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a preschooler teacher and making sure your interactions are positive and
intentional. 1 I help preschoolers learn best by giving them many opportunities to
move and many things to explore hands-on.

Always Usually Sometimes Never
2 I set up preschoolers to succeed by having realistic and clear
expectations. Always Usually Sometimes Never
Always Usually Sometimes Never
4 I verbally communicate intentionally and frequently with preschool-
ers, one-on-one, in small groups, and as a whole group.

Always Usually Sometimes Never
5 I realize that it is developmentally appropriate for preschoolers to
experience separation anxiety, and I respond accordingly.

Always Usually Sometimes Never
6 I create peacefulness and calm during naptime, rather than rushing to
get children to fall asleep.

Always Usually Sometimes Never
7 I understand that discipline is about teaching preschoolers how to
behave in socially acceptable ways and not about punishing them.

Always Usually Sometimes Never
Seven Steps to Understanding Preschoolers
Refer back to your completed self-assessment form as you explore the seven
steps to understanding preschoolers. Whether you are on your own, reading
and working at your leisure, or training with a group, you’ll gain practical
information you can use in the classroom and techniques for developing bet-
ter interactions and relationships with preschoolers. Let’s get started.

understanding preschoolers
3 I have positive interactions with preschoolers by being friendly,
patient, and responsive to their needs.

I 1
I help
preschoolers learn best
by giving
them many
opportunities to move and
many things
to explore
hands-on. I Always
I Usually
How Preschoolers
Learn Best
Preschoolers’ Fascination with the World
When you get to work, do you hop out of the car, skip to the door,
collect pebbles in the parking lot, and stop to look at all of the inter-
esting things along the way, such as bugs and plants? Probably not.

We adults are usually more interested in getting where we need to
go and thinking about all the things we need to do. Besides, others
would probably look at us with a little concern. Adults don’t usually
skip. Maybe we should. Preschoolers are fascinated with the world,
excited about using their bodies, and eager to learn more. If you
want to teach preschoolers in a way they understand, you will need
to see the world through their eyes—the eyes of a preschooler. Are
you ready to learn?
The Amazing Capabilities of Preschoolers
Who are these wonderful little people you are educating and caring
for? Working with preschoolers can be tiring at times but so reward-
ing. Take a few lessons from the children when it comes to the
appreciation and excitement with which they see the world. Here’s
what most preschoolers are like:
Preschoolers want to learn. Preschoolers continue the hunger
I Sometimes
I Never
for learning that begins at birth. They learn best when they are able
to touch things and do things. This is called hands-on learning.

Imagine if you had a new computer or some other electronic gadget
and you weren’t allowed to touch it until you knew how to use it.

Even as adults, we learn by touching things too. We learn to use the
computer by experimenting with it, to play the piano by practicing
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