Coaching Strategies to Promote Creativity for All
Joyce Escorcia: Hello everyone, thanks for joining us today for the latest installment of the Coaching Corner webinar series. Today, we're going to be talking about strategies to promote creativity for all. Again, thanks for joining us. I am Joyce Escorcia, and I am with the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning. I am here with my colleague Sarah Basler, and you're going to hear from her in just a few minutes as well. Thanks for sharing this hour with us.
Today, we are super excited to have a guest on, we have Kiersten Kinder on with us today. She's going to tell you a little bit more about herself in a few minutes. Some of you may recognize her from her coaching debut, her constructive feedback video which we use in many of the practice-based coaching trainings. You may have seen her in that video debut. Kiersten has been a key part and key member in developing and researching the PBC model and the pyramid model. She is a research associate at Hemmeter Lab at Vanderbilt University. She's doing great work on using PBC and pyramid model in public, pre-k, Head Start, and childcare. She's out there, boots on the ground and in the field working. We're excited to get to talk to her today and hear some of her experiences and highlights along the way. Thanks for joining us, Kiersten. Again, you'll hear more from her in just a few minutes.
As a reminder, and again, if this is your first time here, this will be new to you – this season has been about connecting content across a few of our webinar series, and that's going to be the Teacher Time, Coaching Corner, the ED managers, and the Home Visiting webinar series. We have this integrated approach, and our hope is to provide opportunities for you to connect with others in your program who maybe have watched the other webinar series, for you to connect and collaborate, share ideas, and to help go back and be able to connect together in your program. Just wanted to put that out there. If you haven't seen one of the other webinars, no worries, you can catch that on Push Play. We'll give you some more information about that a little bit later.
Here is our first pulse check. We want to know, have you see any of the other integrated webinars on the topic of creativity? Have you seen maybe the Home Visiting, Teacher Time, any of those related to creativity? I'm going to send out that pulse check right now. You can answer yes, I have seen one of the other webinars around creativity, or no I haven't, with that thumbs up and thumbs down. I'm going to give you a couple of minutes to see where we are. We've got some coming in, yes, I've seen another one of the webinars on creativity.
Looks like most of you haven't and that is completely OK. If you haven't seen one of the other webinars series talking about creativity, you can catch those on the DTL Push Play. You can catch those on-demand as well. Thank you for sharing that. We see we have some that have seen the other webinars, but we have quite a few that haven't. Again, you can catch those on-demand, may be some great things to watch with folks within your program as well. I'm going to end that pulse check, and we are going to keep going.
Just another connection – this is something that, if you’ve seen Teacher Time, maybe you have seen – it's the Teacher Time Basics. These are a collection of strategies or practices that can be used in any setting interacting with children. These are viewed at every Teacher Time episode, because no matter what the content is that you're focusing on, whether it's math, literacy, or like today, creativity, it's important to remember some of these basics.
You're thinking about home visitors, you can use these strategies with children and families, maybe with suggestions for parents out there as well. As you’re in your role as a coach or supporting coaches, it's about thinking, how can my coachees use these – utilize these basics here? That's what you see on that screen here, just another connection in our webinar. If we bring up something that's connected to the basics, you'll see a little block pop up on the side as well.
For our time together today, we want to explore strategies and resources that can be used to spark creativity in children and coaches, even in yourself as a coach, or yourself as someone that's supporting that coach. Our hope is that once we're done that, you're going to be able to identify one or two ideas or resources that you can take back and use in your role in supporting coaching.
This season of the Coaching Corner, we have been focusing on the Approaches to Learning domain within the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework, or the ELOF. We've been focusing on the Approaches to Learning. Many of you are probably familiar with that Approaches to Learning and the ELOF. If you want to dig a little deeper, we've got some resources in the Viewer’s Guide as well.
We think about approaches to learning, it focuses in on that emotional, behavioral, and cognitive self-regulation under that one umbrella. This is what guides those practices that support development around all of these skills. That's the frame for our webinar series this year, and for today, we're going to be focusing in on creativity. And to – because we know that we have this super force of domains, but today we are going to hone in on that creativity piece.
