Building Community in Preschool: Helping Children Belong and Get Along



I like to welcome everyone to building community in preschool helping children belong and get along I'm here with two of my colleagues and favorite people Bree and Mack and Susan Werner and I'm going to introduce them in a couple minutes first I want to note a couple things one is that we don't offer certificates of participation or completion for our webinars and we don't offer continuing education credits we also don't hand out the slides but do know that we are recording this webinar and it will be posted to our YouTube channel in the next couple weeks at youtube-dot-com forward-slash teaching strategies we would however love to answer your questions so any questions come up submit them in that question box during the presentation and we are going to answer them at the end of the presentation and now I will introduce you to Brianne and Susan Brianne is a pre-kindergarten teacher and program director of a small preschool in addition to the time and she spends in the classroom she also works on the teaching strategies content development team creating materials to support early childhood educators like herself before she became a preschool teacher Brianne spent time in public schools teaching in second and fifth grade inclusion classrooms Susan and Werner has taught in early childhood programs working primarily with three and four-year-olds she was involved in early childhood research and teaching in Auckland New Zealand where she taught early childhood teacher education at the college level a teaching strategy Susan works with bran on the development of new products and materials to support the early childhood community and now I hand it on over to you guys thanks Jen we're so excited to be here with you today and I wanted to start off by having you think back to some of your earliest memories of having a friend at school do you remember who your first best friend was my name is Gilda and she was in my kindergarten class I remember that she had a really pretty gold bracelet that she worked every day and I thought it was so fancy I remember having so much fun with her in the kitchen area we would dress up every day and make tea and snack for our friends to come over and celebrate I remember thinking guilt it was really quiet and now that I'm older and a teacher myself I realize I probably saw Gilda out because she was quiet I was a big talker when I was younger I mean I talked a lot so it made sense that I gravitated towards a friend who didn't mind when I wanted to call all the shots I also remember Marcel Oh used to make me so mad I remember he always wanted to be the bad guy when we would play outside I didn't want there to be a bad guy and I remember feeling so frustrated that my teacher wouldn't just make him stop being so loud well now what I'm an adult I still love planning and throwing get-togethers with my girlfriends and I still don't like bad guys the experiences that we have building and navigating peer relationships when we're young children lay the foundation for social and academic success in our school-age years and beyond teachers can purposely create a classroom community by building relationships with each child and by helping all children build positive relationships with each other the most effective classrooms function as a community a place where children feel safe help one another and consider themselves to be part of a group a community nurtures social competence by helping children understand how to treat other people well and how they want to be treated by others it also helps children learn to cooperate and negotiate they can tell understand friendship and resolve problems and conflicts as children learn to interact with peers and adults and complex ways they become more productive members of the group in preschool positive social relationships are at the core of a classroom community the social climate of your classroom is the most critical part of the learning environment because relationships of peers and teachers influence the way children feel in school and how they learn when children feel safe and comfortable they're free to do the work of learning the relationships you develop with children and their families make more of a difference than anything else you do lasting positive results can be achieved through the supportive relationships you build with children from the very first day and the guidance you provide to help them work cooperatively and develop positive relationships with their peers today we're going to discuss the importance of creating such a classroom community where many strategies are used to help children build positive relationships with one another Thanks brand most preschool children are eager to engage with other children their peer play has been developing since they were infants and in preschool we see children who are now ready to learn the skills needed to enter group successfully and sustain positive interactions with a small group of children in preschool we will begin to see children show preferences among their classmates this is a big progression of development that we see in three and four-year-olds as they make the shift from independent parallel play to more interactive cooperative play with their peers according to Marjorie costal neck children need three types of skills to form these successful peer relationships and friendships they must know how to establish contact with their peers maintain a positive relationship and negotiate conflicts let's first talk about establishing contact to make contact a child must use the behaviors that are required in his or her community and that are accepted by other children these behaviors include smiling asking questions offering ideas making positive comments in writing someone to join him or offering to share something children don't walk into our classroom having already mastered these skills we need to provide opportunities for children to practice and develop the