RULER programming in early childhood settings includes learning units and core routines that embed seamlessly into the classroom. This content provides children with opportunities to safely explore their own feelings and the feelings of others and to enhance their emotional intelligence for academic and social success. Programming is structured in a way that scaffolds children’s understanding of each of the RULER tools and reinforces their regular use through core routines.
Units center on children’s literature that already exists in many early childhood settings with a focus on multi-modal learning experiences, including small and large group activities, art, music and movement, and dramatic play. Units focus on emotion vocabulary (e.g., frustrated, disappointed, calm, proud) to support the emerging emotion knowledge and skills students this age need to safely express and regulate their emotions. Units are designed with integration in mind, are rooted in early childhood education best practices, and are informed by state and national early childhood education standards (e.g., NAEYC, Head Start). Each Unit contains key concepts (e.g., “I feel sad when…”, “When I feel sad, I can try ____ to feel better”) that link with what we want young children to know, understand, and be able to do in early childhood. With an emphasis on the child’s experience throughout the day, RULER core routines are easily adapted to the diversity of early childhood settings that young children experience, including Head Start, public school pre-K, and community- and family-based childcare settings.