We're curious, what is something that sparks creativity within you? We're going to ask you, invite you to respond using that Q&A widget. I'm going to pull it up so I can see what's coming in. What's something that sparks creativity for you? It could be a person, it could be a thing, it could be an experience. For me, I love collaborating with others and hearing others share their own ideas. Get around someone that's really creative, that just gets me going. And we go back and forth, brainstorming, dreaming big.
I see we have answers coming in. Music has come up quite a few times. Christy shared that kids’ interest sparks creativity. Cammie shares that interacting with teachers, a lot of that reflection. Stephanie also said just children's interest sparks that creativity within her. Abby shares the same thing. Aubrey said collaborating with peers sparks that creativity within her. Sarah says books. Challenging situations, I love that, Joanie just shared challenging situations spark creativity. That is so true, sometimes adversity or a little challenge makes you think outside of the box. Being outdoors, Lisa shares. We have quite a few people. Working in teams. Thank you for all of those answers.
Like I said, for every one of us, different things spark creativity, and sometimes it depends on the moment. Thank you for sharing all of that in there, I see Joan also says boredom, sometimes boredom can make you creative. Thank you for sharing that as well.
Now we've got our own creative juices flowing, so we're going to keep going here. When we are thinking about Approaches to Learning, we're going to see the goals for infants and toddlers to creativity. This is what you see here. Again, these are just broader goal statements of the expectations for children and that readiness. We see that here for the infants and toddlers related to the ELOF. Also here, we see those goals for preschoolers related to Approaches to Learning and creativity.
Today, we're going to be looking at resources and strategies that can support staff as they're supporting children to reach these goals. The wonderful and amazing thing about creativity is that it's not something that can be used up. This quote here that you see by Maya Angelou sums it up. You can't use it up. The more you use it, the more you have.
I find for myself that as I start thinking and start getting creative about something, it usually leads to about ten or more other ideas. When we think about working with children, when we create an environment and a culture of creativity, it seems to spark more creativity. Some people might think that you're either born or creative or you're not, but what research tells us is that that's a skill that's developed in early childhood. It's up to us as adults to foster and support children's creativity and help create that environment where all of that creativity can just flow. That's where we're going to hone in on today.
We're going to talk now about a recipe for creativity for children. When we're thinking about how to encourage creativity for young children, there are some main ingredients. Like when we're like baking or cooking something really yummy, you need good ingredients. These things here at the things that are the recipe for creativity for children.
One is that child-directed, we let the children take the lead during play time, exploring topics that are engaging to them and activities that they choose. When we think about child-directed learning environments, it motivates children to lead, because the topic is something that interests them. Not just because they expect some reward in the end, but it's really something that interests them. When we're looking at that other key ingredient, it's risk-friendly. What that means is that, when we encourage children to take risks, we do it by setting them up for age-appropriate challenges or new activity that they may be hesitant to try and teach them to trust themselves. Setting them up for success.
The other thing to think about when thinking about creativity in children is that it needs to be exploratory. As adults, we're setting up activities where children can tinker and take things apart and put things back together. They can discover more about how things work and be inspired to come up with their own ideas on how things work.
It's also about being active through fun, physical movement, exercise, that children aren't only strengthening their bodies, but they're also strengthening their mind and boosting their creativity through it all.
The other thing to think about is time for imagination and pretend play, because we know it allows children to come up with original ideas and bring them to life. As well as practice things like self-regulation, empathy. Again, building that creativity. For young infants this is just developing. Adults can foster this with young children through playful interactions and thinking about the schedule of activities. Have adults added enough time to play throughout the day? Is there time just to play? Is there time for adults to gather open-ended play materials? That can be explored in the environment.
The last thing is that exchange of ideas. We're thinking about any type of play, play experience. Is there time and that thought product, time to exchange ideas? It’s not just play to play, it's about having those meaningful conversations and questions, and all of these things happen while play is happening. That's that recipe for creativity in children.
You see this acronym, it came from an article from the website called The Genius of Play. We have that article, it's called Six Ways to Promote Creativity in Children. It's going to be a part of that Viewer’s Guide if you want to know more and be able to take that back and use it.