skills they need to make friends observe the children in your classroom who is playing together or near each other how often do children interact take note of the differences in the comfort level of each child when working with others we want to invite cooperation without telling children they must play together Brenda you were built in a road with the blocks and Jacob is pushing a car would you like to take turns pushing the car on the road or I see that Bobby ha and SOPA are making cards at the writing-table there is another chair at the table if you would like to also do some writing next let's look at maintaining a positive relationship to form positive peer relationships children must learn how to cooperate share show empathy express affection offer ideas help take turns and express enthusiasm children who have these skills are acknowledged as members of their community and they are viewed as reliable and fun to be with the behaviors that cause trouble and isolation from the classroom community include aggression unwillingness to cooperate showing off trying too hard to please and act in other ways that annoy others providing controlled engaging situations for a child to work and play comfortably with other children helps to build confidence in social situations as we have already discussed a child's developing ability to interact well with others begins with simply playing next to other children when we plan for engagement opportunities for children to work and play comfortably with other children we help build confidence in social situations thanks Susan painting a mural cooperatively offers children a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate how they can think and work creatively while still needing classroom expectations making the mural is a great activity from our collection of social-emotional intentional teaching cards and it supports children and establishing and sustaining positive relationships and this activity you would explain to the children that they'll create a large painting on one big sheet of paper and then they'll decide as a group what the focus of the mural will be a few weeks ago my class was in the middle of a study of trees and we were investing with and that's eating the question who lives in trees so we decided to make our mural about trees and the animals that live inside of them I designated a painting area for each child and we discussed why we should not paint over each other's artwork as the mural is being created I asked the children to look at and notice the details of their classmates creations and we discuss what we saw in the picture what we liked about the picture and what other kinds of trees and animals we wanted to add to the group mural when the mural was all completed it was so fun to reflect with the children how well everyone's ideas all blended together and we discussed how different the mural would look if only one person in paint today then when we were all finished we hung the mural in our hallway for lots of families to be able to enjoy thanks bran now let's look at negotiating conflicts like all communities classrooms are not without their disagreements because disagreements inevitably arise in any relationship children must know how to resolve them as teachers our role is to support development of these specific skills with the children in our classrooms socially successful children express their ideas explain how they feel listen to others points of view and work out solutions to problems as you purposely build a classroom community you give children many opportunities to practice the skills they need to develop positive peer relationships and begin to make friends it may also be necessary to take specific steps to overcome the rejection some children may encounter let's take a look at some of the strategies that can support teachers and helping and guiding children to build on the skills and behaviors necessary to develop and maintain friendships have discussions about making friends this is a popular topic of conversation and instructional planning during the beginning of the year and that makes sense at the beginning of the year it's so important that we provide a learning environment where children know they belong where they learn their friends names and see the classroom is a safe place where they can play explore investigate and interact with their peers sharing big ideas it's so important in fact that we need to make sure to keep these conversations going throughout the school year a great way to start a discussion about making friends is by reading books about the topic when Burley worried and the grouchy ladybug are two wonderful examples of stories that can support conversations about making friends after reading you can dive children social-emotional development by encouraging discussions about what you've just read for instance after meeting when really worried you might say to the children julen webberley became friends by finding now that they are alike in many ways and then asking them how do you make friends with someone new and then you can respond according to sponsors on chart paper after reading the grouchy ladybug you can ask the children hmm which do you think has more friends the friendly ladybug that is calm and polite or the grouchy ladybug that's rude and always wants to fight and then a little into the discussion you can ask the children why next we can coach children some children may have trouble entering groups and taking the time to coach them can really help support their growth and development if the skills needed to engage and play with others help these children by modeling language for asking questions making positive comments and offering help Carmen it looks like Jonathan and Jaden were painting leaves leaves to add to our tree you could help them by painting some leaves – oh I'm Blake I see that Emmy and Leila are done on the swings maybe you could ask them if they want to play with you on the bicycles the these interactions produce