CCA YMCA CHILD CARE
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STAFF CHRISTMAS PARTY
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GOOD JOB ALTERNATIVES
While this article's focus is on preschoolers, this strategy should be used with all children. "Good job" is overused, generic and does not provide specific feedback or the opportunity for extending language development. My hope is that all staff with utilize the following techniques in all of our child care programs. - Terri
REPRINTED FROM TEACHING YOUNG CHILDREN | VOL. 7 NO. 1
Parents and teachers often say “good job” as an automatic response to a child’s action.“You ate all of your peas. Good job!” “You did a good job putting away the toys.”
A “good job” now and then is fine, but it doesn’t help children understand why what they did was good. Preschoolers need to know what they did, why it worked, or why it shows they are capable. Try the following suggestions to give preschoolers specific, detailed information that recognizes their achievements and encourages their learning.
1) Use sentence starters. Say “I see you,” “I hear you,” or “I notice,” followed by a description. “I noticed you sorted the leaves into two piles. These ones are from an oak tree and those ones are from a maple tree.” Or try openers like “Tell me more about” or “You worked really hard to.”
2) Notice and give feedback about efforts. “Jocelyn, you spent a long time figuring out where to put the last two pieces of the puzzle. You kept working until you were done!”
3) Invite children to talk. Children’s learning is enhanced when they talk about their explorations and creations. “That looks really interesting. How did you do that?” “You wrote a lot of words on your paper. Would you tell me what they say?”
4) Pay attention to details. When talking about a painting, tell the artist what shapes, lines, colors, textures, and forms you see in the work. “Look at all of the green polka dots in the sky! You mixed many shades of green and blue to paint this picture.”
5) Say “thank you.” When children are helpful, thank them. “Thank you for opening the door for me. While you held the door, I could use both hands to carry our bag of balls into the classroom.”
6) Identify a goal before responding. Ask yourself: Do I want to acknowledge a positive behavior, an act of kindness, or use of problem-solving skills? To encourage self-regulation you might say, “How kind you are. You helped Jorge zip his coat, even though you wanted to run and play.”
7) Give nonverbal feedback. A gentle pat on the back, a smile, a wink, or a fist bump tells a child, “I see you are learning.” This is especially appropriate for children who are dual language learners.
8) Use mirroring. When a child goes up and down the slide on her own for the first time, notice her smile, then smile back with a specific comment. “Look at what you did! Just yesterday you asked me to help and now you can do it on your own.”
9) Highlight children’s work. Invite children to help find a place to hang a painting. Plan a time when children can share their work with classmates. Include photos that demonstrate children’s efforts and accomplishments in a blog or a family newsletter. “Petra and Janine, please help me choose some photos for our weekly update. I’d like all the families to see how you worked together to make a book about our trip to the nature center.”
10) Encourage next steps. After a child has one positive experience, suggest something that he or she can do that leads to another accomplishment. “The boat you drew has two masts and lots of portholes. What materials could you use to build it?” (Note the introduction of a new vocabulary word—portholes!) TYC
10 Transition or Wait Time Games for School-Age Children
Keeping kids entertained can be one of the toughest jobs. Some like to do one thing while others like to do something else. Making sure everyone is satisfied is difficult, but with a large arsenal of fun, interactive games, you'll be sure to keep all the kids moving and involved, begging to play them again and again. Check out these great transition/wait time games to make you and your kids happy.
1. Backwards – Write a word backwards one letter at a time. Children try to guess what the word is.
2. Reassemble – One person is “it”; the other children stand in a certain order. Children mix up and “it” puts them back in order.
3. Frogs & Flies – The frog catcher leaves the room. Everyone else picks a frog. The frog gets to stick his or her tongue out at everyone. If the frog sticks their tongue out at you, you fall over. The frog catcher returns to the room and has to “catch” the frog.
4. Act Out A Machine – Act out a machine and everyone guesses what you are.
5. Blob – Pretend you are forming something in your hands from a pliable blob. Children guess what it is.
6. Three The Same – Pick three people that have something in common and see if the others can guess what it is (i.e., they all have white socks or shoes that tie).
7. Find the Leader – One child closes their eyes. The others choose a leader to establish a pattern of clapping, etc. All the children copy the pattern. The one who had their eyes closed and tries to guess who the leader is.
8. Pico, Fermi, Bagels – Using a chalkboard or large piece of paper taped to the wall, the leader chooses a number between 10 and 99. Have this written someplace where the group won’t be able to see it. Have a child start by giving you a random number in that range.
· Pico = one digit right but in the wrong spot
· Fermi = one digit right in the right spot
· Bagels = neither digit is right
Write one of the three next to each number guessed until the correct number is guessed.
9. Listen For the Word – Have the children sit down. Pick three words about the same subject, for example: soccer. The three words could be kick, ball, and coach. Invent a story using those three words. Ask the children to listen for those words and whenever they hear one, they need to jump up.
10. Cobalt Counter – Have one child close their eyes. Have another child hide the “radioactive object” in the room. Bring in the child and using the cobalt counter (a ruler), they need to find the “radioactive object.” In the meantime, everyone in the room beeps louder and faster as the child gets closer to the “radioactive object.” Switch places once it is found.
Submitted by: Gretchen Yeager, Director of Quality and Accreditation, Champions-KU and NAA Board Member
Reprinted from the National Afterschool Association weekly e-newsletter dated 12/20/15