We want to flip it a little bit. We know that a lot of times, the strategies or practices that we use with children can also be effective for adults. As we're thinking about this and the recipe for creativity for adults or coaches, or coachees, we can think about, how does this fit? How can it fit? When we think about the coaching process, we know that it occurs within that collaborative partnership. And the coachee, their input is critical to the success of that partnership. Promoting creativity in a coachee, ensuring that it's coachee-directed helps that coachee to feel like their ideas are important. That's again why we think about that collaborative partnership.
In PBC, if that collaborative partnership is strong, that coachee feels comfortable with trying out new teaching or home visiting practices or taking risks in general. Coaching is an exploratory process, it's about allowing the coachee to tinker and plan and try out new skills, new ideas. That's an important part of sparking creativity in themselves or for children and families that they're working with.
We know that coaching is active. We know that it's not something that’s just passive, that we write those shared goals and action plans that we want to focus our goals on implementing. That trying out a practice is the focus, not just the materials or the environment. Those can be parts of achieving a goal, but the focus is on the interaction with the children and families. There's time for imagination, that allowing the coachees some time to think about and plan how a practice might look. This can involve role modeling, practice implementing a new practice. Finally, there's always that opportunity to exchange ideas from the coach to the coachee, from the coachee to the coach. We know that coaching is the reciprocal process. Again, another way to think about that recipe for creativity with coachees.
Now, we're going to – we sent a poll out here. Here, we're just wanting you to think about those different ingredients of creativity. Which do you consider to be your strength as a coach? We're going to ask you to choose one of those. Which one do you think, if you had to identify with one of those, which one would be your strength?
We see it's across the board for quite a few of you, we had a winner, folks identified with being active, time for imagination, coachee-directed. The good thing is that all of these are right and great ideas, things to think about with creativity and what part of that do I most identify with. Thanks for playing around with us with that poll, and with that being said, I'm going to turn it over to Sarah now.
Sarah Basler: Thanks, Joyce. Now, we're going to shift to our interview with Kiersten, and I'm going to give Kiersten a moment to introduce herself. But before I do that, I want to remind everybody this mindful moment segment of our webinars is a chance for us to focus on what the topic is for the day, which in this case, it's creativity. We're going to talk about how it can affect you and your role as a coach. Today, our guest expert Kiersten is going to talk to us a little bit about creativity and its importance and how you can boost creativity in children and in coachees and even in yourself. Kiersten, tell us a little bit about your background in early childhood.
Kiersten Kinder: Absolutely. Thank you for having me, I love this topic and I'm excited to share my experiences and ideas. I come from a family of teachers, so moving into the teaching profession was pretty natural. I ended up at University of Illinois and got my undergraduate in early childhood. While I was there as part of that program, there was a heavy emphasis on emergent curriculum, Reggio-inspired environments and approaches like the project approach. I had the honor to be with Dr. Lillian Katz and learn from her, and that really shifted my thoughts about what children were capable of and their endless creativity that we could tap into. That shaped my whole approach to teaching and to thinking about young children.
What I learned then as I graduated was that I needed more. I added on my masters a special education degree. The whole time I was always thinking about, OK, how can we incorporate children with disabilities into this approach of thinking about capabilities and creativity? I have a unique experience, layering approach, of creativity and including children with disabilities that I took into my ten years teaching in a blended classroom. I had children with and without disabilities together in the classroom and had some great times there. That's a little bit about me.
Sarah: That is exactly why you are here with us today. You're the perfect person to talk to us about creativity. Let's start out with talking about some of your favorite ways to promote creativity in children.
Kiersten: Sure. One of the best things I like to do is set out unique materials, things that you might have thought about throwing away. The things that come in the boxes that you get and aren't quite sure what to do with. Children will figure a way to do something cool with them. Having those things out, letting them explore, letting them just touch them, things that are safe, crawl over them maybe, step on them, really explore them. Not even with materials, but just with their body. Particularly with infants and toddlers, just let them touch and feel.
Making sure that your products that you have when you do want to add some art materials are open-ended. Instead of coloring sheets, or worksheets, or working towards a specific product, just leaving materials out, maybe making some suggestions about different ways, focusing on teaching how to use materials in a safe and effective way, but not stifling that.
