February 2020 Newsletter – Supporting Child Development: Interactions with Adults

Consider how the following interactions with adults can promote children’s development:

  • Day to day family conversations – Brief conversations with families help you build trust with parents, which will be useful when challenging conversations arise.
  • Family/teacher conferences – Conferences promote collaboration on goals for children’s future development, which will help parents promote development at home.
  • Email or paper communication with families- Teachers can share a wide variety of activity ideas via family communication tools. In addition, teacher can share positive guidance strategies that families can use to create a consistent approach to helping children learn self-regulation skills.
  • Staff meetings – Staff meetings provide an opportunity for staff members to learn from one another, brainstorm solutions to challenging situations, and address quality improvement efforts that will benefit children and families.
  • Disagreements with coworkers – When differences arise between coworkers, teachers have the opportunity to model compromise and problem solving skills. It is also an opportunity to consider solutions that will be best for children’s development.
  • Providing feedback on performance – Coaching or providing feedback on performance can help teachers improve teaching strategies, reduce stress, and develop deeper relationships with children.
  • Interactions with visitors and perspective families – These interactions provide children with examples of greetings, manners, and turn-taking conversations.

For the main article Supporting Child Development, CLICK HERE
For the article Tasks within the Physical Environment, CLICK HERE
For the article Tasks within the Daily RoutineCLICK HERE
For the article Interactions with Children, CLICK HERE

February 2020 Newsletter – Supporting Child Development: Interactions with Children

Consider how the following interactions with children promote development:

  • Greetings and departures – Welcoming children warmly sets the tone for the child’s entire day. It creates a sense of belonging, which children need to settle in and focus on learning. A sincere ‘good-bye’ lets children know they are valued and it models good manners.
  • Responding to behaviors/emotions – Caregivers can help children develop self-regulation skills and language skills during interactions related to challenging behaviors.
  • Conflict resolution – When teachers coach children through conflicts, they promote cooperation and problem solving skills.
  • Bottle feedings – Holding an infant during bottle feeding is a great time to make eye contact and talk with infants. You can sing songs and strengthen your bond with individual children, which is important to help them development attachments to others.
  • One-on-one conversations – Making time to have personal discussions with children is a great way to model patterns of language and rules of conversations. Teachers can introduce new vocabulary words and build relationships with children.
  • Planning and reviewing play- When teachers talk with children about their play, both their plans for play and reviewing accomplishments, it is a great way to build focus, self-confidence, and goal-setting skills.
  • Small groups- Small group times are usually used to explore math and early literacy concepts. Using small group instruction also allows children to learn from one another, practice cooperation skills, and communicate with each other.

For the main article Supporting Child Development, CLICK HERE 
For the article Tasks within the Physical Environment, CLICK HERE
For the article Tasks within the Daily Routine, CLICK HERE
For the article Interactions with Adults, CLICK HERE 

February 2020 Newsletter – Supporting Child Development: Tasks within the Daily Routine

Consider how the following elements of the daily routine can promote children’s development:

  • Meals and snacks – Children learn healthy eating habits when caregivers provide healthy meals and snacks. They also learn about the characteristics of a variety of food items.
  • Setting up for naptime – Getting children involved in setting up for naptime promotes independence, communication skills, and physical development.
  • Diapering – Diapering is a time for you to engage in one-on-one conversations with young children. These moments help you establishing a trusting and supportive relationship with each child. You can sing songs that introduce new language or discuss body parts and characteristics of items within the child’s line of sight.
  • Handwashing – In addition to reducing the spread of disease, handwashing promotes independence, direction following skills, and establishes a healthy self-care habit for life.
  • Completing daily reports – Daily reports are tools for building relationships with families and sharing ways they can extend learning at home.
  • Cleaning toys – Clean toys decrease the number of illnesses in the environment. When children are included in the toy cleaning process, they have the chance to practice skills across all areas of development.
  • Large group times – Group meetings are a great time for children to develop a sense of belonging and build language and communication skills.

For the main article Supporting Child Development, CLICK HERE
For the article Tasks within the Physical Environment, CLICK HERE
For the article Interactions with Children, CLICK HERE
For the article Interactions with Adults, CLICK HERE

February 2020 Student Spotlight – Donna Montemarano

This past month, I earned my Infant/Toddler CDA credential. It is quite an accomplishment and I am very proud. I completed the on-line coursework from CCEI. I learned valuable information to use in and out of the classroom. I highly recommend the program! I could go on the computer anytime to do my work. I liked the flexibility, materials, videos and quality of the courses. I had an excellent education coach who was so supportive, informative and guided me through the start of my program till the end of my course. I am very inspired to continue my work in early childhood development.  I will continue to do my Professional Development courses from CCEI.

I live in Edison, New Jersey. I have an Associate Degree in Applied Science. I am married and have joyous memories of raising my children. As a family, we celebrated the seasons, art, literature, nature, and music. I volunteered to read to my children’s classes, participated in multicultural nights, chaperoned class trips, and enjoyed these activities very much. Watching my children learn, discover, and explore motivated me to work with children. I loved their questions, curiosity, and laughter. I work as a Head Teacher for mobile infants ages 12-18 months. It is an amazing stage of development that I am fascinated with. I really enjoy my connection with the families. They share special stories of their child at home and I share my stories of their child in the classroom. This feedback is so important as I am an active listener. Parents appreciate this very much.

My science background trained me to develop my attention to detail and observation skills. My parenting years have led me to my career path. My years of raising my children inspired me and motivated me to appreciate and recognize all the wonderful and critical stages of early childhood development.  I read books to my children starting in infancy and I strongly believe this is so important for child development. Spoken words connected with visual images, voices, holding the child, eye-contact and tactile all contribute to a child’s development.  In the future, I would love to write a children’s book.

Supporting the Development of the Whole Child

In the February Newsletter, we discuss several ways that common elements of the daily routine promote children’s development. When promoting children’s development it is helpful to think about the whole child as a learner. This means, that in addition to planning academic lessons, it is also important to intentionally plan activities that target social emotional and physical development skills. In many cases, you won’t need to create separate lessons to address these skills. Instead, create a plan for academic lessons that include opportunities for children to practice additional skills.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Look for ways to add fine motor movement to literacy lessons.
  • Explore math concepts using gross motor movements.
  • When reviewing weekly lesson plans, look for opportunities for children to work in small groups or pairs to accomplish tasks.
  • Think about elements of the daily routine that lend themselves to the practice of social skills.
  • Consider how your interactions with children model and promote appropriate language and conversation skills.
  • Identify lessons that help children develop emotional regulation skills.
  • Suggest gross motor activities for infants.

In addition to planning where to integrate different areas of development in to the lesson plan, make notes of how you will assess the skills children are learning. Be prepared with your camera and sticky notes so that you can capture all of the learning that is happening as children explore.