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…
Young children flow through the day with a lot less stress and upset feelings when the day is predictable. Young children have a sense of control over their emotions and they feel safe and secure when they know what to expect and what is coming next. In the classroom, we implement a detailed visual schedule. As we finish an activity, we turn over the card listing the activity and discuss the expectations for the next event. The visual schedule becomes an anchor for the children.
Benefits of a home daily schedule include…
allows your child some independence of being able to “read” what comes next instead of always asking you
helps your child transition from one activity to the next
provides a format for him/her to begin to understand that words hold meaning and
assists in avoiding some power struggles and/or behavioral meltdowns. the schedule is the one telling his/her what to do next and he/she can view when something they prefer is coming up on the schedule. You can also use the language of, “When we complete…, then we can ….”
Some tips on how you can modify the classroom daily, visual schedule for your home to provide additional emotional security and predictability for your child.
Your home schedule should be generated as a block of activities (i.e. Morning Routine (wake up, dress, brush teeth and eat); School Activities; Play, etc.) instead of with specific times as we do in the classroom to allow you flexibility
Hold a family meeting either each evening at bedtime or each morning during breakfast and allow your child to help develop the schedule.
Remember that the schedule does not have to be perfect, it is a guide for the day. Life might happen and everything on the schedule might not get done- that is okay.
When it is time to transition to a new activity, ask your child, “What does the schedule tell us to do next?” Allow your child the control of turning over or removing the activity card when it is completed or move a clothespin to the next activity when it is time for a transition.
If your child asks throughout the day for preferred activities such as when he/she can go outside, allow him/her to check their schedule to determine how many more activities before the preferred event.
Children (Prekindergarten and Kindergarten) should be allowed at least one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon for free choice play that does not include any type of technology device. Play does not need a lot of purchased items. Let your child be creative with the use of recyclable materials such as toilet paper tubes, boxes, magazines, etc. Allow him/her to create art items and/or use the items in dramatic play such as a toilet paper tube can become a phone, a one-inch thick wood piece cut from a branch can become a cookie, a paper plate becomes a wheel in the auto shop for changing tires.
Hello Early Learning Families, One of the best ways to cultivate self-reliance and self-confidence is to give your children developmentally appropriate responsibilities. Plus, young children naturally want to help, feel important, and contribute to the family. Sincerely, Debra Honegger Early Learning Consultant
Young children want to help with cooking, cleaning, and other real work. When you share tasks, you help your child: *Feel important *Care about others *Be a contributing part of the family *Feel capable *Be independent *Learn important life skills *Participate in family routines
Teach and model tasks that your child appears capable of doing and in which he/she appears interested. TIPS · *Patiently help when children need support or make mistakes. “That’s okay. Let’s get a towel to clean up the water that spilled over the dog bowl.” · *Offer choices when you can. “Let’s fold the clothes. Do you want to sort the shirts or the socks?” · *When possible, allow your child to decide what needs to be done. “What should we do next to get the table ready for dinner? “
· *Encourage efforts and avoid pointing out mistakes. “I noticed how carefully you washed the cup. “
· * Don’t expect the task to be completed to the same standards as you would have done it and don’t redo it while he/she is in eyesight.
* Avoid jumping in and doing it for him/her. Allow your child to feel the pride of accomplishing the task.
ADDITIONAL BENEFIT OF GIVING RESPSONSIBLITIES= Develops Gross and Fine Motor Skills Activities such as putting groceries away and digging in the garden promote large motor development, while fine motor development can be encouraged through activities like peeling an orange. Hands-on learning is an important part of brain development in childhood.
Math Skills Activities that involve counting such as counting the number of plates or silverware to place on the table, naming the shapes of toys as they are put away or counting to five while pouring water on a plant all help build math skills while completing a needed family responsibility.