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Sense of Identity and Belonging: See

Infants and Toddlers

Observation

  • Describe features of the environment (e.g., toys and equipment, how the space is arranged) where the action takes place. What do you observe in the teachers’ interactions with the children during the group greeting song? What do the teachers do and say to give the children a sense of belonging? How do the children respond?

Application

  • Which teaching practices do the teachers use to help the children connect with others and feel a sense of belonging in this classroom? Check the “Know” and “Do” sections for ideas. How do the teachers respond to Lucas (the child in the blue shirt who initially does not want to get up and dance)? How might that help him feel accepted?
  • How does the environment support the children in connecting with classmates of their own age and classmates who are younger?

Reflection

  • What do you think each child gained from this group greeting song? What might the children have learned about themselves and about connecting with others?
  • Why might the teacher on the right have physically supported Kennedy in choosing the next child to greet?
  • What else might the teachers do to encourage the children in this group to feel confident, connected, and able to enjoy their relationships with others?

Preschoolers

Observation

  • Describe features of the environment (e.g., toys and equipment, how the space is arranged) where the action takes place. What do you observe in the teacher’s interactions with the children at the table? What does the teacher do and say to give the children a sense of belonging? How do the children respond?

Application

  • Which teaching practices does the teacher use to help the children feel a sense of belonging in this classroom? Check the “Know” and “Do” sections for ideas. How does she encourage the children to share their ideas?
  • How does the environment support the children in becoming confident about their own skills and ideas?

Reflection

  • What do you think the children gained from this teacher-led activity? What might the children have learned about themselves and about individual characteristics?
  • What else might the teacher do to encourage the children in this group to feel like confident individuals who belong to the community in the classroom and other places?

Observation

  • Describe the physical environment where the action takes place. Where and how are the home visitor, mother, child, and additional male seated in relation to each other? What play materials are present? Where did they come from? What do you observe in the mother’s interactions with her child? For example, what does the mother do and say in response to the child during the stacking activity? What do you observe in the home visitor’s interaction with the mother? With the child?

Application

  • Which teaching practices does the mother use to encourage her son’s sense of identity and belonging? Check the “Know” and “Do” sections for ideas. How does her son respond?
  • How could the home visitor respond to the mother’s interactions, for example, when mom tells the male on the couch, “Let him do it.” Or, when she says to her son, “Try again; do you want to try again?”

Reflection

  • What signs did you see of this boy’s sense of identity and belonging? How did the mother support and build on this? How did the home visitor contribute and model positive comments that could support the boy’s feelings of competence?
  • What might the home visitor say to the mother to help her think of additional ways to communicate to her son that she recognizes his competence, such as narrating what the child is doing as he stacks the household items?
  • What might the home visitor say to the mother to summarize the activity, invite her to comment on her interactions with her son, and plan other ways to support his sense of identity and belonging?

Topic:School Readiness

Resource Type: Article

Last Updated: June 5, 2018