Debra S. Honegger has worked in multiple areas of education- both general education and special education- as teacher, consultant, administrator and instructional coach- with ages from birth through adult. However, no matter where she is or what her title, she holds a firm belief in meeting the needs of each individual child while coming together as a community of learners.
During the ILASCD PreK/K Conference, we discussed the use of open-ended questions in our early learning classrooms. Read the Open-Ended Questions: WHY post for the first part of our discussion. The first type of questioning we examined is analytical questioning- see the post of March 16th.
The second type of questioning we dug into was reflective questioning…
Based on a unit of study of animals in the winter, hibernation, and/or using a book such as Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson or Big Smelly Bear by Britta Teckentrup as a provocation, here are some sample reflective questions…
During the ILASCD PreK/K Conference, we discussed the use of open-ended questions in our early learning classrooms. Read the Open-Ended Questions: WHY post for the first part of our discussion. The first type of questioning we examined is analytical questioning…
Based on a unit of study of animals in the winter, hibernation, and/or using a book such as Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson or Big Smelly Bear by Britta Teckentrup as a provocation, here are some sample analytical questions…
I greatly enjoyed chatting with everyone at the ILASCD conference on March 2nd regarding the use of open-ended questions. We first dug into the why of asking open ended questions…
The above are the most important reasons. However, we can also be validated in our strong belief of using open-ended questions when we examine the research. Starting with our “go-to” source for reliable, research based information: NAECY (National Association for the Education of Young Children)…
Two more sources of information on why to use open-ended questioning are two examples of assessments/evaluations that are often used in early childhood classrooms: ECERS (Early Childhood Education Rating Scale) and CLASS (CLassroom Assessment Scoring System by Teachstone)…
WOW- what an amazing conference! I am at the ILASCD PreK/K Conference and have so far met people from 6 different states. The news is definitely spreading that this is an absolutely fabulous conference and teachers fly in to attend it!!Thank you so much to all of the participants in my morning session on Loose Parts who provided me with such positive, specific feedback. A huge shout out to an awesome teacher on our PreK team who presented with me.As I promised in my last post, we will dig deeper into multiple ways to use loose parts.First idea: Build the Identity of Students using Loose Parts
Children create an image of themselves using loose parts. This process should take at least a week or two. It is an in-depth process of looking at themselves in a mirror and looking at each other. They are making many decisions about what is unique and special about themselves and how they can use the loose parts to reflect that uniqueness. Students can draw multiple images of their faces prior to choosing the loose parts and can set them aside prior to gluing to the pieces to reflect if those pieces truly reflect what they want to portray. The identity faces are hung in one location with a conversation about how the unique qualities of each student add to our classroom community and we are displayed together since we are a classroom family. A photo of the student and their name should be proudly displayed next to their portrait.
TOP 10 Reasons Why to Greet Students at the Door Each and Every Morning
• Provides a smile and a reassurance that the teacher is glad the student came to school today, which sets the tone for a positive day • Promotes a strong relationship between the teacher and student • Enhances a positive classroom climate • Provides a moment of connection when you greet them by name- young children love to hear their name – let’s use them in positive statements • Assists children with letting go of issues that may have occurred on the bus or at home- they are being welcomed to a new start to the day • Promotes a sense of belonging and trust that school is a safe place • Provides social and emotional support • Demonstrates and models of how to greet others, how to use kind words, and how to be respectful • Provides a proactive, preventive technique to reduce challenging behaviors • Starts the day for the teacher with LOTS of smiles and positive interactions!
Greetings must be delivered with sincerity and genuine care for the students. If you rush through greetings, the students will not feel valued or respected which may lead to challenging behavior.
Use the student’s names
Provide options that include touching as well as include no touching to meet the needs of all students
1.Breathing influences all other systems in our bodies. Slowing our breathing and being conscious of our breathing helps us to calm our nervous system. Therefore, this is a skill that students will need throughout their entire lives.
2. Easy to do anywhere – with no equipment- it is portable!
3. Produces a relaxed state of being
4. Can be calming
5. Improves oxygen to the brain which in turn improves our thinking ability
6. Provides us with a sense of control
Teach each technique – one at a time to the entire class when everyone is calm and in a good mood.
Show visuals of each technique and post them in a place where students can use them as reminders.
Practice, Practice, Practice at all times of the day. Students need lots and lots of practice so that the techniques can be used automatically in times of stress. It takes LOTS of practice to become an expert.
Teach students to recognize signs of stress, frustration, and anger such as face getting hot, clenched fists, heavy breathing, crying, sweating, scrunched eyebrows, pounding heart.
Teach students the difference between short, quick, shallow breaths and long, deep, calming breaths. We want students to be using deep breathing since short breaths can actually make anxious feelings increase.
Model and role-play different situations practicing self-talk such as “I am upset that he took my toy. I can breathe like a bear 7 times.” “I am nervous about the fire drill. I can take 7 bunny breaths.” “He cut in line. I can say, “It’s okay” and take 7 deep breaths.”
If students need energy, have them inhale for a count of 7 and breath out quickly- see lion’s breath in the document download.
If the students need to calm their minds and bodies, have them inhale for a count of 3 and exhale for a count of 6 or so (shorter inhale/longer exhale). See Calming Breaths in the document download.
Children are not always naturally kind. They need to be taught lots of different ways to show kindness as well as the importance of showing kindness. Children also need lots and lots of modeling of kindness from the adults in their lives.
ONE: Challenge yourself and your colleagues to show 20 acts of kindness throughout the month and share those with the students.
TWO: Challenge the students to find five things you do each day that show kindness. They need to tell what you did AND HOW it showed kindness.
THREE:Challenge for the students to think of the different ways to show and think about kindness- kindness to others, to our environment and to themselves!
Here is a free download of a FIVE DAY KINDNESS CHALLENGE- appropriate for grades K-3rd