The first day of preschool can be as exciting as it is challenging for a young child. While they may not be able to articulate it clearly, children likely have thoughts, concerns and questions such as:
“Why aren't my parents staying with me?”
“Who will I play with?”
“What if my teacher doesn’t like me?’
“Look at all the toys! I don't have these toys at my house.”
“Why do I have to sit on this spot and wait for my turn. I don’t want to share these blocks!”
Not only does this new environment have an overwhelming amount of sensory stimulation but it also brings up the valuable concept that a child has "two different worlds." Ed Sheeran and the Sesame Street characters explain the differences between a child’s home and school world in their video “Two Different Worlds.” In a child’s home environment their belongings are theirs, they can move freely from room to room at their own leisure, and get all the attention their parents can provide.
As the lyrics state, “At home I can sit here and there, in the couch, my bed, or easy chair” and “speak whenever I please, I can talk real loud and shoot the breeze.” However, at school toys are to be shared, rules are to be followed and teachers must divide their attention between all the children in the class. The song describes the world at school: “At school I raise my hand in the air, when there’s something that I want to share,” and “In school I have a special place, It’s my desk, and that’s learning space.”
Since both the home and school environments are important to a child’s development, how do we link the common and favorable traits that each provide? Let’s look at the following dimensions to illustrate how teachers and parents can use CLASS principles to ease the transition between these “two different worlds.”
Ed Sheeran's song “Two Different Worlds” punctuates the importance of the two worlds and that “both worlds are awesome” With knowledge and intentionality teachers and parents can work together using the CLASS dimensions to ensure that each half of of a child’s world is symbiotic and supportive.
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.
When I first learned about CLASS Group Coaching—a training for early childhood professionals about building relationships with children—I was more than a little interested. This, I thought. This is what teaching is all about. It seems to be an obvious concept, but once we dig deeper, we are able to identify the whys and hows of our interactions. CLASS Group Coaching allows us to identify the benefits of our classroom relationships with our students and helps us be intentional in our daily practices. It allows us to utilize each moment we have with our students to deepen our understanding of their perspectives and genuinely connect with them as people. It helps us see the world from their view and guide their learning in a way that is relevant to them.
It’s Dual Language Learner Celebration Week! Every year in the U.S., the amount of young children who live in a household where a language other than English is spoken has been steadily increasing. As of 2016, about one-third of children under age 8 – over 11 million children – are dual language learners (DLLs).