Something else I love to do is use the word creative and define it. Maybe something very simple like, this is just a way for our brain to think differently. We're going to be creative, let's get our brain to think differently. Using that word frequently, looking for times in books, in children's books where characters have been creative, calling attention to that, praising that and pointing out how it got them a different solution to problems.
Speaking of problems, those always come up in the classroom, especially for teachers. Model that creativity when you're facing those problems. You can use that even with infants and toddlers just by narrating your solution – “Oh no, I've got to think about a different way to do this. What am I going to do instead? Got to be creative.” That self-talk and that narration can model for children of all ages what you can do to use that, tap into their creativity. They might not be used to that; they might come from a culture or family that maybe doesn't encourage that as much. You may be their first experience.
One of my favorite things that I miss doing with children is using a web, of brainstorming through an idea web. I say that it's like a spider web, because it's going to catch ideas instead of catching flies. Whenever we started a new topic that we were investigating we'd make an idea web. We'd start in the middle of the topic, and we'd get them to be creative and be thinking about all the different ideas that we had about maybe studying shoes, or football, or going to the post office, different things. That teaching has to happen, though. You have to be sure that your – can't expect that all children will just know what to do. Making sure that you scaffold the ways that you're helping them to access their creativity and express them.
Another way is to make sure that you have opportunities for those safe risks. It's not just about art, creativity, and you all said that in the Q&A part already. It's more than just art and the visual arts. It's movement, it's speaking, it's poetry. Making sure that that movement idea and let them take safe risks, maybe by exploring their environment in different ways. That is another expression of creativity. We've got to be creative about creativity and thinking beyond what might just be thought of as an art project.
Sarah: That's good to remember with infants and toddlers. I know that with my youngest who's a toddler right now, following his lead and watching where his interest takes him, he might be playing with a piece of tape and that doesn't seem very fun to me, but he's having fun and it's creative for him. I'm glad you remind us that it's not just about art and all these extra things that could be simple. You talked about some great ways to promote creativity, but I was wondering if you had some ideas or ways that you like to model creativity for children?
Kiersten: I think that everyone more than likely has heard a child say, I can't do it, you do it for me right? That often happens. I think modeling by explaining that it might not look like how it looks in the book if that child's trying to draw something, or if they're trying to build something, or model something out of clay, or move a certain way.
You have to create and get in there, and I remember that came up in the Q&A as someone's way to do it. Being in the play and modeling and talking through that process. “I'm not sure what to do next, I'm going to think of all the different options that I could do. And then I'll give it a try and I'll see how it works out. It might not work out, and that's OK. Then my brain will just have to be creative again.” Or even things like, “If I'm thinking about making a Spider-Man, I'm going to think about the head looks like a circle, so I'm going to start with that. What would you like to start with, what shapes do you see there?” Or “What kinds of things do you notice first?” Breaking it down and being alongside them.
You always want to make sure that you catch what they are doing to be creative. If a child comes up with something that you hadn't thought of, you can say, “I never thought about doing it that way.” You're modeling how to appreciate someone else's creativity as well. Saying, “How creative, this is a great idea, let's go share it with someone else. Let's go talk to someone about this,” or “They have been thinking about how to make this stack this way and they might not have used a triangle before, let's go tell them.” Building on when those moments happen and capitalizing on the opportunity to be creative alongside.
Sarah: That commenting positively could build some momentum and give them enough encouragement to keep going with that creativity. Especially for those, like you were mentioning, that say “I can't do this,” or “This is too hard.” Give them some encouragement to keep going.
We're going to shift gears a little bit. Those were some great ideas for children, but we want to talk about ways that a coach can encourage creativity within the coachee.
Kiersten: I think it goes back to those collaborative partnerships. It builds on trust, collaborative partnerships. We know that making sure that you've got a partnership that fosters trust and rapport, that's what supports creativity. Being willing to take that creative risk and do something different, that's what your coachee needs to embrace that idea that there's not just one way to get here. I can try something different, and I might not be right the first time, but I'm going to get there, and my coach is going to support me whatever path I choose.
