Creating Inclusive Environments

During the summer months many educators take time to evaluate their learning environments.  Last month our topic was about exceptional children.  In early childhood we have many wonderful environments that include many different styles of learners and children of all developmental stages.  We often, without realizing it, are creating inclusive settings.  So, how do we ensure that we the environments we are creating support and benefit all children?  Based on the Arizona Early Learning Standards the following points are highlighted as benefits for an inclusive classroom:

  • Demonstrate increased acceptance and appreciation of diversity
  • Develop better communication and social skills
  • Show greater development in moral and ethical principles
  • Create warm and caring friendships
  • Demonstrate increased self-esteem

Children learn not only from the adults in their life, but also the children in their life.  It is increasingly important for children to possess,

  • Cultural diversity
  • Social skills
  • Communication skills
  • Ethics and moral reasoning
  • A positive self-esteem
  • Good citizenship
  • Warm and caring attitude

How can we help as early childhood educators?

  • Model for children positive behaviors
  • Model good manners
  • Model problem solving
  • Support them in making decisions
  • Expect good citizenship from the children in your class all the way up to the administrators in your building
  • Plan cultural diverse activities
  • Allow children to talk, sing, and express themselves in play or art
  • Use American Sign Language to support classroom management, child development, and language development
  • Continue your education, either by receiving your CDA, your Associate’s, your Bachelor’s, your Master’s/Doctor’s, or simply continuing to take advantage of professional development opportunities.

When you grow you support a child’s growth.  Remember what you do in the early years has a direct impact on the later years…you are importantyou are an educator!  

We value meeting the needs of all learners and have created resources that are developed around play and American Sign Language.  They encourage learning through play and sensory play.  To view our abundant resources please visit one of the teacher resources sites like Teachers Pay Teachers, Syllabuy or Teacher’s Notebook and have fun incorporating ASL into your program! 

Happy Signing II