Strategies for Supporting Focus and Development in the Classroom [Webinar]

In this session, we were joined by Prerna Richards, Coach, Consultant, and Founder of Together We Grow.  Prerna dove into how children learn to focus and progress through development while touching on some practical strategies for supporting focus, improved attention, self-control, and impulse control in young children.

🎤Our Special Guest!

Prerna Richards

Prerna Richards is a coach, consultant, trainer, and international speaker. She has been in the early childhood education field for the past 35 years. She started her consulting business 2 1/2 years ago called Together We Grow to provide professional development, coaching, and consulting for educators and individual families. Her educational philosophy is grounded in a play-based approach along with a strong social-emotional foundation. She is the winner of Susan Hargrave’s trainer of the year award from TXAEYC in 2020.

🧪Key Learning Outcomes Prerna

  • Everything starts with breathing! 
  • When trying to build a longer attention span, try using the CAT method. C= Curious — you want to pearl the children’s interest. A = Anticipation — you want to change what they might anticipate will happen. T = Time-Sensitive — understand your time frame is small. 
  • The brain isn’t functioning properly when neurons aren’t being created, so children who spend a lot of time on screens aren’t creating those reactions in their brains. 
  • Take brain breaks! It doesn’t matter how long, take a couple of minutes to focus on breathing, or looking for three things the same color. It will bring you back to your center. 
  • Some tips to help strengthen children’s attention and focus are to give them fine motor activities, explore their senses, hand-eye coordination activities, and feet-eye coordination games. Let children play with loose parts as it will stimulate the brain, and let them get into the mud! 
  • When children engage in more than 3 senses it activates the brain.
  • Understand the vocabulary you use and help the children understand.  An example is are you using a fidget toy or fidget tool? Using a different vocabulary takes away blame or guilt for the children. “I can see your body isn’t helping your brain learn. Should you calm your body so your brain can focus?”

✨Resources

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Ria Simon

Ria Simon in the Community Ambassador at HiMama. Prior to starting at HiMama, Ria was an Early Childhood Educator and worked 6 years in the classroom. She taught all ages but mainly preschoolers. Ria lives in Toronto with her husband. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her niece and nephew and being on the water.

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