My daughters were both early talkers (taking after their chatty mother, I’m sure). My oldest’s first word was, adorably, “Mama.” My second child’s was “no,” followed by “too” as in “me too, I want that!” At her first Christmas, her big sister unwrapped a doll and Dava immediately burst into tears, yelling, “Too, too!” At nine months, her communication system was working great! (And yes, she got a doll, “too, too.”)
Babies are language sponges. Even in utero they’re absorbing the rhythms of speech, and they begin communicating with their cries at birth. But just because language is natural to humans doesn’t mean it happens without support. Infants who aren’t exposed to much language lag behind their peers and may never catch up.
You are a wonderful resource to the children in your care, supplementing the language they hear at home and supporting language development. Here are some ways you help children learn language:
So keep it up, you champion of children’s language development! Babies need you!
And if you need inspiration, enjoy this beautiful video of a teacher talking with a young infant.
As coaches, we talk with teachers all the time, engaging in genuine conversations that help teachers develop their ideas. We also encourage use of CLASS language so that teacher’s become more comfortable, informed, and fluent with the tool. But sometimes we rush or don’t know how to support teacher growth. Our Feedback Strategies and Instructional Support Strategies online programs can help. Join us in exploring more about how to talk with teachers in ways that support their growth.
And if you want to see it in action, watch this video of a coach talking with a teacher to build her vocabulary around the CLASS tool.
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.
Since the coronavirus has disrupted many of our in-person plans, you might be trying to figure out how you can transition in-person coaching to online coaching. Online coaching can open a number of doors for coaches and teachers that might not be an option in face-to-face work.