... improving transitions from one grade to the next...
Families, schools and the community cooperate to support each child’s moving up! in grade level from pre-kindergarten through third grade. By focusing on transitions between the early grades, we can help each child be off to a great start on the path towards lifelong learning and success.
Self-Regulation = School Success Magic!
What is self-regulation and why does it matter?
The Santa Clara County First 5 I’m Ready for Kindergarten handbook defines self-regulation as “the ability to control your own behavior and emotional responses”. Recent research by Megan McClelland, Ph.D. and her team out of Oregon State University has suggested that with regular practice, self-regulation and self-control can be improved upon and that it can make a big difference later on in school readiness and overall school success. Want to learn more?! Check out this article: Preschool Children Who Can Pay Attention More Likely to Finish College.
So what does self-regulation look like?
The I’m Ready for Kindergarten booklet explains that socially and emotionally:
I’m ready when…
♣ I talk to adults and ask for help.
♣ I take turns, share and help others.
♣ I try new activities and ask questions.
♣ I stay focused and pay attention for 10-15 minutes at a time.
♣ I follow one and two-step directions.
♣ I work and play both independently and in a group.
♣ I use imagination games to practice resolving conflicts or to prepare for new activities.
♣ I have coping strategies for when I am frustrated, angry or sad.
Dr. McClelland further elaborates that self-regulation includes paying attention, following directions, remembering rules, and demonstrating self-control.
How can I teach self-regulation?
Games! Because practice makes perfect! Check out the games listed in the right hand sidebar - these were developed by Dr. McClelland and her team as part of her research* and were designed to help children practice paying attention, following directions, remembering rules and demonstrating self-control. Children who played these games showed measurable improvement in self-regulation. A common element in all of these games is the changing of instructions mid-way through the game from the usual method of play (for example first dancing slowly to slow music and then dancing quickly to slow music). These instructional changes require the children to pay close attention to the new instructions and be mindful in their responses. This easy adaptation can be implemented in a lot of different games that parents/teachers and young children play. Try these fun games and invent some of your own!
* Tominey, S. L., & McClelland, M. M. (2011). Red Light, Purple Light: Findings from a randomized trial using circle time games to improve behavioral self-regulation in preschool. Early Education & Development, 22(3), 489 - 519.
Early Edge for Early Learners
Early Edge California (previously Preschool California) is an advocacy organization working to make a difference in the lives of our youngest learners. They are focused on helping California’s children, families, teachers and communities to improve social and educational outcomes. Visit their site today to learn more about their work in Birth through Third Grade Alignment, Infants and Toddlers, Kindergarten Readiness, Transitional Kindergarten and to see how you can get involved.
♥ Click on the left hand sidebar for more resources ♥
Early Learning Transition Model ~ Generously funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation 2012-2013