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.
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).
As an infant classroom teacher, you know that talking to babies is important. For instance, you tell the infants in your care what they are looking at (“You see the new block basket on the shelf!”). You label objects (“You have the red ball!”). And you describe events that take place in the classroom (“The tray just fell off the table! That scared you.”). These are all examples of talking with babies. Why, then, can it be so challenging to do this consistently in the classroom?
A few years into teaching early childhood, I applied to work at a school that does incredible work in the local community. I was thrilled to get an interview but realized very quickly that, even though the environment was supportive and the students were wonderful young people, I was much too intimidated to work there.