. They will engage pro-socially with others as they develop an attitude of mutual respect and understanding.
Appreciate similarities and differences in others. Children will develop a sense of common humanity as they learn about how people live, work, and play in their own community and around the world. Their learning will help break down stereotypes, demystify the “other,” and build empathy and understanding.
Show respect for the cultural and national heritage of others. Children will learn to show respect and appreciation for the history, heritage, and celebrations of people from other cultures or nations.
Recognition and respect of diversity and unity in families and communities.
Children developing an awareness of family and community learn to:
Recognize that there are different types of families. Children come to identify and appreciate their own family. They learn to respect the families of others, even when those families do not look or behave like their own. Families can vary by number of people, gender, roles, responsibilities, appearances, etc.
Understand that different families live in different types of homes. Children learn that not all families live in homes like their own. Families can live in different places (urban, rural, etc.) and in different types of buildings (apartments/flats, houses, huts, etc.).
Recognize that people in the community have different jobs. Children learn and appreciate that different people contribute to their community by doing different types of work (e.g., police officer, teacher, shop owner, bus driver, sanitation worker, doctor, etc.).
Identify and respect different community institutions, organizations, and cultural establishments. Children become familiar with different community institutions (e.g., libraries, schools, religious center, etc.), organizations, and establishments and they show respect for the people and cultures associated with them.