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Go to the self-paced version of this module: http://resourcesforearlylearning.org/educators/module/1149/39/. Follow the instructions below, NOT the ones on the website:
Read this:Young toddlers are active learners. Walking, jumping, climbing, balancing, and manipulating objects are not only skills to master, they are also tools for finding things out. Curious toddlers may touch and taste, pull, throw, and climb—just to see what might happen or what they can discover. But they are still learning what is safe and acceptable. By being a tuned-in educator, you can show toddlers that you value their curiosity, while also helping them to explore and interact in safe ways. You can provide interesting learning opportunities while also helping toddlers to understand the potential consequences of their actions and to accept necessary limits.
As they pursue their curiosity, young toddlers will want to do things by themselves and in their own way. They are developing a sense of autonomy, a sense that they can make choices and direct their own behavior. At the same time, they also need a lot of emotional support and guidance. You can give young toddlers the structure they need to feel secure and behave appropriately. By putting familiar items in familiar places, offering simple daily routines and activity patterns, and helping children manage their feelings, you can help toddlers to be confident, active learners who are proud of what they know and can do.
Now watch all of Supporting Younger Toddlers’ Learning featuring Eleonora Villegas-Reimers, Associate Professor of Education at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts. In the video, you will hear Professor Villegas-Reimers explain how young toddlers explore everything around them, while also learning to express their wishes and feelings and to make choices for themselves. You will follow center-based educators Eileen, Kristen, and their colleagues, and Kathy, a family child care educator, as they help toddlers express themselves in positive ways, expand their language, and support their discoveries. As you watch, pay close attention to how educators help children master new skills and feel good about what they know and can do as the children participate in group activities and as they pursue their own agendas.
Click “next” at the bottom read this:Young toddlers are active, inquisitive learners who often want to choose their own activities and to do things for themselves. They are full of curiosity, energy, and strong feelings. They are just beginning to learn to control their outbursts of frustration or excitement and may need help to express themselves in positive ways. Toddlers like to feel in charge and in control—they want to make choices for themselves.
Sharing a coveted item or taking turns is particularly difficult for young toddlers. “Mine” is a new and important word. From a toddler’s point of view: “If I have it, it’s mine. If I had it and put it down, it’s mine. If I want it, it’s mine.” But young toddlers are also capable of sensitivity, kindness, and generosity. You can tap into these qualities as you help toddlers learn to resolve inevitable conflicts with other children.
Model empathy. Give toddlers words for their strong feelings and comfort them when they are upset. Acknowledge a child’s own feelings as you help him recognize what another child may be feeling. When children disagree, help them to calm down, recognize each other’s feelings and desires, and find a solution that makes them both happy.
Offer simple choices. Give toddlers time to say or show what they want. For example, you might ask, “Would you like to carry the bucket?” or “Would you like the red shovel or the green shovel?” You tend to use more specific language when you offer a child a choice instead of telling him what to do, and toddlers are more likely to use language as they respond. In addition, a toddler is often more willing to do what you request when he has made the choice on his own.
Use positive guidance strategies. Young toddlers are still learning safe and appropriate behavior. They need limits and they need to test them. But you don’t like to say “no” all the time, and toddlers don’t like to hear it. In fact, research shows that toddlers learn less language when they hear mostly what not to do. When you use positive guidance strategies (such as encouraging words, questions, explanations, and teaching polite, kind, and safe behavior), you use richer language and invite responses. When toddlers hear “yes” more often than “no,” their language develops more fully and more quickly, and they learn to use their words to express their feelings and ask for what they want.
Watch part of the video again:In this segment, you’ll see Kristin and Eileen help toddlers cope with strong emotions, make choices, and resolve conflicts. In addition to supporting toddlers’ autonomy by acknowledging their feelings and offering them choices, Kristin and Eileen use a number of positive guidance strategies.
Now watch the video segment. Begin at 0:52 when Kristin says, “Come here. I know you want the corn” and end at 2:40 when Eileen says, “Come on up.”
As you watch, look for effective strategies used by the educators in the video and write answers to two (only) of these viewing questions and submit to this assignment in Canvas:
What do you notice about how the educators respond to children’s communications and their expressions of strong emotion?
What do you notice about the ways the educators help the children make choices?
What other positive guidance strategies do the educators use?
Click “next” at the bottom and read this: Language explodes during the young toddler period. At first, children may use actions, gestures, signs, and babble talk to communicate and say few, if any, words. They understand a lot more than they are able to say, however, and may show this by following simple directions. Soon, they will communicate with single words, then put words together, and then finally speak (or sign) in full sentences—often in more than one language! To support this growth, it is especially important for you, along with families, to provide young toddlers with many language-building opportunities.
Talk with children and give them time to respond. A young toddler may take up to 5 seconds to put her thoughts into words. Young toddlers also need time to process what you say. Use short, simple sentences, especially when the child is expected to follow a direction, respond to a question, or learn a new word. But toddlers also need to hear more complex language that stretches their abilities. You can add just enough challenge by tuning in and listening intently to a child’s verbal and nonverbal communications, putting the child’s communications into fuller sentences, and building on the child’s ideas.
