Engaging Active Learners: What Children Are Telling Us When They Won’t Sit Still

  • May 20, 2017

Children speak with more than just words. They express themselves in drawing, playing, laughing, crying, and simply moving. Sometimes we can read these behaviors fairly easily. For example, we probably have an idea what is being said when a child who just became a big brother or sister rocks a doll, or perhaps throws a doll behind a chair. We probably have an idea why a child is crying before we even have a chance to talk to them.

It is easy for most of us in the field of early learning to read body language when it puts us in the role of the caregiver. We want to calm or reassure the child who is upset. We want to laugh along with children who are playing. But when we are in the role of teacher, it’s not as easy. Then we tend to view children’s actions as disruptions. We don’t look for meaning behind behaviors such as fidgeting or moving around during story time or group time. We are too busy trying to meet our own identified “learning objectives.”

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