Coaches can help by encouraging coachees to think about different paths. If they're working on putting a skill into place, a practice into place, and they're having trouble thinking about ways that it might look in the classroom, just taking some time, giving some time to be thinking about different ways that this might happen. It's OK to try it, and if it doesn't work, we'll keep on moving ahead.
That process, just like we said that young children, we need to be following their lead, PBC is based on following the coachee’s lead. It's key as part of that recipe for creativity here as well. I always think about knowing more about what a coachee has had experience with using creativity in the past. What experiences have they had in teaching in other roles? Or maybe even as a student? Or as a child being – their experiences with creativity, I know I've worked with coachees who say, “I just want you to hand it to me, I'm going to do just like you say.” Sometimes that can be difficult, because we want to give them some more support and be aware as a coach of who might need more support to take that risk.
It mirrors what we do with young children when they say, “I can't do it. I don't know how to do that.” That “power of yet” item that I often say with young children when they are facing a stumbling block. Say, “Well I know you can't do it yet, but let's think of some ways you can try.” We can do that with coachees, too. It takes some pressure off them, of implementing it just like the teacher next door does. Or someone that a family childcare provider saw on YouTube do it. It might be that they need you as a coach to take some of that pressure off, and say, “Hey, mistakes are part of the process.” We have to remember that great things happen through that trial and error part.
Sarah: Absolutely. If it worked the first time, we probably wouldn't have some of these creative inventions and things. Trial and error, I love that, taking the pressure off. That would be really supportive for a coachee.
Those were some great ways to spark some creativity, I'm wondering, do you have any other ways that might be helpful to encourage or model creativity for a coachee?
Kiersten: You might just voice that we've hit a block and we might need to get creative here. Allow some space, allow that time to be creative. Giving the materials to explore – “I brought some different things, different kinds of resources maybe we haven't looked at yet or maybe you haven't considered. Let's dig in, let's do this together. Have some creative collaboration and come up with a solution together.” Not necessarily – letting them and maybe encouraging them to slow down and to take a moment.
Through reflection, identify some different ways that they hadn't thought of before. It could be different practices or strategies for parents on a home visit if they're coming up with some difficult times to figure out how to get through. It could be in the classroom, something that – there may be a behavior that has got them challenged. Thinking about other supports, or other different ways to engage a child.
The other thing is that sometimes we can get stuck and coachees can get stuck around what coaching strategies to use. We have to remember that there's lots of different ways, and that's the beauty of PBC, is it's made to be able to pick and choose and have lots of different coaching strategies right at our fingertips. To access and think about and present to coachees. To say, “Hm, let's wrap our brains around this video piece. Let's think a little bit how it might be helpful. It's definitely a risk, could be out of your comfort zone, but let's get a little creative here. Let's think about – this problem that we're having requires some creativity.”
Making sure that not only – that you put that forth, but when you see it working – when you see even those baby steps of a coachee trying to do something differently, trying to be creative, either creative with their approaches or just actually using creativity – you want to be sure that you're giving them feedback. Incorporate that into your focus observation, something you're looking for, and into your reflection and feedback.
“How did that feel to do something different? Talk to me a little bit about how stepping out into more of a risk zone and being creative, talk to me about how that felt.” Then making sure you have that specific feedback as well. “I noticed you do something you've never done before. I bet that was – might have been kind of hard, tell me about how that felt.” Making sure that you always acknowledge and look for those opportunities to acknowledge when coachees are being creative.
Sarah: Yeah. Especially for those that that's really a step for them, it can be out of their comfort zone, that might be the boost that they need to just keep going.
We've talked about children, we've talked about coachees, now I want to talk about some ways that coaches can infuse creativity into their own practice as a coach. What are your ideas here?
Kiersten: Reflecting on your own practice is wonderful. I tended to be a very reflective teacher, and I think often times, reflective teachers lend well to coaching and end up in the coaching field, because you acknowledge how much you like thinking about thinking and thinking about practices and thinking about young children.
