An error (Object reference not set to an instance of an object.) was encountered trying to format content from PageUrl=/en/Static-Content/alert.htm Close Message
Milwaukee Public Schools Logo: High-quality school options for 3-year-olds to high school seniors
Main Content

Social & Emotional Development

This domain includes a child’s feelings about themselves and others, their ability to form relationships, interest in and skills needed to maintain positive relationships with adults and children, ability to understand the perspective and feelings of others, and skills needed to succeed in a group setting. 

Emotional Development

Expresses a wide range of emotions:

  • Uses verbal and nonverbal language to express emotions in appropriate situations such as distress, contentment, surprise, disgust, jealousy, and confusion
  • Demonstrates awareness of own emotions and exhibits self-control

Understands and responds to others’ emotions:

  • Observes and imitates emotional interactions of others
  • Associates words and gestures with a variety of emotions expressed by others
  • Demonstrates empathy by recognizing the feelings of another person and responding appropriately 

Self Concept 

Develops positive self esteem:

  • Demonstrates increasing self-direction, resists adult control, and shows independence
  • Shows positive self-image. Knows and states independent thoughts
  • Exhibit positive self-concept and confidence in his/her abilities

Demonstrates self awareness:

  • Shows awareness of being part of a family and a larger community
  • Demonstrates awareness of self as a unique individual

Social Competence

Engages in social interaction and play with others:

  • Participates in parallel play with others for longer periods of time
  • Participates in cooperative play with others

Demonstrates understanding of rules and social expectations:

  • Demonstrates understanding of simple rules related primarily to personal health and safety
  • Remembers and follows simple group rules and displays appropriate social behavior
  • Displays competence at engaging in appropriate social behavior

Engages in social problem solving and learns to resolve conflict:

  • Experiments with trial-and-error approaches to solve simple problems and conflicts
  • Seeks adults assistance to resolve conflicts
  • Asserts needs and desires appropriately in conflict situations

Teachers will assess the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS) using a frequency scale to show developmental progress in all bulleted areas:

  1. Seldom 
  2. Sometimes  
  3. Usually 
  4. Always/Exemplary


Department of Curriculum and Instruction:
Phone: 414-475-8179

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2023
To top