Kasia doesn’t want to sit down at the table at lunchtime. First, she screams loudly: No, no! She moves away from the group. The caregiver tries to encourage her to come back. Kasia screams louder and louder, finally pushes the
Three reasons to value the first languages of all children in the classroom
Not all children attending early childhood education classrooms speak the same first language. What to do when children express themselves in their mother tongue, and not in the language of instruction? If we invest in the first language (i.e., the mother tongue), can we delay learning the language of instruction or, conversely, can we foster the successful development of the two languages? How to respond to immigrant or ethnic minority parents when they ask what they should do at home to promote language development in general or to promote the learning of the language of instruction?
Instead of a soother? – on new technologies in the lives of toddlers
Sophie does not want to put on her jacket and shoes to go out to the playground. She is walking around the cloakroom complaining. The teacher tries to talk to Sophie, but it only makes the girl angry. She is
Difficult conversations with children
Some topics are difficult to talk about with children … – illnesses, accidents, death, violence. Most adults are afraid of taking up these themes with young children. However, as they are an inevitable part of life, each of us, including children, must get used to these issues. To help children become familiar with such topics, it’s worth showing them that you can talk about these difficult subjects. The only question is – how to do it?
Cultural diversity and inclusiveness. How to ensure that every child belongs?
Every child wants to feel that they are seen and heard; that they belong. This applies to Dutch children and also, perhaps even more, to children from different cultural backgrounds or who speak a different language at home. How do you ensure that all children have the feeling that they belong in the group?
‘That pencil is not flesh coloured. It’s brown’: talking about skin colours in the classroom
Teacher, why is that girl so dirty? When young children make such statements, we are inclined to pass over them (‘she does not know what she is saying’), to blame the parents (‘they must have picked it up at home’) or to quickly and generally condemn these statements (‘you cannot say that, that is not nice’). We assume that children will grow up to be unprejudiced adults if we do not talk about ‘it’. Contrary to what we believe, young children are not ‘colour-blind’.
5 research-inspired tips to develop preschoolers’ language through conversation
Conversation is crucial for language acquisition, but talking in the home context is quite different from talking in an ECEC setting. I would like to share 5 tips to enrich those conversations. 1 The type of activity matters. “Language-all-day-long” is a beautiful goal to pursue. However, in practice what really matters is what you do (a.o. Cabell et al., 2014). Excellent contexts to produce rich, language stimulating conversations have been shown to be science activities and storytelling moments. Thus, focussing on these is a first great strategy for language development.
Increasing toddlers and preschoolers’ engagement in play: how does the teacher do that?
It’s Emma’s first day of teacher training in a nursery school. She quickly observes the classroom. Where do they need me? Emma is everywhere and nowhere in the classroom; she walks – no, she runs – from one corner to another and back. She wants all toddlers to receive all the attention they need at all times… However, is that possible? And more: is it necessary?
How do you make sure that every preschooler plays in every corner?
Since the 1960s, our society has undergone a big evolution. In education a lot has changed as well, except for the classroom interior of many preschool classes. On one side of the classroom there is the corner with dolls. There, we combine playing opportunities concerning “caring”: kitchen, washing machine, dolls and additional caring material and fancy dresses (to be able to really play mummy – male fancy dresses are usually missing).