This measure focuses on how the teacher guides or directs the children when completing a task or at play versus implementing overly directive strategies, such as giving specific instructions on solving problems or directing how the children should complete an activity. When a teacher uses guiding strategies (prompts, hints, or clues to encourage the children to try out their ideas), they will be encouraged to find solutions to problems themselves. Directive learning activities are not negative, but there should be a balance between highly structured and directed activities and less structured learning and play opportunities. For example, if a child is building a tower, but the tower keeps falling. These are examples of what the teacher should and should not say:
“Hmm… Why do you think it keeps falling? Let’s try stacking small blocks on big blocks and big blocks on small blocks to see which ones stay up.”
“Put the small blocks on the big ones so they do not fall.”Category: Category 2: Teacher-Child Interactions Subcategory: Play-Based Interactions and Guidance
In this section you will find videos, images, and/or documents that can be used to better understand this measure. These examples can also be used in conversations between mentors, directors, and/or teachers to discuss how the program's current practices compare to these examples.
In this activity, children will work together to build a bridge. Teachers should provide a variety of materials for children to build with. As the teacher visits each group of children, they guide children by asking questions and encouraging further exploration.Age(s): Preschool, School-age
In this exemplar video segment, Explain and Demonstrate How Things Work, a teacher provides guidance to a toddler as he builds a tower. As the two play together, the caregiver helps the child complete the building activity by modeling the appropriate way to stack the rings on the toy.Age(s): Toddler
In this exemplar video segment, Do You Want More, a teacher provides guidance to help a baby build a new sign language skill. As the teacher feeds the child, she encourages him to use sign language as a way to communicate his desire for more food.Age(s): Infant
In this exemplar video segment, Lizard or Salamander, a teacher provides guidance by offering choices to a child as they attempt to identify a toy reptile. When the child struggles providing the correct name to the toy the teacher provides him with a scaffold to build his vocabulary knowledge.Age(s): Toddler
This exemplar video segment, Encourage Imitations, showcases a teacher providing guidance as she models a simple behavior with a toy for an infant. The teacher demonstrates using the toy then waits patiently for the infant’s response before showing them again how to use the object.Age(s): Infant
This exemplar video segment, Promote Flexibility in Thinking, showcases a teacher providing guidance as she prepares toddlers to transition from outside to snack. The teacher accepts a child’s way of doing things by not requiring her to count down the time to go inside but instead accepting her response and offering another choice.Age(s): Toddler
In this exemplar video segment, Model Thinking Aloud, a teacher provides guidance to help an infant build skills in the area of expressing when they have had enough food. As the teacher feeds the child, she offers him more food and acknowledges his objections when he has had enough.Age(s): Infant
In this exemplar video segment, Model Thinking Aloud, a teacher provides guidance to toddlers as they work to come up with ideas on adjusting the height of a basketball hoop. The teacher questions the children to get their suggestions, she accepts their ideas and works with them until they are able to solve their problem.Age(s): Toddler
In this series of exemplar video segments, teachers provide guidance to infants, toddlers, preschoolers and after school children throughout the day. As the teachers play and work with the children, they make sure to accept the way children choose to do activities, use encouraging communication and encourage problem solving all without using directive statements.Age(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool, School-age
These resources include tips, strategies, activities, or specific tools related to this measure that programs can put into practice.
Following the Child’s Lead, a publication created by Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, gives teachers suggestions of how they can provide guidance to children as they make choices based on their interest. The reader will read about how they can follow children’s lead and participate in the types of activities they chose while accepting the child’s way of doing things.Age(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool, School-age