Teachers everywhere have yet another new challenge—supporting students and their families from home. We know that high-quality interactions, including interesting, hands-on experiences that are facilitated and supported with feedback, scaffolding, and higher-order thinking questions, best support young students' learning. So how do you help your students' caregivers offer the same high-quality interactions while at home? Well, Rachel Giannini has some super fun ideas to share! The following are ideas she shared during her session at our recent InterAct CLASS Summit.
As many of us know, books are not a part of everyone's home. There are certain areas that libraries have been completely closed and books are not always easily accessible, but we still want to have a literacy-rich environment. Labels are a really great way because it is so inexpensive!
You can scaffold this for your youngest kids all the way up to those emerging readers. You can start by using the labels to work on letter recognition, point out letter sounds, and begin word recognition.But as those kids become older, you can:
And the fact that those labels are so inexpensive, their something that can be changed over and over and over again as your little becomes more and more confident with those skills.
Children are concrete thinkers, so when we teach subjects like math, which is extremely abstract, we use manipulatives. And today we're gonna be using….socks!
With socks, you can do counting, pairing, and math equations. With manipulatives like socks, you can practice:
And socks are also good for sensory needs like squeezing, throwing, and sock hockey!
Make the most of screen time! When watching a movie together, you can ask some of the same questions teachers ask during a read aloud!
Before watching, ask them a few questions, like:
Then halfway through their watching, have them pause and ask:
Afterward, have them tell you their favorite character and why and if they could change one thing what would they change.
These questions seem super simple and they are but they help with sequencing, as well as critical thinking. You can use the same open-ended questions!
If you want more ideas to try at home, you can watch the entire session!
Rachel Gianinni is a childhood specialist, an early childhood advocate, and a video blog host. Rachel has an extreme enthusiasm for all things early childhood. She believes in the power of play, getting dirty, climbing trees, stargazing, pretending, and the idea that learning is magical. You can also check out all her videos on her website.
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There is always an opportunity for interaction. Some opportunities are easily recognizable: times of play, free choice, centers, small group. We often see teachers engaged in activities alongside children during these times or hear questions being asked. Other opportunities might be a little less obvious. These are the times of your day that you might see as mundane moments that merely require your supervision or monitoring. The times where you’re going through the motions. “I’m doing this thing so I can move on to the next thing.”
In a previous blog, colleague and early childhood environment extraordinaire, Heather Sason, discussed how your classroom environment can help promote effective teacher-child interactions. In this blog, I propose we explore some of the often overlooked times in your day that are ripe for interactions with children and that do promote exploration, learning, and development!
It's not uncommon for teachers in early education to need to strike a balance between following children's leads and sticking to the classroom schedule. We know that intentional teachers are aware of their responsibility to assess student progress, understand skill mastery, and plan accordingly to provide opportunities for children to grow. However, many times, as teachers begin a specific teacher-directed activity, it is unsettling when students begin to veer from the step-by-step plans the teacher has worked hard to implement.
Teacher and coach, Colleen Schmit, will share how teachers can strike the balance between following the lesson plans and giving children freedom of choice and flexibility in the classroom.
We’re more than a month into the school year, and many educators and school leaders are feeling tired or burnt out already. That’s normal in any school year, as the newness of back-to-school wanes and the reality of a long year ahead kicks in. But, this year, that tiredness may feel like it has never felt before. Chalkbeat has reported that teacher vacancies are up in 18 of 20 large school districts, and it’s not surprising. Many are exhausted after a difficult year and a half (to put it mildly!). Many are also leaving the profession in droves to find work in competitive environments that provide a substantially larger salary.
As an educator, you’re busy. Your time is being split by competing priorities, from managing students’ needs, meeting your program’s goals, and communicating with parents. While you’re juggling your work, it can be difficult to keep learning about important ways to improve your daily teaching practice. Teachstone is here to help!