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Supporting Individual Needs

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Although child development follows a universal path, young children are also unique - with individual temperaments, dispositions, passions and prior experiences. While recognizing and appreciating these differences, adults can explore ways to effectively individualize for each child while also supporting all children to learn and develop optimally.

The videos and resources below provide ideas and guidance on how to differentiate for student's unique needs and support their learning and development in the early childhood classroom.

Smooth Transitions From Birth to Three (Online Training)

This free training helps schools and providers prepare families for the transition out of Birth to Three early intervention services. The training includes topics such as the importance of preparing for transitions, fostering relationships with families, the transition process, and building collaborative and supportive teams.

There is also a 10-minute video for families on approaching the transition process.

Access the training in English and Spanish
Beth MartinStrategies for Supporting Dual Language Learners in an Early Childhood Classroom (2:46)In this "Reflection from the Field," 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. See video and resources

A Study of the Play of Dual Language Learners in an English-Speaking Classroom (8:31)

This video highlights findings from a qualitative study exploring the play interactions of dual language learners, including implications for teachers and suggestions for strategies that support social interactions between dual language learners and their English-speaking peers.

Watch video

430x290 Supporting Individual Needs Supporting Children's Individual Needs (7:28)Early childhood professionals face the continual challenge of planning for the entire classroom while meeting each child’s individual needs. This video stresses the importance of observing children and assessing their strengths and needs to determine how best to support them, and teacher Niloufar Rezai reflects on strategies she used to identify and support a child’s learning needs, including working closely with the child’s family and giving them ideas for activities to do at home. When teachers identify children’s interests, work closely with their instructional team, and partner with families, they can effectively support the learning needs of all children in their classroom.

See video and resources

430x290 Supporting ELLSupporting English Language Learners in the Preschool Classroom (7:24)Many preschool classrooms now include children whose first language is not English. This video provides guidance for early childhood professionals on how to support children as they develop oral language skills in both their first and second languages.

See video and resources
A teacher sits before a class of students is holding something up for them to see.

Inspiring Lessons (29:20)

In 2008, Eastern’s Center for Early Childhood Education began a three-year effort to improve the early literacy skills of over 500 preschool children in Windham, Connecticut under a U.S. Department of Education Early Reading First grant. This video shares some of the important lessons learned during the Community Partners for Early Literacy (CPEL) project.

See video and project lessons