positive results the more children will risk trying to use these skills on their own and the better the classroom community will function as a whole partnering provides opportunities for children to work with someone they don't usually choose to work with sharing a job such as setting up for an activity or working on an art project together can encourage additional peer relationships and may see children begin to work together on their own initiative invite two children to join you in the black area to build a sculpture and then explain that they will take turns deciding how to build the sculpture so you can say Timothy you'll go ahead and place the first block now and then Regina can decide where the next box the next block will go encourage children to talk about their constructions as they build coaching them if needed about how to work collaboratively giving children the specific activity to do with a plasmid helps them practice cooperation skills taking turns during the creative activity helps children share responsibilities and implement the ideas of others a child who typically leans will learn how to let others make decisions and a child who hesitates to voice an opinion will have an equal share in the development of the project children who have trouble entering a group and sustaining positive relations relationships often do not know that what they're doing alienate others by describing their actions you help them become more conscious of and therefore better able to change the behaviors that cause the problems for example you might sit down with a child in the black area and say did you notice that when you sat down in the middle of the floor you were in the way of the other black builders next time try asking the others where should I play let's see if that works better you may find that you need to stay with the child and continue to model language and appropriate behavior for a time so they become more aware of their reactions to their actions over time we can also point out the benefits when we point out the benefits of the children's behaviors and it encourages further positive choices and interactions look at that smile on crystals face you can tell she's really happy you shared those markers with her or Wow the three of you worked together look at how big and strong that bridges that you built one of my favorite activities from the creative curriculum for preschool is an intentional teaching card called the sunshine message board last year in my class I brought a medium sized bulletin board to our large group meeting and explained it was our new sunshine message board that we could use to record when we noticed someone in the classroom being kind helpful or caring I started off the board with a couple of examples and I shared them with the children so I let them know that I saw Anastasia go get a napkin from the counter to help shakaar clean up his spilled juice at snack and I showed them how I wrote there that Anastasia helps a car with his spill and then I drew a picture the children really enjoyed looking for and celebrating the positive behaviors of their peers when a child recognizes the positive consequences of a behavior he's more likely to behave that way again now because we see him praise from an adult but because the behavior pleased another child this paves the way for children becoming accepted more fully into the classroom community and lastly is minimized rejection in a preschool classroom rejection is a powerful and hurtful problem children who do not have successful peer relationships and who were rejected repeatedly repeatedly by their peers are in a cycle of rejection that they often cannot overcome on their own one well-known teacher Vivian Paley noticed that some children in her class had all of the power and were excluding others feeling of this arrangement was unfair she decided to put an end to the issue by establishing a simple rule you can't say you can't play explaining to children how those words you can't play can really hurt someone's feelings can be an effective way to minimize rejection and promote a sense of belonging to a community this strategy is most impactful when teachers also support message 34 children he's become more assertive and entering groups and sharing ideas when you're faced with a child in your class who is regularly excluded it's important to find out what the underlying problem is maybe she's approaching other children and ways that invite rejection such as showing off acting silly playing too roughly or bullying or being aggressive for some children the more they're rejected and feel discouraged the harder they may try to use the same behaviors that did not work in the first place and some children make simply just withdraw and no longer attempt to engage in interactions with their peers to break this cycle children need the help of a caring adult the preschool years are a prime time to head off the negative consequences of unsuccessful peer relationships the longer a child remains socially isolated the greater the likelihood that he or she will behave increasingly disruptive ways and academic achievement will suffer take some time to observe the children so you can determine the underlying problem in response to your observations you can create an individualized plan to help the child in his interactions with this peers is the child too aggressive in this play are their English language acquisition barriers that need to be overcome reduce the child simply just not share the same interests as his peers keep in mind that some children such as those with limited English skills or those with disabilities may be extra help with positive peer relationships if they do not know but they do not form them on their own using the strategies we've discussed you can make sure that all children are given the support and guidance needed to develop your friendships in a classroom community the goal is for all children to relate positively and respectively respectfully with others and enjoy a