Welcome to a new and exciting school year! This year, we are implementing a new character education and social-emotional learning program that teaches children positive habits to lead happy and successful lives. This new program uses Kimochis…Toys with Feelings Inside®.
Kimochi (Key-MO-chi) means "feeling" in Japanese. The curriculum is based on research that tells us that a strong social-emotional foundation is necessary for school success, academic achievement, positive social relationships and the development of emotional competence. The Kimochis® curriculum is designed to give students the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to recognize and manage their emotions, demonstrate caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and handle challenging situations constructively. We make it clear to our students that although Kimochis® look like toys they are really communication tools that help them learn important life skills and develop self-esteem, confidence, and character!
There are five Kimochis® characters. Each character has a different personality and temperament just like our students! Each character has a communication strength and challenge. The Kimochis® characters are a safe third-party that students can easily relate to. The Kimochis® personalities help students consider their own strengths and weaknesses and seek ways to make improvements. Likewise, the characters encourage everyone to practice more patience and tolerance with others—we all have challenges in our communication!
The Kimochis® Keys to Communication are at the heart of our program and provide the communication tools to help your child learn how to listen openly, make good choices, be willing to speak in respectful and responsible ways and be open to negotiating problems. Feelings fuel behavior. The Keys will give your child concrete habits to help manage emotions and express upset feelings in positive ways.
We have added a new section to our class newsletter called the Kimochis® Homelinks. We will post the most recently taught communication skill along with ways you can reinforce and extend your child’s learning at home with a Family Communication Challenge. Eventually we will add a Glossary of the Kimochis® Communication Vocabulary and Kimochis® Keys to Communication. When school and home speak the same language, we speed up the learning for our children! The first important vocabulary word is Kotowaza (Ko-Toe-WAza) — a Japanese word for wise-wisdom. Each Feeling Lesson has a Kotowaza to guide positive behavior. The Kotowazas and the other communication vocabulary are an effective way to coach your child’s social and emotional growth.
We are feeling excited and hopeful about building a strong school to home connection this school year. We are eager to hear about all the new, positive ways your child is able to express feelings and be compassionate towards others. We hope Kimochis® will be a great new addition to your family and bring fun and fantastic feelings into your home.