I was going through some of my old reports and thought this might be beneficial to those who are working in a preschool room. The age group is 4-5 year olds, so they are capable of communicating fairly well & express their feelings.
1) New Migrant Child: G
G is a new child in the classroom. G was seen with a tear stricken face. She did not speak, but the adult, J came in and spoke on her behalf. J told one of the other girls, SC that G wanted to join in the game. G sits on the chair without saying a word and looked at the other children. The adult, J explained to the children (SC, KL, GR and A) that G is a new child in the country, and did not know the language (English) much, so they have to be friendly and understanding of her situation.
I was observing all this when it happened, so later as we were doing activites on the table I told SC that she would feel the same if she went to a place where everyone spoke Cantonese. SC asks me to speak someCantonese, so I said “do you want to eat?” in Cantonese. Then I asked SC “do you understand what I just said?”. SC does not say a reply to that.
SC then is later seen inviting G to play in their dramatic play.
2) Learning to Access play with other children:
Alex had some problems accessing the Earth Tub play. She came to me and told me that the other children won’t let her play with them. I told her “why don’t you go and get a cup from the sandpit and fill it up with sand, and just play along with them without asking them”.
Alex took a cup and went to the Earth Tub and filled it with sand and then played alongside the group.
3) Initiating play with others:
I have noticed and observed that Raj has had difficulty in initiating play with the other children. Today he poured out the entire contents of the goop tray into the blue saucer. Later, he interrupted the play between Y & Rhys. The boys had arranged their cars in a line, and Raj took his car and crashed into their line, which made Y & Rhys. really angry! So I had to quickly intervene, and re-directed the attention of the 3 boys to something else so that the flow of play could continue.
The game was then interrupted again by this new African boy (who could not speak any English) from the kindy group. So the boys left with the cars.
I spoke to Raj, and told him that he can’t do that if he wants to play with other children. Then I re-directed the attention to him by asking him, whether if he likes it others did the same to him as well, continuing to add that I would get angry if someone did the same to me when I was playing as well. At this point, Welly spoke up and said that “it is very true”!
In Raj’s case, I think, and feel that he would benefit more from direct intervention and require social coaching skills in order that other children will let him participate in their play.