special relationship with at least one other child conflicts are part of life this is true for both adult and for children no matter how committed we are to the strategies we have already discussed conflicts are going to occur frequently in every classroom it is so tempting for adults to quickly all problems for children by imposing solutions however these quick solutions do not help children learn how to solve problems on their own it actually encourages children to rely on adults to solve their problems for them when children come to you because of a conflict you can help them learn to express their feelings appropriately and learn skills to resolve the problem on their own it is important to acknowledge their feelings and give them the tools to work together to find a solution some conflicts involve two children while others may involve the entire class let's take a look at a scenario I'm sure we are all too familiar with Ben is quietly working in the block area on a tower that he has been building for 10 minutes when Anna grabs one of the blocks off the top Ben rushes to grab it back from Anna and a tug-of-war over the piece begins this is a great opportunity for the teacher to help Ben and Anna learn how to solve social problems and balance their needs and rights with the needs and rights of others there are five steps that we want to follow when helping children to resolve conflicts remember that our ultimate goal is to help children resolve conflicts on their own our first step is helping children calm down getting down at Ben and Anna's eye level and gently acknowledging them will help both children calm down this will let them know that you care are empathetic and that they can trust you use your active listening skills here next you want to identify the problem once the children have calmed down ask each child to explain his or her view of the situation like adults children listen better when they think that they have been heard and understood remain neutral and repeat what you hear so that the children know that you understand them ask open-ended questions as you work out each child's actions words and feelings Anna you're feeling frustrated but you would like to have that block for your building what do you think made Ben get so upset after identifying the problem we want to help children generate possible solutions here's a great opportunity to ask questions that will help the children come up with their own solutions for example you might ask what can we do about this do you have any ideas if a similar situation occurred recently either in your classroom or maybe you read about a similar conflict in a book you can remind the children of the solutions that were generated at that time remember when we were all drawing trees and there were not enough green clans for everyone to draw their picture what should we do then does that give you any ideas for solving your problem now when talking with Ben and Anna Ben might suggest that Anna use two triangle shaped blocks to make a square block Anna might suggest another solution which could be that Ben use the block for five more minutes and then Anna can have a turn using the block if children gets stuck teachers can offer help and provide suggestions when talking with Ben and Anna I could suggest what do you think about building something together one technique for encouraging a variety of solutions is to give neutral responses to the children suggestions by saying that's one idea what's another this approach helps to avoid making premature judgments during the process after possible solutions have been generated it is time to review the options and for the children to pick one by asking everyone which one they think will work best have the children choose which solution satisfies everyone once a solution is implemented then you can check back with the children to see how it is working when guiding Tilden's behavior we want to ensure that we're always respectful of each child if we're delivering a message to a particular child or to a small group of children then it is important that we deliver the message directly to that child or small group in private or where only that child can hear us however there may be times when it is appropriate to invite the children to share what happened and talk about their decision during large group time in a classroom setting problems will inevitably arise that affect the whole class for example fighting on the playground or excessive noise during choice time teachers sometimes think they have to solve these problems for children however in a classroom community group problem solving is a better alternative when the group is involved in solving the problems children begin to learn to manage their responsibilities required for community living even if not every offered ideas helpful or even relevant in addition children will be more likely to accept and follow solutions they've figured out themselves similar to when setting up the classroom rules that they came up with themselves the steps for group problem-solving are similar to the steps for helping a few children resolve conflicts first we want to assure that we discussed the situation as a whole group and there's another great intentional teaching card from the creative curriculum for preschool that walks you through these steps so first we want to ensure that we discussed the situation as a whole group present the problem in simple terms without saying what you think the children should do so I would start off by sharing the reason for my concern so for example I would say to the children that I've been thinking about a problem and I need your help in solving it lately I have been noticing there's a lot of superhero play in our classroom and it's a problem because it's very noisy and sometimes someone usually gets hurt so and we need to remember that one of our rules is to be safe and we agreed as a classroom that the classroom has to be a safe place for everyone does anyone have some ideas of what we might