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PreKTeachandPlay.com Podcast

How do you help all children thrive? Get in-depth discussions and insider tips with Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak. Each episode gives access to real-world strategies and tools for dealing with behaviors that are challenging, pressures to “ready” children for Kindergarten, and the goal to build kinder, more inclusive, and more creative classrooms, which address the whole child. The host, Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, has 30 ears of experience in teaching and supporting early educators. You, too can become an ECE {R}evolutionary and reclaim children's right to learn through play, reimagine inclusive classrooms, and revolutionize early care and education.
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Now displaying: 2019
Nov 12, 2019

This podcast is divided into two parts.

Part 1:

The first, clarifies why our primary job is to extend the green zone for optimal learning, even when it comes to placement decisions for children who qualify for early childhood special education.

It will be a bit of an eye opener/conversation starter for those who think we're soothing the nervous system by placing a child in a more restrictive environment. In other words, while a "self-contained" classroom might "look better" or to us might even feel a little bit better (or safer might be the word), we're actually promoting rigidity, which is also outside the zone of optimal learning.

Part 2:

In the second part of the podcast I explore the two jobs teachers have...the one when children are in the green zone and then one when they aren't.

If they're in the Green Zone, our job is really to keep them there and to notice, recognize, and identify when they might be leaving that Green Zone. Our job is to also help children learn how to stop, think, and then act...to become self-aware of their emotions and how to help keep themselves in the green zone. 

When children are in the red or blue zone. Our job shifts to offering a lifeline to a child. Helping them to be curious about us and allowing for processing of big emotions. 

Key Take Away Message:

"I have two different jobs. I'm either in the Green Zone with the child and I'm helping them learn self-regulation skills, how to problem solve, how to have an appropriate response when things don't go their way, and how to keep themselves in the Green Zone. But the moment a child moves into or rather their body moves them into the red or the blue, my job also moves or changes. And now my job is to help process, co-regulate, offer a lifeline."

Oct 14, 2019

If your behavior "management system" is public (verbal or visual), if it is whole group, or if it is highly symbolic, it's a practice that we can no longer engage in.

Meaning...it's three strikes and you're out, behavior charts.

In this episode, I unpack the top three reasons (ok five reasons) that behavior charts aren't effective in helping children learn to self-regulate. I also talk about why we have used them, and how our good intentions shouldn't be criticized...just adjusted.

This episode if for you if you want to know:

  1. The top five reasons for bagging behavior charts
  2. The top four reasons people use behavior charts
  3. Solutions for what to do instead

After listening to this episode, you'll understand what all I'm categorizing as behavior charts and why they are ineffective with young children.

Sep 16, 2019

In Episode 35, we dive into more of the practical stuff...and what to do with conflicting messages around screen time and young children. For example, what do we do when we want to limit screen time and we also want children to have technology literacy skills?

There's an ancient parable about a farmer who lost his horse, and as As Heather Lanier say in her Ted Talk, "The parable has been my warning that by gripping tightly to the story of good or bad, I close down my ability to truly see a situation. I learn more when I proceed and loosen my grip and proceed openly with curiosity and wonder."

And for me, the same goes for screen time and young children. While I have strong opinions (grounded in wisdom and research for the most part), I know I can be quick to judge when I see a smartphone propped up in a child's stroller, a parent "mindlessly" scrolling on their phone, while their children try to get their attention. And let's be honest, when it comes to my own addiction to my phone where I can't possibly leave the house (ok room) without it.

Let's take it one step forward...what can we learn from the parable about what happens when we quickly judging things as "good" or "bad" when we see a headline that screen time CAUSES developmental delays?
 
Well, we generally would all say, "Oh, that's bad!". If another post shares how a mother deployed in the service of our country was able to sing a lullaby to her baby using SKYPE, we would then likely say, "Oh, that's good!" And if you asked most teachers their thoughts on the impact of screen use on children's interaction and play skills, they would say, "Oh, that's bad." Yet at the same time can find many opportunities throughout the day to broaden what their children are exposed to. For example taking a virtual field trip to look about an endangered animal on YouTube. Then they would say, "Oh that's good."
 
It's complicated right...let's start with getting more clarity on our WHAT before we pick the how (use or non use of screens).
Aug 17, 2019

You've seen the posts right? The ones that talk about the dangers of screen time and children's brains. How caregivers are more interested in texting than connecting with their children. And how secondhand screen time is the new smoking epidemic.

But what can you believe when it comes to children and screens? What about district policies that promote the use of screens with young children?

In this episode, which was so good (and so long) I had to divide it into two parts, my guests and I raise the fact that there is not a common definition of "screen time". This has huge implications for all of those posts and policies devoted to this very hot topic.

We also kicked the episode into high gear by sharing advantages. as well as the downsides, when it comes to our 24-7 access to screens.

Spoiler alert, there are more and more downsides as we see it.

NOTE: This is part 1 of a 2 part series on screen time and young children.

Jul 17, 2019

In this episode, I talk to Alyssa Blask Campbell about supporting and intentionally teaching self-regulation.

Or as Alyssa would say, “Helping tiny humans process big emotions”.

 

In this episode, we delve into the difference between coping mechanisms and coping strategies, what self-regulation is (and isn’t), and myths about how children learn to become increasingly self-regulated.

What You Will Learn

  1. The difference between coping mechanisms and coping strategies and how to use them to help children (and even yourself) process big emotions
  2. How the way self-regulation is “marketed” often misses the point by focusing on children learning self-control vs. expressing emotions, and why its important to let children express how they feel even when it is inconvenient to you
  3. How to set or maintain boundaries with children while also giving them the opportunity to process their emotions
  4. Why we should stop using the word “reinforcement"
  5. How sensory integration plays a major role in emotional regulation
  6. What the collaborative emotion processing (CEP) method is and how to implement it to respond to children’s emotions in a way that builds their emotional intelligence
Mar 22, 2019

In this episode, I talk to Dr. Shauna Tominey about her book, Creating Compassionate Kids: Essential Conversations to Have with Young Children.

The main purpose of her book is to support adults to build compassion and understanding through the conversations we have with children. 

What You Will Learn

  1. How to model compassion by letting children know they are loved no matter who they are or what they experience
  2. How to support children in becoming self-aware, while also understanding differences among people and families
  3. How to build resilience in children by discussing how stress or tragedy can make us stronger
  4. How to help children use their recognition of being loved, their self-awareness, understanding of others, and personal resilience to demonstrate compassion for others

We also talk about the progression of inclusion, how compassion addresses bullying, and the importance of explaining what you are doing and why.

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