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Initiating Activities

Teaching Strategies Series

Head Start Teacher Ashley Anderson demonstrates how she introduces children to the materials they will encounter in learning centers. In doing so, she gets them thinking about how they might use the materials so they might be more intentional during center time.

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  • Initiating Activities

    (This video has captions. You can turn them on by clicking the CC icon at the bottom of the video.)
    Download a printable transcript in English and Spanish.

    Ashley Anderson, Preschool Teacher, EASTCONN Plainfield Head Start: Every day before center time, we do an activity menu, and I’ll showcase, on the rug, a little sampling of everything that’s available.

    Ashley: During center time, we have lots of activities that have to do with gardens, and I want you to keep thinking about this as we go through centers. Okay, so let me show you your choices.

    Ashley Anderson: There’s something concrete, visual, in front of them reminding them of what it is that their options are for that day, and I think that it makes a big difference.

    Ashley: In the sensory table, you will see that there is soil. So there’s all these little pots, and there’s shovels over there. And what you can do is practice planting. What do you think I have here?
    Children: Seeds!
    Ashley: Seeds.

    Ashley Anderson: If you initiate very well, and you get them excited and interested in what it is that they’re doing, then they’re more likely to stay with the activity longer.

    Ashley: So you said they need sunshine. If they need sunshine, where do you think we could put them in the classroom?
    Child: Science!
    Ashley: Science? Where in science?
    Child: On the windowsill!
    Ashley: Why on the windowsill?
    Child: Because there’s sunshine!
    Ashley: Oh, because there’s sunshine there.

  • Producer: Terry Surprenant
    Videographer/Editor: Sean Leser

    The Center wishes to thank EASTCONN Plainfield Head Start in Plainfield, Connecticut, for their cooperation in the making of this video.