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You know what they say – “First impressions are lasting impressions.” What happens on the first day or two of preK can set the tone for a young DLL’s entire year! These FAST 5 Gamechangers will make sure each child gets the best possible start – paving the way to a great year for you and your students!
1. Get to know the languages that are spoken in each child’s home. Even if they speak English, a preschool child’s home language must be supported to build on their whole set of prior knowledge. Paper home language survey’s often don’t get the whole story. Preschools that make it a priority to let teachers know exactly what languages are familiar to the children entering their class on the first day are likely to be more successful with diverse populations in the long term.
2. Post ‘hello’ or ‘welcome’ signs in all of the languages arriving at your school on the first day so families and children can enter the classroom with a feeling that their needs will be met and they are important members of the school community.
3. Take a photo of each child having fun on the first day and share with their family – by text or email if possible – so parents who don’t speak English can relax and know their child is safe and happy at preschool.
4. Make languages and cultures visible from day one. Put out any books, CDs, games, or displays you have that represent the languages and cultures of the children in your class.
5. Get help fast from your local library! Once you know what languages to expect in your classroom on the first day, you can ask the librarian to help you get books, music and other resources in the languages you need to they can be there to welcome all of the children and create an environment of respect, diversity, equity, and learning for all!