Skills Associated w/ Positive Social Environments

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Skill #1 - Greet children when they arrive.

Every day when the children arrive I greet them with "hello…" or "good morning…" Outcome: The children form a positive relationship with me, and the realize that they are important enough for me to stop what I am doing to notice them.

Skill #2 - Use names.

I always call every child by their name, I also ask the parents to make sure they are pronounced and spelled correctly.

Outcome: The child will know that I see them as an individual and the parents will be happy that I take the time to make sure of the proper spelling and pronunciations.

Skill #3 - Invite children to interact with you.

On the playground a child was standing by herself next to a 2 person bouncer. A friend asked her if she wanted to go on it with her, she said "no". I could tell she wanted to go on it though, so I asked her if she wanted me to go on it with her, she said "yes" with a big smile.

Outcome: She was very happy. After I wanted to get off a friend asked if she could go on it with her, she said "yes".

Skill #4 - Speak politely to children.

Every day at mealtime we have family style meals. We are always saying things like "please pass…" or " thank you".

Outcome: The children will mirror how you speak, so they also will speak politely which will help them socially now and in the future.

Skill #5 - Use active listening At lunch time we were talking, and I just kept saying "mmm - hm" and "uhh - huh" to the children's statements.

Outcome: The other children started to add things to the conversation that normally I may have said. Also, I noticed more conversation than usual.

Skill #6 - Invite children to elaborate on what they are saying.

When talking to Suzie, she said "I was riding my bike yesterday". I said "Tell me more about you day". This extra question had her telling me about her whole day and what her sister did.

She seemed happy and proud that I wanted to know all about her day and I was not just finished listening after her first statement.

Skill #7 - Consider conversation openers in advance.

On my way to work I decided to ask the children "what are you going to be for Halloween?". I did this at large group time.

Outcome: Excitement! All of the children talked about what they were going to dress up like, what they were going to do, and then we even opened it up to talk about safety.

Skill #8 - Use silence to invite conversation.

At planning time, I went to each child alone for this goal. I went to them and asked "where would you like to start your day?", then in my head I would start to count to 10, by 8 or 9 they usually had an answer.

Outcome: All but 1 child planned this time whereas, usually they don't answer so I move on to the next child, leaving only 3 or 4 children to plan instead of 7 or 8.

Skill #9 - Engage in conversation frequently I have no problem with this skill. I talk to my class from the time they walk in until the time they leave.

Outcome: It seems there is a lot of language used in my class, I sometimes feel that the children go home at night and just think of things to say the next day at school.

Skill #10 - Use language judiciously. ( I chose what doing the opposite can do) Waseem was standing alone by the radio singing. I got excited due to the fact that I have had him for 2 years and he doesn't ever sing. I said something out loud about it, he heard me and stopped.

Outcome: He felt embarrassed I think and he stopped, had I not said anything and just observed him he may have stayed for a while longer than he did.

Skill #11 - Provide verbal encouragement to children as they refine and expand their skills.

Dalia was on a climber outside that was not too far off of the ground. When she wanted to get down she asked me to help her off. Instead of helping her I told her "you have strong muscles in your legs and I know you can do it all by yourself, I know you can do it!".

Outcome: She jumped down, landed on her feet ok and gave me a hug saying "I did it, I did it!".

Skill #12 - Choose your language carefully.

I do this already but to test myself I carried around a recorder at work. I didn't notice anything that needed to be corrected but knowing this skill will be helpful and I will continue to monitor my language daily