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.
When Covid-19 hit and schools shut down, many of us were certain that it would not impact the 2020-21 school year. But with the pandemic surging and some schools opening up - only to shut down again, it’s clear that Covid is still with us. The length of the pandemic has only heightened concern about Covid related learning loss - especially among underserved populations.
Young infants develop a unique relationship—known as attachment—with their caregivers. To develop secure bonds, infants need to know that at least one person really cares about them. Caregivers provide that comfort by helping infants regulate needs and emotions, such as hunger and sadness. With healthy attachments, infants develop a sense of safety and trust.
Infants need to be held, to have face-to-face interactions, to feel another human heartbeat. By meeting these needs, caregivers foster attachment. Plan how you will meet these essential needs—while keeping yourself and infants safe.
Children need to feel safe before they can explore their surroundings. While curiosity and exploration help awaken children’s talents, teachers help reinforce their learning through guidance and repetition. All children benefit from intentional interactions that inspire them through new experiences—and some children need additional or individualized support.
Given the natural need to be around others, children might have a hard time with social distancing. Organize materials in spaces where two friends can explore together. Make yourself available to facilitate their exploration while ensuring safety.
Toddlers reinforce their trust in caregivers while venturing into the world on their own. Along with stable relationships and independence, they need frequent reminders of behavioral expectations to keep themselves and their peers safe. With support and regulation, educators can help buffer the effects of stress or trauma and promote healthy child development.
Children learn best in a warm, safe environment. While positive interactions strengthen a classroom community, clear safety expectations promote healthiness. Remind children that these measures are in place because you care about them.