Back to School Support from Our Team
July 31, 2023
Building Strong Relationships
The beginning of the school year can be an exciting and scary time for young children. Being away from family is a big transition and there're are a lot of unknowns on their little minds. Intentionally working to build strong relationships at the beginning of the year will help alleviate some of these fears.
Strategies to build healthy relationships with children:
- Be present and available to children, giving them your focused attention.
- Join in their play and follow their lead, engaging in conversations as you play together.
- Talk with children at their eye level during greetings, goodbyes, and throughout the day.
- Give positive, descriptive feedback, acknowledging children's effort and growth.
Strategies to build healthy relationships with families:
- Send home a welcome letter to families and include pictures of the teaching team and classroom.
- Have families complete questionnaires about their child as a way to help you get to know the child better and comfort parents in knowing you are prepared to meet their child's individual needs.
- Provide lots of positive feedback to families about their child's strengths. Let them know you see, value, and know their child well.
Consistently and intentionally using these practices in the classroom will also help to prevent incidents of challenging behaviors. Children will engage in less attention-seeking behavior because they feel connection.
Visual and Environmental Cues
Get Ready, Set up your classroom, and Go!
Our team has put together a list of supports that are simple to see and use for all children. Teach children how to use these cues and what they mean, and provide multiple opportunities for practice, before expecting cues to be used consistently. Challenging behaviors are likely to develop when children do not understand rules and expectations.
- Picture Cues: Have your camera ready to take pictures that can be used throughout the room to label items, provide accessible visual supports for routines, picture schedules, and transitions.
- Behavior Expectations: Behavior expectation visuals can have clipart, symbols, or actual photos of children that will Haley guide them during your classroom routines & activities. Keep them simple and specific, and be consistent.
- Labels: Show students they belong by putting their name around the room with space for their personal things. Help children find materials or toys that they have permission to access with labels.
- Designated Space: Designate space with visual cues for targeted learning with ample materials for children to use.
- Painter's Tape: Painter's tape can be useful for creating visual cues such as: outlining places to stand or wait for a turn, center ares, outlining spaces for learning materials, or making a group game grid on the floor.
- Feet on the Floor: Feet on the floor show a child where to stand or walk. They are easy to understand and use!