do about our superhero play problem then invite the children to offer their thoughts about the prowl clarify and then I want to clarify and validate the children's ideas by restating what each child says so you think that we should have save su per hero play for just outside and then help the children generate possible solutions summarize the problem and encourage the children to think of possible solutions let them know that there are several right answers and that many possibilities might work so some of you think that superheroes only fight but others of you think that superheroes can do different things such as fixing items that have broken or giving out reminders when people forget our class rules what other ideas do we have encourage everyone to ensure view right then you can record their ideas and ask children to explain any that are not clear you can say ask a child to tell us a little bit more about that our 80-hour say can you say a little bit more about that for us and then help the children make a plan review the list of solutions and ask children to choose the one that they'd like to try first explain how the solution would work and make sure everyone has the same understanding a lot of children think it's a good idea to have superheroes give out rule reminders let's think about what we need to do to make it work let the children know that not every possible solution to a problem will work explain that everyone will try the plan and observe what happens then the class can agree on a time to review the situation together and assess the results evaluate what happens if the problem is not solved review the children's other ideas or generate new possibilities encourage everyone to contribute to make a new plan when a solution is working well encourage children to think about why it's working is giving reminders a good idea what have you noticed establishing a classroom environment where conflicts are minimal and where children acquire the skills to solve social problems as part of building a community a calm classroom helps children feel in control understand that their feelings and concerns are respected and know that together they can solve problems and a peaceful place for everyone alright brand Susan thank you so much I would love to give all our attendees the option to type in any questions that you have and we'll answer them for you while I'm giving people opportunity need to take them there questions just want to know sometimes someone will ask the question that might be very specific about a product or maybe we think that the person who can best answer it is not here with us in the webinar in that case we will get back to you in the next week or so by email that's an answer to your question also all these things that you're seeing on your screen you don't have to write down or memorize you'll get an email about an hour after the webinar ends with this and more information in it not seeing any questions yes but I don't want to rush anybody so a couple more things that you guys might be interested in both Breanna and Susan are authors of our blog the blog is full of lots of great ideas for all age groups different areas I don't think I can even do it justice by described tried to describe everything that is on it so all I can say is I recommend going to teaching strategies comm /blog and checking it out let's see we have a question that says what do you say to children who are constantly saying you can't play with me so I think that that goes back to we talked about that a little bit earlier that the the biggest thing to me is a teacher to associate that with this the feelings because that child's voicing their independence and they're not necessarily recognizing the social implications of how that could be another another child in the class feel so I think it's you know getting down on their level and asking the child how would that make you feel if a friend if one of your friends or someone else in the class said that to you and doing some role-playing and giving children other ways to communicate that like to play with this by myself right now or I would like to have it quiet in the library where I'm doing this and get to the root of why they don't want a child to play with them and kind of get to a little bit more to be able to have conversations back and forth on that and really attach it back to how that would make somebody else feel absolutely and I think it absolutely I want to show in a second what Brian said and having that time to really talk with that child also even one-on-one I think that's a great time well your observations are so key is that this child just needs a load time or is it is it a specific relationship with this child in another child so the time that time just to really explore help that child problem-solve be able to identify their emotions and their feelings why they're feeling that way and have that time to really get down on their level I acknowledge them and then help them through the steps I think that's absolutely fabulous thanks guys and a couple questions and I can answer somebody's asking how can I find the problem solving idea page on teaching strategies I'm gonna assume that means our website we don't have any page on our website dedicated to that however I do want to recommend the blog again and that's teaching strategies calm /log somebody else is asking do we do anti-bullying webinars we don't have anything like that plan but we love feedback I will definitely pass along that feedback that someone is interested in that so another question for Brandon Susan what do you do with children are very violent toward others okay so I mean there's a lot of different ins that could be happening here and without knowing a specific child it's hard for me to really advise but a couple things I mean for me as a teacher if I have a child who is behaving aggressively so I am gonna make sure that I'm communicating with the family that my partnership with the family is so critical I'm also spending time observing