Tips for Pre-school Teachers
(From the Illinois Early Learning Project) http://www.illinoisearlylearning.org/tipsheets/distractions.htm Do you offer mainly activities that are highly structured and teacher directed? Does an adult always think […]
(From the Illinois Early Learning Project) http://www.illinoisearlylearning.org/tipsheets/distractions.htm
Do you offer mainly activities that are highly structured and teacher directed? Does an adult always think up the activities? Do you ask all the children to do the activities at the same time and in the same way?
If so, children may lose interest and become distracted. Build in activities that grow from the child’s interests, making sure they are appropriate for the children’s ages and abilities. Allow more choices. Limit the amount of time you expect all children to do activities in a large group.
Children may lose focus if they can’t find many interesting materials to use. Have enough materials on hand so they won’t have to wait a long time for their turn. Ask students for ideas on art, reading, literacy, and building materials.
*Rotate the most interesting items.
You may want to keep some toys and books out of sight for a week or two and then bring them out again. Changing the items available for free play keeps children interested.
Create learning centers for writing, art, science, math, and dramatic play. Try to avoid creating distractions: for example: reading to children where snack is being prepared, or doing an activity that requires concentration in an area that encourages conversation, such as dramatic play.
*Help children stay on task
Children will not always be able to do activities of their first choice. Let them know with a gentle reminder that all the activities will eventually be completed, but for now, he/she has to work in the center or with the teacher activity where he/she is.
Does your program schedule break the day into many small blocks of time? Do you often ask children to shift gears and make abrupt transitions?
Frequent and abrupt transitions are a distraction for all of us! Children can better focus on a story or on other activities when they have big blocks of time and don’t feel rushed. Let children know what to expect ahead of time. Give them jobs to do or songs to sing during transitions. These activities give them a focus and make transitions smoother.