And connections to create a sense of belonging among

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and connections to create a sense of belongingamong and between children, adults, and theworld around them.Educators can create contexts in which allchildren can develop a sense of belonging by:• being attuned to the physical and emotionalstates of each child and responding in awarm and sensitive manner;• connecting with each child and recognizingand valuing his or her unique spirit,individuality, and presence;• planning for ways to support smoothtransitions:between the home and the early yearssetting,in daily routines,across early years settings;• supporting relationships between childrenas they initiate, respond, collaborate,celebrate, and demonstrate care for others;A warm and caring manner is conveyedthrough body language as well as words – howwe touch, carry, and move children throughdaily routines sends a strong message.Capitalize on opportunities for one-to-oneinteractions during daily routines (e.g.,forinfants and toddlers: diaper changing, dressingto go outdoors, and feeding/meal times areideal opportunities for making connections andbuilding relationships).Discover the unique characteristics and giftsof each child by talking with his or her family,observing, and documenting (e.g., in additionto what the children are interested in, noticewhat brings them joy and how they relate toothers and to the environment around them;to support inclusion, consider each child’scapabilities rather than focusing solely on hisor her needs and deficiencies).(continued)
27How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early YearsWays in which children mightdemonstrate a sense of belongingWays in which programs can help create asense of belongingAdditional considerations for educators• recognize, explore, and makeconnections:between home and the earlychildhood setting,with their community,with the natural environment;• express a sense of purpose as theyparticipate and make contributionsto the program and community.• developing policies, practices, andenvironments that respect and supportinclusion, meaningful participation, and asense of belonging for all children;• finding ways to intentionally integrate theunique perspectives and gifts of parents,caregivers, and extended family throughoutall elements of the program in a meaningfuland authentic way;• establishing and maintaining positivereciprocal relationships with communitypartners to support meaningful participation;• creating opportunities throughout dailyexperiences that enable children toexplore, wonder about, care for, and makeconnections to the natural environment;• giving visibility to the many relationships thatchildren form with adults, other children, thecommunity, and the natural world throughvarious forms of documentation;• inviting community members to contributeto and participate in the program andproviding opportunities for childrento participate and make meaningfulcontributions to the community on anongoing basis.

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Term
Winter
Professor
ELAINEEBISSON

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