this child what's happening before the child becomes more aggressive okay so is there something that's set the child off as a certain situation so my observations of this child and being able to really see what's going on for this child and what could possibly cause it and also having time to really again talk with the child get down on the child's level spend time hearing the child acknowledging them dating them for how they're feeling helping them identify their emotions and this is a great time for you to do some emotion coaching we talked a bit about emotion coach and Bree and I talked about that today and going through the steps of emotion coaching for that child to help them identify their emotions how they're feeling and develop as you work together a plan to help them generate solutions for how are they going to manage their feelings when you use for example our objectives when we talk about being able to manage your feelings it's helping the child to learn how to manage their feelings and how that's going to affect others as well so walking them through steps that they themselves have generated and then checking back how are they doing on that on this work as you work with them together so it's a partnership we also may think about the big rule little strategy so that if we've got just a few really big rules be safe be kind to care the things in our classroom but then it's not just this list of all the things that children can't do so no hitting no writing no you know some of those more aggressive things if we start that off with oh you remember we need to be very safe in the classroom let's think about how we could do this in a safe way and it just keeps bringing it back set so the child feels that a rule that they helped create in the classroom that their actions are helping to kind of keep that that engaged and that we're creating with a safe environment instead of just always talking about what we're not going to do we have two questions that are kind of similar one is asking can you elaborate on Vivian Paley's you cannot say you cannot play and someone else's who's asking how do you reinforce the rule you can't say you can't play so I love Ben's example just now of the big world little rule and I think that is a great overarching example about how do we think about what are our purpose of rules we have rules cuz a children need structure in an environment I mean watch one to be safe and we want every day to be a fabulous day so having three or four big rules things like being safe and how we treat you know be nice and that we're very positive in those big rules the idea if the big will little goals that we have that big rule and then the little rule is the specific action so for example be safe walk inside or be nice share share the blocks so we think about making sure that were specific and that we're very in those when we talk about those laws I'm going to gently remind I think children what what the classroom rules are also I think that key point is that children are involved in developing the class rules right so that children own those rules that we it's part of that classroom community that when we develop our classroom rules that children are engaged in that process and talk with you through those rules with Vivian Penny's work she's really document a lot of her own teaching in Chicago working with the children what was the question again oh the question after I asked I think you just have to be a little bit more about her work right and so Vivian beautifully in her writing talks about what she observes in children she she documents and in all of her books children's play children's and language and dialogue and how they're interacting and so when she's talking about you know that you can't say you can't play she's again developing that idea of a classroom community that we want to really reinforce positive behaviors in our classroom and that our role as teachers is to support children learning about those rules of engagement and that helping children be able to identify how that's gonna make them feel someone says to me you can't play how's that gonna make me feel it's make me feel hurt it makes me feel sad make me feel like I don't belong in this classroom yeah and I think is I think part of the question she was around reinforcing it so I think this emotion coaching piece absolutely but then also with some of the other strategies we talked about about coaching children on entering group because maybe the child is saying you can't play here because that child came in and just started changing the game so that explaining you know having conversations with the children about well let's look and see let's see what Lily and John are doing right now what could we do to help build their sculpture structure or saying to a child when they say you can't play say oh well I see there is room here in the block area for more friends to join in what we're doing let's think about tell us what you're building on what else could we add on to what's happening or I see if there's lots of paint brushes and paint here at the art table it looks like there's plenty to share let's let's talk about that so I think that's how I would reinforce it is just kind of bringing the shoulder back big picture and using some of those different strategies Thanks is it developmentally appropriate for a child to want to only play alone should a teacher force that child to play with others I guess we're talking preschool here because that's the age that we're mentioning or webinar yeah I think that this preschool is when we really see that shift and it's a progression of development just like all of our other areas of development so every child is gonna get there at it at a different pace and for some children it's gonna happen I think just from my own past experiences I see that shift at the second half of the three is a year I'm at the beginning of a three s program it's a lot more of just the independent parallel play and really kind of we come back from winter