Use interesting words and phrases that will expand toddlers’ vocabularies. Most young toddlers are eager to learn new words. In fact, a word for “What’s that?” or “Look at that?” is often among the first 50 words children say. Pairing new words with actions, signs, pictures, or real objects helps to make their meaning clear. Repeating the words themselves helps toddlers to remember them. When you and a toddler’s family keep each other informed about the child’s new words, you can both better understand what he may be trying to say. You can both also help the toddler to hear and use a word in different situations and to connect it with a range of experiences and ideas.
Use books and songs to extend language and concepts. Books and songs introduce words, concepts, information, and language forms that children may not otherwise encounter. Books often include unusual words or phrasings, descriptive language, and names for items that children may not interact with in their everyday worlds. Popular toddler songs often highlight categories such as body parts, colors, and farm animals, and concepts such as counting, directions, and opposites. You can also make up new song verses or put new words to familiar tunes so that children can practice new words, concepts, and actions.
Read books one-to-one or in small groups, in ways that encourage active involvement. The real power of reading with toddlers is in the conversations that a book sparks. When you read with individual children or very small groups, children can point out and name pictures, act out story events, ask and answer questions, repeat words and phrases that are fun to say, and, with your help, make connections to related experiences.
Talk, read, and play with children in all of their languages. Young toddlers can learn two or more languages if they have frequent opportunities to both hear and use them. Learning more than one language can help toddlers stay connected with family and community members and traditions. It also contributes to skills like memory, focus, and flexible thinking.
These rich language experiences build a strong foundation for the rapid language and intellectual growth that happens during the next two years.
Watch part of the video again: In this segment, you’ll see educators extending young toddlers’ language during one-to-one moments like hand washing, while sharing books with one or two children, and while reading or singing songs with larger groups.
Now watch the video segment. Begin at 2:40 when Eileen says, “Come on up” and end at 4:51 as Kathy and the children finish singing. As you watch, look for effective strategies used by the educators in the video and write answers to two (only) of these viewing questions and submit to this assignment in Canvas:
As you watch, what do you notice about how the educators seize opportunities to expand children’s language?
How do the educators help children connect new words and concepts to pictures, actions, or events in a story or song? How do they help them make connections to prior experiences as they follow a story?
What other strategies do the educators use to engage toddlers in language-building conversations?
Click “next” at the bottom and read this: As they play with toys, tools, containers, and interesting materials, young toddlers explore and discover relationships. They might notice that a small pan can fit inside a large pan and that the larger pan can hold more plastic eggs than the smaller pan. They might discover that two paint colors combine to make a third color.
Following their own agendas, young toddlers may line up all of the toy cars or group stuffed animals into families with parents and babies. As they fit simple puzzles together or figure out how to cover a large interlocking block with smaller ones, they discover and confirm how things can be whole, in pieces, and back together again. They are learning how the world works. You can support these discoveries by providing appropriate materials, noticing what toddlers focus on, talking with them about what they are doing or trying to figure out, asking questions to guide their exploration and thinking, and occasionally offering guidance or a new challenge.
Offer opportunities for children to fit, compare, sort, combine, and count things. Provide puzzles such as shape sorters, ring stackers, nesting cups, and pots with lids. Help toddlers notice what is bigger or smaller, what fits inside what, and what can hold more. Offer interesting combinations of materials, tools, and containers, and talk about what toddlers do with them, how they solve problems they encounter, and what they discover. Let them mix materials, such as different colored paints or sand and water, and discover what new things they can make. Help them notice relationships by talking about how things are alike or go to together. (For example, “Daffodils and buttercups are yellow flowers.” Or, “You found a big truck and a smaller one. Can you drive them to the garage?”)
Celebrate children’s discoveries. The praise you give toddlers can feel empty when the agenda is yours and the goal is following directions or finding a right answer. But young toddlers beam with delight when you share their pride and excitement at something they have done or discovered themselves. Experiences like these build toddlers’ sense of themselves as competent explorers and communicators and confident, self-directed, intentional learners.
Watch part of the video again: I
n this segment, you’ll see how Kathy, Kristin, and their colleagues offer children interesting items and materials to explore and combine; help them discover mathematical, spatial, and causal relationships; and celebrate their discoveries with them.
Now watch the video segment. Begin at 4:51 when Kathy and the children begin to explore with plastic eggs and watch to the end. As you watch, look for effective strategies used by the educators in the video and write answers to two (only) of these viewing questions and submit to this assignment in Canvas:
What do you notice about how Kathy helps a child understand the concepts of bigger and smaller and more and less as she plays with objects from the sensory bin?
What do you notice about how the educators expand children’s language as they support their explorations of how objects and materials can relate and combine?
What do you notice about how the educators let children take the lead and help them feel good about themselves and what they can do?
This ends the module for you, but you may explore the resources and other information included on the module.
You may use the attached document to submit your responses to Canvas.