It can be useful to ask a trainer, coach or family child care administrator to observe your program environments and give you feedback on how these environments function. You can use this information to reflect on the appropriateness of your program spaces. Follow these directions:
- Choose a space in your program that you would like a trainer, coach or family child care administrator to observe.
- Ask that individual to sketch the program space in the area below. Be sure to tell them to include furniture and important features of the program space (carpet, cubbies, doors, toilets, etc.).
- Ask them to observe for at least 30 minutes. Each time a challenging behavior occurs anywhere in the program, ask your observer to put a tally mark in that spot on their sketch.
- At the end of the observation, ask them to summarize where the most behaviors occurred. Discuss your data with your observer and make a plan for identifying reasons for behaviors in each setting. Use the checklist on page 2 to identify potential areas for growth. Work together with your trainer, coach or family child care administrator to make changes to the environment that will prevent challenging behavior.
What to Look For:
- Arranges traffic patterns in program areas so there are no wide open spaces (except when appropriate, e.g., outdoors or in motor spaces)
- Removes obstacles that make it difficult for children with physical disabilities to move around the program
- Clearly defines boundaries in program areas
- Provides a variety of materials in all program areas
- Considers children's interests when deciding what to put in program areas
- Makes changes and additions to program areas on a regular basis
- Effectively selects, arranges, and utilizes materials that promote interactions (high interest, novel, culturally meaningful)
- Effectively selects, arranges, and implements activities that promote interactions (high interest, novel, culturally meaningful)
- Develops interaction opportunities within program routines (i.e., toileting, snack set-up, etc.)
- Uses knowledge of the children’s interests to plan large group activities when appropriate
- Monitors children's behavior and modifies plans when children lose interest in large group activities
- Plans and conducts fun small group activities
- Monitors children's behavior and modifies plans when children lose interest in small group activities
- Makes adaptations and modifications to ensure that all children can be involved in a meaningful way in any activity
- Uses a variety of ways to teach the expectations of specific activities so that all children understand them
- Structures transitions so children do not have to spend excessive time waiting with nothing to do
- Teaches children the expectations associated with transitions
- Promote independence and autonomy in transitions
- Individualizes directions about transitions so that all children understand them