Reflections from the Field

Interviews with teachers and providers about their experiences working with young children

Close-up of Jessica Abildgaard Incorporating Math Into Gross Motor Play (2:32)
Preschool teacher Jessica Abildgaard incorporated a sorting activity in an obstacle course using toy trucks to suit her student’s developmental needs. In order to prepare her students for kindergarten, she wanted to strengthen their numeral identification and sorting skills while incorporating gross motor play. When combining physical movement with toys, she expresses how an activity similar to this can increase student’s mathematical enhancement in fun and creative ways.
Sydney Rodriguez close-up 300x168Following Children's Interests: The Purple Room Band (3:24)
Preschool teacher Sydney Rodriguez describes how children in her classroom got excited about the idea of forming a band and performing for the entire center. She explains how she built on that interest by engaging children in a series of connected learning experiences, leading up to a culminating performance. She reflects on the amount of time required to fully engage the children in all the steps of the process, and on the importance of regularly incorporating music into early childhood classrooms.
Beth Martin 300x168Strategies for Supporting Dual Language Learners in an Early Childhood Classroom (2:47)
Preschool teacher Beth Martin describes the importance of building relationships with children whose home language is different from her own, and the techniques she uses to help dual language learners understand what is happening in the classroom and become more comfortable speaking in English.
Heather OskiDocumenting a Learning Experience: Frogs and the Pond (2:10)
Preschool teacher Heather Oski describes a classroom investigation on frogs and her creation of a documentation panel to highlight the experience.
Heather MulrooneySupporting Language Development in Infants and Toddlers during Mealtime (2:13)
Infant/Toddler teacher Heather Mulrooney describes how she uses mealtime as an opportunity for language development using various strategies.
Ashley AndersonBuilding Community in the Preschool Classroom (2:41)
Head Start teacher Ashley Anderson describes how she encourages children to support and learn from their peers in the classroom.
Janette RiveraFostering Flexibility in the Toddler Classroom (1:12)
Infant toddler teacher Janette Rivera explains the importance of being flexible when working with young children and provides an example of how she fosters children’s abilities to be flexible themselves in an Early Head Start classroom.
Yotisse Williams (2)When the Unexpected Happens: Seizing the Teachable Moment (1:51)
Preschool teacher Yotisse Williams shares an experience when something didn’t go as expected, and he used it as an opportunity to support children’s development.
Cathy Tormey Learning All the Time: Making the Most of Everyday Experiences (1:34)
Family child care provider Cathy Tormey describes the opportunities that daily experiences provide for supporting young children’s development in all areas.
Maureen OstroffBuilding Vocabulary in the Preschool Classroom (1:49)
Preschool teacher Maureen Ostroff shares her strategies for enhancing children’s vocabulary throughout the day.
Karen DelMastro reflection 300x168Providing Opportunities for Experimentation and Problem-Solving (2:28)
Preschool teacher Karen DelMastro describes how she purposefully plans experiences to provide children with opportunities to experiment and solve problems.
Amie Theriault reflection 300x168Supporting Critical Thinking in Toddlers (1:41)
Toddler teacher Amie Theriault shares her strategies for supporting the development of toddlers’ critical thinking skills and demonstrates how she brings children’s attention to their thinking and prompts them to talk about their observations. Through conversation, she scaffolds their learning by lending support to their ideas and challenging them to expand their thinking. She also describes her thought processes for the children’s benefit.

The development of some of these videos was funded by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood.