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Monday, September 9, 2013


Communication is a 21st Century Skill that is a key to life as a student and life as an adult.  A recent study reported that teenagers are more comfortable communicating with technology than in person.  Scary!  It made me pause and think about the special times we have in early childhood as we sit on the rug and talk, sing, read, and listen.  What a missed opportunity if we don't take engage children in some of the activities below!

Communication is both expressive (speaking and writing) and receptive (listening and reading).  Body language, facial expression, gestures, and tone are also a part of communication.  Teachers can promote oral language daily by:

*Giving children time to “play” and communicate with friends in learning centers.

*Modeling complete sentences and good grammar.

*Taking time to listen to children and respect what they have to say.

*Providing quiet time for children to think and organize their thoughts.

*Valuing children’s imaginations and creativity.

*Saying finger plays, rhymes, songs, chants, and poems.

*Reading, reading, reading – and then reading some more!

*Expecting children to answer in a complete sentence.  (This could be a meaningful plan for the entire school with support from administrators, special teachers, lunchroom helpers, etc.)  Model how a sentence should sound and have children repeat it.

*Encouraging parent involvement by reminding them to TURN IT OFF and spend time talking to their children!

Routines -Take advantage of “teachable moments” throughout the day.  Greet children by shaking their right hand and saying,
                  “Good morning, child’s name.”  
                  The child responds, “Good morning, teacher’s name.”

*Let children take turns being the “Meteorologist” and giving the weather report in the morning.  They could also be the “News Reporter” and review what you have done at the end of the day.

*Use this chant to get children’s attention:
                  Teacher:  How does my teacher feel about me?
                  Children:  I’m as special as special can be
                                    because my teacher believes in me!
*Say the chant below to end your day:
                  Hey, hey, what do say?
                  What did you learn in school today?
                  (Each child states what she learned or liked best.)