break I see a little bit more of it if a child in my pre-kindergarten class was consistently still choosing to play alone and not engaging that groups that's definitely something that I would pay attention to and would provide additional strategies for helping to support that child kind of like we talked about early really observing and trying to find out maybe why that child is not initiating it is that are their English language barriers are their vocabulary barriers are there things that you know that child just doesn't have the confidence or the experiences prior to school that make that for some children grow up in a household with lots of kids and siblings that that's just part of their everyday environment some children aren't around their peers very often and coming into preschools the first time that they're seeing that so I think I would not I would not be concerned if I was seeing it consistently it's very developmentally appropriate for this age for children to be making those choices but we do want to observe and start to see progress in that area and then kind of get to the specifics of how we can help support the child make that transition in their preschool years absolutely and I think I think a really key word that you talked about earlier breena's is that we're encouraging children were setting up opportunities for that children to engage with other children and I think that partnership as well with the family is so key in that and knowing you know what is this child at sprinting at home does this child come from a large family maybe they just need some quiet alone time when they come in in the morning for example so I think that partnership with the family is so critical as well as thinking about how do we set up opportunities for this child how do we encourage this child and really support this and developing relationships with their peers and I'm guessing that your response to this question would probably be very similar how do you respond to a child that won't talk it's probably very similar to what you were just talking about yeah bet that's really specific so there's lots of different things that could play into that um and I've had exposure to that in my years of teaching and that's probably something I couldn't answer specifically for this particular situation but I know in my background I've worked with you know different speech therapists and other professionals that are involved in this child's life there's lots of different reasons why a child could be self-selecting not to have verbal interactions and again we would just want to really observe that child talk with the families find out if they're exhibiting the same behaviors at home as they are at school and being able to really individualize our strategies and approach to that child to have them feel successful in the classroom a child that is not verbally communicating yet still can be a big part of our classroom community and we want to make that very very clear that they still feel like they have a big role in our classroom community and then over time just help them become more comfortable in ways that work for that particular child to be able to verbally communicate thank you and I think I know what you guys are gonna say to this question what about children who have it says here mhm behavior issues I think that probably means mental health or behavior issues will these strategies work with them as well um if a child has identified mental health behaviors if I definitely recommend seeking other professional help as well for guidance on how you best support that child but absolutely I think these strategies of making sure that you're very consistent very clear very nurturing is so critical in in welcoming every child into your classroom community and setting the stage for every child and making sure that you spend time with each child that you acknowledge and validate that each child knows when they come here that they belong that they're loved and that they're cherished and welcomed into this room is so critical and definitely if you do have a child who it does have identified special needs whether it's mental health issues or other issues seeking professional help as well and partnering there is a great strategy as well yes I went back a few slides to kind of what those steps were just as a refresher and if you think about it you know working with all children we're going to individualize our approach when we're thinking about different content areas and how children are are approaching their development there so this is really no different and so yes we would follow these steps but it doesn't matter what I'm teaching these steps are gonna look a little different for all 19 of the children in my class because it is a community and I have gotten to know them and I've made my observations and I know where each child is is at and I also know the best way to support that child's engagement so it would be no different for a child that had additional special means I would still follow the same the same steps but maybe I don't do all these steps through the same interaction maybe over time I'm building on these pieces I'm in pieces that are manageable and understandable for the children that I'm working with what about when group sizes are larger an example here is the teacher is 20 to 3 year olds with two teachers are there any different strategies you'd use in that situation no go ahead I think I think the strategies opposite is when you think about how you you use your large group times so when you come up with your classroom rules and again we talked about the big rule little rule strategy and helping the whole group as a class really think about how they call themselves so if there's a class an issue for example or behaviors that are impacting the whole class having that large group time for everyone to really talk about it be aware of it talking about emotions kind of how they're feeling and to really problem solve together even with 22 children I think it's