I think taking that and reflecting on your own practice as a coach helps identify your strengths and needs. Your creativity might not be a strength. Making sure that you have other coaches around you that you can – and if they're not physically around you, we can reach out in lots of different ways. But helping to have those other coaches around to give you a little spark when you need a little creativity.
Maybe you're running into a rut with a coachee and not quite sure how to put a spark into your debriefs or the different ideas around writing action plans. Is there something that we could do differently that would bring that and up the level of engagement with your coachee, or even with yourself? Your own PD is important.
Making sure that you have opportunities to learn new strategies. Making sure that you have the knowledge to try out something different and have the support around you, through coaches or community of practices, that help you hone those skills and become more comfortable. As you jump in and try to be more creative in a coaching partnership, have a way to get some feedback too. There are other people out there. You may be the only coach for miles and miles, but sometimes, we just need to talk to someone who's been there. And they're looking for you, too. We can connect you for sure.
Sarah: That's actually my favorite way to spark creativity. I think as a coach, reaching out to my colleagues and, “I have this problem, please help.” Gives me – and not even problems, just like, “I need some support, some ideas,” that's my favorite.
One way to find that support or that community is through MyPeers. We have a practice-based coaching community on MyPeers. There are coaches across the United States that are there, that you could ask questions to, share resources, connect, and get some ideas flowing. Even our most experienced coaches need a coaching network. If you aren't already a member of MyPeers, you can follow the QR code here or find a link in the Viewer’s Guide in the resource list. Yes, a coaching community is such an important tool. If you don't have one, here's a way to get connected.
Those ideas were wonderful, I've learned a few things that I'm going to put in my toolbox for working with coachees and even for myself. Now, we're going to move into coaching and practice, so we're going to hone in on collaborative partnerships. We've talked about some of the other practices here across webinars, but today, we're going to focus on collaborative partnerships and its importance. Another important piece and one of Kiersten's specialties, or something that she's good at. Tell us a little bit about why collaborative partnerships are so fundamental to success as a coach in this PBC model.
Kiersten: It's true, it's what surrounds all of the other components. Everything is embedded. It's the foundation of PBC, and it's my favorite. That's probably why y'all think I'm good in it, just because I like doing it so much. I just love that it bases it on trust. It's about connecting, you don't have to be friends, it's not a relationship, it's a partnership. It's having that transparency of expectations. I know what you expect from me, what I expect from you, why we're in this together – we have a shared goal to move forward. When you have that trust, when you have somebody that's going to support you no matter what happens, that you're not in an “I got you” situation, that I can try and be creative and take risks, it's an amazing feeling.
I had that feeling as a teacher having a coach that helped me along and worked through different things. I took that and was able to be sure that I prioritize that. Educating children and having a classroom, or being invited into a home through home visiting, or opening up your home in a family childcare – that that's personal.
Those environments, they're extensions of who you are, your personality, your values, your cultures. We want those to be a place of comfort for young children and for the adults that work there. Or live there or interact with other adults there. That collaborative partnership is not only about your coachee, but how that coachee develops those partnerships with children and families, too. Making sure that you understand how important that collaborative partnership is, and if you're struggling with creativity, maybe go back to that. Think about, do we have something, do we have that strength, do we have the transparency, do we have the trust in making sure that those are there?
Sarah: Transparency is so key with that collaborative partnership. We could talk about collaborative partnerships all day, but I wanted to draw your attention to the PBC coach competencies. You'll notice that under each domain of the competencies, under each component, there are indicators that relate to collaborative partnerships, because, by what Kiersten said, it's fundamental to PBC. For it to feel safe and collaborative, you must have a collaborative partnership, a strong collaborative partnership. If you want to learn more about the PBC competency, coach competencies, you can find that in the resource list of your Viewer’s Guide.
I'd like to draw your attention to one that feels like it aligns closely to the video that we're about to watch. Here, it says that a collaborative partnership, under the domain of collaborative partnerships, “the coach demonstrates flexibility that builds on respectful interest in learning about diverse cultures, language of the coachees, the children and the families that they support and establish mutually respectful and effective coaching relationships.”
For a coach working with a home visitor, as Kiersten mentioned, it's particularly important, because not only does the coach have to understand and have knowledge of what the coachee, what motivates them and what they like, they also have to understand that about the family, as well and the cultures and the language, to find that just right fit for strategies that are going to work.
