When educating children, we feel the tension daily. The tension to either allow development and learning to unfold through play and supportive relationships, or to push and try to speed things up to ensure children are “ready” for Kindergarten.
For many, these paradoxes can be overwhelming and lead to inaction. The tension between “either-or” choices, can prove to be too much.
In this free video series, I offer three solutions to three Pre-K paradoxes, which include:
- Teach common outcomes while personalizing instruction [video]
- Set high expectations and low demands [video]
- Help children self-regulate, while limiting efforts to manage their behaviors [video]
Solution 1: Start with awareness of the tension between having common outcomes for all children and needing to individualize for children receiving services in a group setting.
- Recognize that every child is a “triangle” and that their strengths and needs will vary based upon the demands of the situation.
- Teaching needs to be planned and dynamic (another paradox) in order to strengthen existing skills and be ready to teach the next skill in the progression.
- Have a clear understanding and working definition of the common outcomes so what is keeping the child from accessing, participating, and making progress toward that outcome can be identified.
Solution 2: The way to achieve high expectations is to keep roadblocks and barriers to development and learning to a minimum. When we remove high demands, which create artificial barriers, we allow children to thrive.
- Scaffold children's learning and development through awareness of why they may be struggling.
- Be fully present with children and provide verbal and non-verbal cues to affirm their attempts.
Solution 3: As children develop and learn, they move from external means of regulating, to internal.
- We can only manage our own behaviors, and shouldn’t be in the business of trying to manage children’s behaviors.
- We teach children to self-regulate, in the same way we teach children to walk or write the letters of their name (i.e., by modeling, creating opportunities, scaffolding, and giving feedback).
- Download our free Power Packs™ app to help intentionally teach self-regulation skills during daily activities and routines.