still manageable and then again your relationships and observations with each individual child is so critical as well throughout I think you're gonna use the same skills and the same strategies as a teacher definitely with the varying group sizes yeah and I think that you also can you know have the flexibility to meet the needs of your population so if it makes more sense to have two large group meetings of 11 children and the assistant teacher take half the class and you take the class in you and that your assistant had the conversation of sort of how you're gonna present this in formation so there's consistency there especially in a threes class so our biggest thing is to be developmentally appropriate so yes these are the skills we want to teach this is the process that we think is best for children to really start to understand and have confidence to follow these social problems solving skills but if we present them in a way that's not developmentally appropriate and we're sitting down for a ten minute circle for three-year-olds that have a six-minute attention span we're not going to make the impact that we want to make so I think it's you know really knowing your class knowing your population and breaking it up into smaller smaller groups and pieces if that's what's going to make sense for your class and I think that sort of leads into we have three questions I'm gonna pull kind of pull together here and they're basically all same strategies for a child or children who interrupts or disrupts either by with his movements or allowed talking and touching and I think someone distilled it down to very rent rambunctious boys noisy in large group is a question that's the reality of a preschool classroom right and a lot of that has to do with attention span and engagement and that's I think that's where you have to get first before you're teaching the social problem skills we need to be in a place where we're having the conversations of making sure that the experiences we're providing that these children are engaged so you kind of have to make sure that you're you're keeping that whole population there um if that makes sense I think that when it comes to things like a large group meeting and maybe there is that one child that's just a little bit more disruptive and you're noticing that the rest of the class is at a place where they could have an extended large group meeting but this child's interruptions are pulling away from that think of something creative for that child to do so whether it's coming to sit next to you in circle because they're the person that's gonna hand you the book when it's time for the read aloud and they know that that's gonna be their job I know we had a teacher I think that wrote in on one of our webinar is that during a read aloud has the child have their own copy of the book so that's something for them to have in their hand I was recently in a session where they talked about having like a box of fiddle things and it was just like little things to move around in our hand that would keep a child sort of engaged but not distracted but they're still listening in having that so I think there's lots of strategies to do to keep that child engaged but if you're noticing that it's the larger group so if I've got 18 children in front of me and seven to nine of them I'll record shouting and being destructive and making then my group is not engaged it's time for me to do a transitional activity and move on to something else because that's not not where the class is that we need to then build up to that point absolutely and I think that's why our observations and thing about what we know about children and how we then in a sense be intentional and very personal and how we meet children knowing what we know about how children learn how to learn engage and how we're gonna then engage children so I think you know when you try to as if you have one specific child giving him potentially a choice like choose a book if you'd like to choose a book you know and sit with a book while we're doing a large group time because brilliant and then other strategies if you do again if you do have children who are very ran Bunch doesn't have all this energy well how do we use that energy maybe we do need to do something physical so a mighty minute is a great example of something you get the children up and moving or a music and movement activity and there's lots of different things we can do to really make sure that we're also then meeting the children okay thanks and I see a question here that I can answer somebody's asking how do we get credit that we watch the webinar as I said at the beginning of the webinar and you might have seen during the signup process we actually don't offer certificates of participation or completion for our webinars but I would do want to remind everyone that we are recording the webinar and I'll be posted to our YouTube channel in a couple weeks and I have a couple questions that are here but they seem very very specific to me and I'm wondering if maybe they're best answered via email so we haven't answered your question yet know that we are going to answer it by email within the next week or so that aside let's give folks another few seconds to post any new questions before we sign off I just thought a thank you thank you for joining us remind you guys so what you're seeing on your screen right now will be coming to you in a mail about an hour after this webinar is over we got another thank you and again quickly thank you you're the ones that are here on their days spending some time with us we appreciate your time exactly salutely yeah so on that note I do want to thank my wonderful presenters Bri and Mack and Susan Warner I want to thank everyone who joined us today we do know how hard it is to get away from your work and get out of the classroom and spend an hour with us so we really appreciate it we hope that you enjoy the rest of your day and we are signing off




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