10 Developmentally Effective Practices For Your Class

A good educator or family child care provider chooses a tactic to fit a particular situation. It’s important to consider what the kids know and can do and the learning objectives for the specific situation. By remaining flexible, we can determine the strategy that will be most effective. If one tactic doesn’t work, another will. That is what using developmentally appropriate practices is all about.

  1. Acknowledge what kids do or say. Let kids know that we have noticed by giving positive attention, sometimes through comments, sometimes through just sitting nearby and observing. (“Thanks for your help, Matthias.” “You found another way to show 5.”)
  2. Promote persistence rather than just praising and evaluating what the learner has done. (“You’re have thought of lots of words to describe the dog in the story. Good job!”)
  3. Provide feedback rather than vague comments. (“The ball didn’t go all the way to the hoop, Kerri, so you might try throwing it harder.”)
  4. Demonstrate attitudes, ways of approaching problems, and behavior toward others, showing kids rather than just telling them (“That didn’t work, and I need to think about why.” “I’m sorry, Kelton, I missed part of what you said. Can you repeat it.”)
  5. Model the right way to do something. This involves a procedure that needs to be done certain (such as using a wire whisk or writing the letter P).
  6. Develop a challenge so that a task goes a bit beyond what the kids can already do. For example, you lay out a collection of chips, count them together and then ask a small group of kids to tell you how many are left after they see you removing some of the chips. The kids count the remaining chips to help them find the answer. To make the challenge more robust, you could hide the chips after you remove some, and the kids will have to use a tactic other than counting the remaining chips to come up with the answer. You can modify the task by guiding the kids to touch each chip once and count the remaining chips to reduce the challenge.
  7. Pose questions that provoke kids’ thinking. (“If you can’t talk to your partner, how else could you let him know what to do?”)
  8. Provide help (such as a cue or hint) to help kids work on the edge of their competence (“Can you think of a word that rhymes with your name, Kat? How about bat . . . Kat/bat? What else rhymes with Matt and bat?”)
  9. Give info, directly giving kids facts, , and other info (“This one that looks like a mouse with a tiny tail is called a vole.”)
  10. Provide instructions for kids’ actions or behavior. (“Touch every block once as you count them.” “You want to move that icon? Okay, click on it and press down, then drag it to where you want it to be.”)
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