Powerful Interactions: How to Connect with Children to Extend Their Learning

by Amy Laura Dombro, Judy R. Jablon, Charlotte Stetson Year Published: 2011

In early childhood settings, children and teachers interact all day long. The benefits to everyone--teachers and children--will be huge if just some of those "everyday" interactions can become intentional and purposeful Powerful Interactions! In extending a child's learning hand-in-hand with nurturing a positive relationship, a Powerful Interaction creates the optimal condition for you to teach and the child to learn. - In step one of a Powerful Interaction, Be Present, you pause to tune in to how you are feeling, and consider how you might need to adjust to create a "just-right" fit with a child. - In step two, Connect, you let that child know that you see him; are interested in what he is doing, saying, and thinking; and want to spend time with him. Deepening your relationship this way helps the child feel safe, confident, and open to learning. Staying connected and observant helps you make good decisions in step three. - In step three, Extend Learning, you make use of your strong connection with the child to stretch his knowledge, skills, thinking, or language and vocabulary just a bit. This reflective guide contains everything you need to understand what Powerful Interactions are, how to make them happen, and why they are so important in increasing children's learning and your effectiveness as a teacher. Whether you work in a child care center or home, Early Head Start or Head Start program, preschool or early primary classroom, you make a difference in the lives of children and families--and Powerful Interactions can make that difference even bigger.