I want to introduce you to Isai and Eliel and their dad. These are two young children, and in this video that we're about to watch, you are going to see a virtual home visit. What's interesting about this home visit is that it's between an early interventionist and an occupational therapist. They're working closely together for language translation, not only for language translation but to have a good understanding about the family's culture. This coaching partnership is with a coaching team, with Lauren and Estelle. This clip comes from Desired Results Access Project, and the link can be found in the resource section of your Viewer’s Guide.
I want to review the goal quick before we hop into the video. The goal is that “I will support parents to incorporate the use of imaginary play, to work on emerging social skills, taking turns, cooperation, etcetera. By planning collaboratively with parents when and how to incorporate social skills in imaginary play and prompting parents in the moment during home visits.”
As you watch, I want you to observe, is this parent using or working with incorporating these skills through play? Notice the culture and interests of the family and how those come into play. Think about the importance of that collaborative partnership. In your Viewer’s Guide, you have a video reflection form where you can jot down your ideas. Let's watch this home visit.
Kiersten: When working with Freddie, we have been using a lot of coaching to help build Freddie's confidence and his competency when working with his children. We have been using a lot of pretend play to help Isai and Eliel learn those social-emotional goals, how to cooperate together and be patient and take turns. During a session that we had, Isai and Eliel were arguing over a particular toy, and dad was helping them problem solve that they could get another one and they didn't have to fight over the one toy, they could take turns. He quite quickly pivoted into a piñata activity to practice working on turn-taking.
Freddie: [In Spanish] Do you remember the piñata?
Isai: [In Spanish] Yes.
Freddie: [In Spanish] Hey, what's the piñata song?
Hit, hit the piñata. Break, break the piñata.
Hit, hit the piñata. Break, break the piñata.
Candy! Candy, candy, candy! Get your candy!
Oh, you have too many. Give me some.
Again. Come on. Oh, the dog got some candy?
Isai: [In Spanish] Yes.
Freddie: [In Spanish] Again. Whose turn is it now? Who's breaking the piñata? Who? Isai? You?
Isai: [In Spanish] The woof-woof. The woof-woof. The woof-woof.
Freddie: [In Spanish] Oh, it's the woof-woof's turn, the dog. Give that to it. Come on.
Kiersten: Isai and Eliel had been participating in the piñata activity and taking turns. Isai was starting to pull away and create his new little story with the dog. Eliel wanted to continue with the activity, and Isai was coming over and starting to get dad’s attention and trying to get dad to engage with him in new activity. Freddie was able to pull Isai back into the activity and get the two boys to be on the same page again, of “Hey, give the dog the lollipop to bring them back together.” He, I think, is becoming really skilled in getting the two boys together to collaborate on things and helping them find a common interest rather than having them go their separate ways and be independent play.
Freddie: [In Spanish] Can I have some? A lollipop? A lollipop?
Isai: [In Spanish] Yes?
Freddie: [In Spanish] Oh. Give some to the woof-woof, the dog. Give the dog a lollipop. Again? Whose turn is it now? Whose turn is it?
Isai: [In Spanish] The woof-woof.
Freddie: [In Spanish] The dog's? Alright. It's the dog's turn. Let's go.
Kiersten: I love how in that moment, Freddie is asking that question, “Whose turn is it now?” Offering those opportunities for choices. He was following their lead in pretend play, facilitating collaboration by creating a little scenario for them, and then allowing them to then follow his lead to continue the scenario.
Freddie: [In Spanish] Hit it, hit it, hit it. Gently. Don't miss your shot. Because if you do, you'll lose your way.
You've hit it once, you've hit it twice.
You've hit it again and your time is up.
What about me? I want to go too. You too. Yeah? Alright. Let's go. Sing.
Isai: [In Spanish] Hit it, hit it, hit it. Don't miss your shot...
Kiersten: Freddie, Isai and Eliel are such a musical family, and music is so motivating and connecting for all of them. They enjoy dancing and singing together. Freddie was able to include that motivating music and create an activity around it that was part of their culture, part of things that they do, and practice turn taking within that moment.
Sarah: Awesome. That video just warms my heart, it looks like a lot of fun. I want to take a moment and reflect on the clip quickly. Feel free to share your thoughts in the Q&A. I wanted to think about the goal that we had, and the goal was to encourage the occupational therapist and the home visitor – they were a coaching team – to encourage the family to incorporate this social learning through play, that creativity through play.
What were some of the materials and the songs or games that were used that these home visitors encouraged family to use? I noticed that the materials were everyday objects lying around. The piñata was the drying rack, they had an insole of a shoe, there was a stuffed dog. Everyday objects that became these, this idea for play. There was a song that was sung by both the children and the family, and the father was encouraging them to take turns. Incorporating those social skills through an everyday activity. We want to think about if these materials seemed to be relevant for these families, because that's important when we think about the collaborative partnership, but especially in-home visits.
And I think so, I mean these – both the children and the family seemed to know this song, they knew the beat, the father sang in their language. It seemed to be part of their culture. How successful was this activity and what do you think contributed to that? One of the things that stood out to me was that it seemed really enjoyable, and everyone was engaged. Family, and even the child that became unengaged, the father was able to get the child back engaged. Overall, I think that Lauren and Estelle were successful with incorporating their goal here. I love that video. Now, we're going to take a quick moment to wrap-up with a focus on equity. I'm going to turn it over to Joyce. Thanks, Kiersten.
I think you're on mute.
Joyce: You can see my lips moving. Now we're going to move into the equity section, where we think about equity across learning environments and when it comes to working with others. We know that it's important to think about culture and the role it plays with creativity, that it shapes our creativity, it influences us, whether it's explicit or implicit, and it forms the way we look and approach creativity. With that being said, Kiersten, can you share some ways that culture impacts creativity?
Sarah: Some cultures may not acknowledge the positive aspects of doing something different, and that could be frowned upon. Even some program cultures might encourage things be done a certain way and perfection is the goal. I think within collaborative partnerships we need to be aware of those things. It's not impossible to get past it, but, making sure you have communication about those.
Joyce: Definitely a lot to think about there.
I can see we're coming to the end of our time together. I want to first thank Kiersten for spending this hour with us and digging into getting creative together, sharing ideas together, and if you have more questions or anything follow-up, please put those in the Q&A, and also feel free to take it to MyPeers. We've talked about a lot of things today, and we definitely don't want to leave without giving time for Koko's Corner. We know Koko is an important part of our Coaching Corner time together and highlights something from the coaching companion, if you're using the coaching companion or curious. Koko is going to help us wrap-up for the day.
Koko: Hi. I'm Koko, the Head Start Coaching Companion koala. I'm going to share some neat tips about the Head Start Coaching Companion resource library. The resource library's a collection of videos, tip sheets, PDFs, and links you can use to support your coaching work. You can search for a resource using the categories on the left. Or, you can use the search box at the top. These materials can also be added to any of your action plan steps or focused observations. When you add an item from the resource library, it becomes attached to a step or observation and can be viewed again right there. For more information about the resource library or the Head Start Coaching Companion, visit coachingcompanion@ECLKC.info.
Joyce: Like I said, if you want to know more, definitely check out the Coaching Companion if you are curious about past episodes of the Coaching Corner webinar series. This one will eventually go to Push Play as well. There's that. Thank you, Kiersten, so much for digging into creative and getting creative with us. We look forward to connecting again, and if you have any more questions for us or for Kiersten, please let's take that convo to MyPeers and we will be sure to connect there as well. Thank you, and we will see you on MyPeers.Close
Creativity makes learning come alive. It gives opportunities to children to explore new ideas, think critically and problem-solve, and express themselves in their own unique way. Adults can help children aged birth to 5 become more intentional and creative when exploring and engaging with their environment. In this Coaching Corner webinar, explore ideas and gather resources on how to enhance creativity for all — children, coachees, and coaches alike.
Note: The evaluation, certificate, and engagement tools mentioned in the video were for the participants of the live webinar and are no longer available. For information about webinars that will be broadcast live soon, visit the Upcoming Events section.